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Went in to sign the contract. In the legalese was this statement
It encompassed all emergencies - natural disaster or heart attack, stroke, etc.


I thought that seemed like a large time span. Was told it likely would be much sooner but legally, yes, they have that long.


Is this a standard clause or practice in memory care? Can't seem to find data on it.

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Thank you everyone! Appreciate your responses. I have an update: this is apparently a CA state minimum all senior living centers must meet. This place (& another I spoke to via phone) said their response time is asap. Of course, I have to decide to take their word, research reviews, etc.

We had heard good things about this particular place; I think the Exec Director could have explained it better than he did but I do feel somewhat better now.

Would expect more delays in cases of natural disasters. Mainly concerned that if Mom had a heart attack or stroke, she could pass away in a hospital and we'd miss the chance of being w/ her to love & comfort her.

Thanks again.
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disgustedtoo Jun 11, 2021
It never hurts to ask. Many people would probably sign documents like this without really reviewing them. As others noted, and appears you've been told, there are likely state requirements that have to be met.

I don't recall seeing that in my mother's documents, but may not have noticed it. They would call me and report even minor tumbles mom had. Cell service is not very good where I live and there's even a 30-40 dead zone I have to cross when going a certain way to my own duties and appointments. I always advise everyone to leave a brief message (who you are and a # to reach you at) because the notification that I have a msg generally appears right away, even if the call didn't register.

The one time early in her stay at MC that I heard after the fact was when I was away for hours. I had just arrived home when they called to ask if I could pick her up at the ER. Alternative was better - there's a local transport service that is closer to the hospital and since the facility is in the same town, the charge was only $10. I would have been much later. At least a 20m drive to get there, maybe 25, and would have to unload my car first. So, I didn't hear about this tumble. They likely tried to call but didn't leave a message and since they couldn't reach me, they sent her off to the ER (needlessly - she would really just tumble, not really fall, so no injury, not even a bruise.)

So, if you consider that, they would need some kind of window to allow them to contact you in the event that you weren't available. Highly unlikely they are waiting 12 hours to seek treatment or care. In all other cases, they called me right away to report anything they considered a potential change in her condition. If their window was more like 10m, and they can't reach you, would you then blame them for not contacting you, even though they tried and couldn't make contact in that 10m? We aren't always available, so they need some guidance - if there's a way to leave a message, certainly they should be doing that right away, but they can't leave a lot of detail, just in case the dial wrong (HIPPA.)

Once she's settled in, you will find out whether they make quick contact or not. Unless it's a really crappy place, I wouldn't be overly concerned about that CYA in the document. IF you find they are lax about making contact for issues, then consider moving elsewhere.
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Check with your State Ombudsman. Sounds odd to me. I had an aide call me 6am in the morning. They must abide by State law.
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Probably. The lawyers are protecting the facility. In the event of a natural disaster and were telecommunications to go down or evacuation to be necessary, I could easily see it taking 12 hours to notify family. It's a specific clause related to emergencies. I wouldn't go making assumptions about their day-to-day practice.
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cweissp Jun 11, 2021
I agree, they are probably talking about a large scale emergency. I never noticed the language in the contract I signed admitting my dad to SNF.

I regularly received phone calls, early morning or late evening usually once a week telling me dad fell (and I'm not kidding). They called after they had gotten dad up and check him over and rechecked him so I'd say they'd call within an hour of his falling. Even if he fell at 2AM and no real damage (usually bruising and scrapes) I would be ok with them waiting to call at 7am - if on the other hand it was bad enough to send him to ER, then they better call once he's on his way to ER or I'd be raking them over the coals.

While it would be distressing - if there were an emergency such as earthquake, tornado striking the building, etc, I could see it easily being a lengthy time before notification - not saying I would be happy about the delay but in a situation like that there is only so much they can do.
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12 hours! That’s crazy. I would specifically ask them why wait 12 hours to notify the family of any incidents that occur.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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rovana Jun 11, 2021
Sounds like they are stating an outside limit to cover themselves legally. What is their actual practice? I could see it taking that long or longer in the case of say an earthquake or hurricane.
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I don’t know. But good for you for noticing and it would not be okay with me. It sounds like a way of saying we don’t check on your loved one for as long as 12 hours. I doubt you are agreeing to pay the big bucks for that kind of care. I would love for someone to explain how this is not what it looks like as it is very disturbing.
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