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My sister, who has early onset Alzheimer's, has been at her assisted living place for just a month now and has not required anything more than regular rent with meals, light cleaning, laundry. On this, her second month there, she got a letter saying they were raising her rent by a whopping $1005! Is that even legal? Evidently they did so without any warning, not even a 30-day notice. I am obviously fuming. Advice? We just moved her in. Hate to have to move her back out right away.

I am again grateful for all your responses, most of them offering some really great advice, like holding my temper. That's pretty hard, though. I will say that, in losing my temper, I got something done. At least I didn't scream, shout, or call anyone names. This whole process has me and my marriage in an uproar. My husband also has his opinions, some good, some not so good. I don't think I'll divorce my husband. He's too wonderful. But sometimes I sure want to divorce my sister!
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Reply to DebbieSS
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The AL considers the POA you hold to be a “springing” PoA and unless & until Sissy is declared incompetent, will not recognize any authority by you or that POA. I’d be seriously concerned that mgr is setting up to have significant influence on your Sister and to the detriment of you or other family. If you do not have clear online access to all her bank accounts now you need to do this & before you go on that extended vacation.

Speak with atty as to if a new Poa needs to be done or if you flat may need to go guardianship route. She has the $ so when u get guardianship you can be reimbursed.

The “springing” is a real issue. TX laws just came up with whole new DPOA format to deal with this as it had gotten way way out of hand when the banks (esp BoA, Chase) just routinely froze anyone with any type of DPOA out of accounts. It’s a new multi page dpoa with specific categories to be initialed and even has an separate Agent form that must be signed off on, a notary page, and different bank forms that banks must fill out in detail in order to disallow POA from access and state why. I just got one done to deal with our in college sons legal & trust stuff. No witnesses needed in this dpoa!

Atty can run a bkgd ck on the manager.
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Reply to igloo572
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Debbie, the fact that your sister contentedly entered this facility without her own, also signed by all parties, copy of that contract clutched in her little hand is a sign that she is not firing on all cylinders when it comes to her rights. But it's not enough to make her a vulnerable adult. Three quarters of the population would be vulnerable by that criterion.

And if you don't mind my asking, how did you let that pass if you were there?

If your sister is considered competent, then it is true your POA has no authority beyond what your sister agrees to. You can't act without her consent. But with her consent, you can do whatever she instructs you to. Your power is held for her, on her behalf. Reassure her of that.

That the facility has already made a refund is a good start.

Now you want, for your sister:

the original contract that your sister signed, and make sure it's not a copy that has been subsequently amended. The two copies, yours and the facility's, must be identical and must both be signed. The manager can hardly blame you for being punctilious about this considering what's happened.

a checklist of the points for attention

deadlines for acting on same

You also want a Plan B. If this ALF doesn't pull its socks up satisfactorily by, what, say three months since her admission, what options are there for moving her?

Be clear about what you're expecting the attorney to do, by the way. You can spend a lot of money getting grievances off your chest and have nothing more to show for it than his agreeing with you.

Is it a brand new facility or something? Change of ownership or management? Is there any reason they've been so slapdash?

And hold on as tight as you can to your temper. I once lost my temper to the tune of several thousand pounds. My mother just sighed and later remarked: "you get it from your father." 😡
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Reply to Countrymouse
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anonymous806474 Nov 9, 2018
Pounds?...…..Dont you have socialized medicine in England? By the way are the Nursing Homes or Assisted Living Facilities in England covered by the Government or is it better to have the funds to get to a better facility?Just Curious..
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As an aside, the manager kept the contract when my sister moved in, saying she'd get us a copy after she took care of some issues/promises, like new blinds, mentioned at sign-in day. She put stickies all over the contract as we did my sister's intake. I have insisted we get a copy, to no avail. So I have no contract at present. Isn't that a good one?! Furthermore, she has not kept any of those promises yet either.
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Reply to DebbieSS
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Judysai422 Nov 12, 2018
Keep on that. Call agency on aging and file complaint or have attorney write demand letter.
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Thank you for responding, everyone! I have a meeting with an attorney today to discuss this further; however, after I lost my temper with the facility, they did refund the $1005, saying I was right, she should have been given at least 30 days' notice. I lost my temper because they insisted that my sister just fell through the cracks on the notice. I responded that my sister should not have to pay for their mistake. In Aging Care online there is an article that says if a raise is for everyone, which the manager said was the case (because they found in their assessment that their fees are way below normal fees), then there should be a 60-day notice. To further "dirty" the waters, the manager at this place insists my Power of Attorney gives me no power. Again, attorney here I come. It's all a tremendous hassle, especially in that the manager seems to have gained my sister's trust and now my sister says she wants to stay in the facility, even with the huge and sudden rent raise (the only reason we chose the place to begin with) and wants me to butt out. I'd gladly do so, but my conscience won't let me. I sincerely believe she is an at-risk adult. My sister has, or should I say, had a good annuity that would have given her some leftover funds to pay for drugs, TV, phone, etc. Now she'll have to activate her LTC. Thank goodness she has an LTC! We hoped she wouldn't have to do that for awhile, though. If she wants to stay there, less work for me, but since my husband and I want to travel this winter, I want to make sure my sister is truly being taken care of in our absence and this place now seriously worries me. Again, I am grateful for your responses and, if you are like me, you are thirsty for more information.
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Reply to DebbieSS
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Judysai422 Nov 12, 2018
Call the ombudsman for the facility. Your sister may respond more positively to a neutral third party.
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It should be spelled out in the contract
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Reply to shad250
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It is common for facilities to raise there prices once a year. Facilities have to give a 30-day notice prior to a change in billing. A raise in that amount is suspicious. I would tell them that I wanted to know what the increase was for. It does not sound according to you the information you wrote above that her level of care has changed, so why the increase?

Also be aware in most assisted living facilities you can't just move someone out. Read your admission contract, in there it will tell you how many days notice you have to give the home prior to moving her out. It is usually 7, 15 or 30 days (most contracts I have seen have the 30-day notice requirement.) If you move her out before the 7, 15 30 days is up you could be charged for those days and yes they can do that.
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Reply to cjwilson
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That same thing happened with my father. His monthly rate doubled! I was shocked and unhappy about it. About a week later, I happened to be reading through a booklet about the facility and it's policies and procedures. It said that the residents would be given a minimum of 30 days advance notice when rates were raised. They issued my father a refund. But still, they should guarantee rates for a certain period of time. Seems like a scam now that I know other facilities pull the same stunt. Disgusting.
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Reply to anonymous818203
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What does your contract say?
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Exactly, call for an explanation. If your sister cannot afford this increase, ask what can be done, surely they have had other residents in the same situation.
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Reply to TekkieChikk
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If a lease was signed for a year then they can't raise it. Now, if they found sister needs more care than originally thought, that part of agreement may have been increased.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Do you know if her AL is a private company? My mother's first AL was a business. They raised the rate each January by 7 percent. It was terrible. My husband questioned the director asking what business has such growth annually. She simply stated that increases were necessary. My mother's present AL is not for profit being run by the Lutheran church. There has been one increase in 2 years but it did not feel punitive and notice was given well in advance. You need to see the contract but know that AL that are for profit can be ruthless. They don't want empty beds.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Get a copy of all the paperwork from her admission from the AL.

I’ll bet a case of Prosecco that within the contract, it either has a initial evaluation period of 30-90 days that the AL can use to determine the level of oversight needed and the increased costs reflect a different level of oversight that has been determined she needs OR there’s a rate increase for 2019.

If she has dementia, she could have totally glossed over the contract or didn’t fully understand it. It could be that with all the emotion and upheaval of the move that family didn’t read the fine print on the contract or admissions agreement.

It could well be that she’s actually way beyond early dementia but appears pretty cognitive and competent. For my mom, she had Lewy Body Dementia and really she seemed really together and with it and this was in her 90’s as with Lewy really they outwardly look & seem totally ok and good on their ADLs but there’s no executive functioning ability. If your sister seems happy at this place, you might just have to chip in to have her stay there and till her contract runs out with whatever notice required for a move out. It may be that she needs a higher level of care than an AL provides. You really might want to look at NH for her and getting her eligible for Medicaid. If part of the decision to move into AL was price & that a NH was too expensive, you might have to revisit that decision and consider having her assessed to be needing skilled nursing care in a nursing home as Medicaid will pay for that if she’s eligible.

If she walks on her contract, it will be placed for collections and she’ll be toast on getting into another place as others ALs can run a recent history and credit report. If this AL has a SNF NH facility that has Medicaid beds, you might want to talk with admissions as to her moving over to SNF as Medicaid Pending resident. You might get heavy push back as AL are imo really the only profitable option for companies doing elder living places. If this is purely an AL and part of a chain, they will do whatever to hold her to the contract that she signed. Hopefully you did not sign off any responsibility and only your sister signed her paperwork. NH & MC are really expensive to operate; ALs are profit centers imo.
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Reply to igloo572
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Look at your admission papers. This does seem extreme, especially if this is a regular occurrence. Where we lived we own the home but lease the land. Our lot fee goes up every year by at least $10 per month and usually more.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Pick up the phone and ask for an explanation. Also ask if this rise (what %age rise does that represent, by the way?) is for all residents, or specific to your sister.

Who handled her contract for the admission, did you?
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