Memory Care keeps trying to Gouge us with added costs

Hello, I hope someone can help me.  My mom and dad have both been in memory care for 2 years.  My dad was in hospice for Alzheimers for over 6 months and unfortunately passed away from Covid, along with 6 other residents, last November.  Both my mom and dad initially tested negative for Covid after the first residents got sick.  But almost all the residents and staff tested positive.  They would not allow his Covid nurse to see him or anyone else in to see him while they were quarantined.  The Director of Memory care was out sick with Covid the week my dad died.  There was no one who knew him caring for him - just CNAs who had been brought in or those who had tested negative.  He could not speak, so they didn't know he was sick.  It was horrible.  They wouldn't let us see him, and he could not talk on the phone.   He basically died alone, and they didn't even know he had Covid because he had tested negative 2 1/2 weeks before.  They obviously tested him too early.  The death certificate said respiratory distress due to Covid-19.

Anyway, fortunately my mom survived Covid.  We asked for her to be tested immediately after my dad died (even thought they told us she had already tested positive two weeks before).  She was also positive and we had her doctor put her on steroids immediately.  She has been in Hospice since.   

Last week, in our visit with mom, the Memory Care head nurse came in and said she had some paperwork I needed to sign.   I asked if I should read it, and she said, "Oh no, it's just paperwork because she's in hospice now - so we call that a different care level.  No changes to her meds or care," she said.  No mention of an additional charge.  She basically tricked me into signing it, even though now I see that it was my fault, but I trusted her.  Why, I don't know.  She has done things in the past to make me doubt her and she talks to my mom like she's a baby.

Today, we just got a $900 pay increase saying that they've moved her to level 2 care since she is in hospice.  That I had just signed the paperwork giving my approval.  Besides being outraged, my brother and I are confused.   We never got any increase with my dad who was in hospice for 6 months.  We never heard anything about any "level 2."   We were told they didn't have levels of care or increases in levels for med pass changes in Memory care - that it was different than AL.   

We are trying to figure out how they can justify this.  The facility actually does less care for her now due to hospice.  The hospice nurse sees her 2-3 times a week and evaluates her and does health checks.  There is a hospice aid who comes in and bathes her twice a week.  There is a social worker who comes and sits and talks with her once a week.  The facility has "zero" extra work with her being in hospice and actually less work as they don't have to bathe her or check her vitals.

Does anyone know what our rights are here?  We are trying to set a meeting with the director.  It seems like everyone tries to take advantage of the elderly.

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  • First I would like to share my condolences with you on the loss of your father. My heart goes out to you and your family.  This past year is like nothing most of us have ever seen and I hope we never have to experience it again.  

    I cannot comment on the care questions regarding Hospice vs normal facility care as each state is different with their Hospice regulations and who provides what and when.

    As to your questions on the charges, I would try, as you said you are, to get a hold of the Director.  If you are unsuccessful, most companies have number that you can reach to to someone at the corporate level.  You would ask to speak to the Regional Director of Clinical Services for your mothers location. 

    If  the company is not a large company or is a stand alone community and you cannot get that meeting with the Director,  you can always reach out to the County Department of Health office for guidance. 

    I hope this was helpful for you, and I hope you and your mother stay safe and healthy. 

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    • Julie Westcott 

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  • Thanks Julie.  We have an appt with the director tomorrow.   It's just so frustrating that these places continue to raise prices, and because of Covid we weren't even able to see our parents for so long, and they still don't have much of the supplemental activities in place that we were paying for in the first place because of Covid.  I just feel like they should do what everyone else is doing and tighten their belts for awhile - not raise the fees on the elderly with limited incomes.  It's really sad.

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