I was giving Mom’s former nursing home 24 hours to respond to the e-mail in which I questioned their handling of Mom’s assisted living credit. And then I was going to call the county long-term care ombudsman and file a complaint. Lo and behold, I returned to the office this afternoon from an appointment, and there was an e-mail from the business office coordinator. I was almost afraid to open it. I was braced for a fight, had been talking about this issue at my appointment, had had heartburn all day, and was just generally full of resentment about the whole thing.

The first words were: I want to apologize… Good start. …as I did not review the amounts before I emailed you. Well, that was dumb, don’t you think?? She provided a detailed breakdown of Mom’s deposits, her additional credit from assisted living (meaning I overpaid them for the month of August, stupid me, but I was being cautious), the cost of the carpet replacement (NOT $1,600), and the fact that there is MORE THAN SIX-HUNDRED DOLLARS remaining as a credit that can be applied to Mom’s nursing home bill (which could be for a whole month, or just half a month, I have no idea, because I don’t know all the rules). If it’s only half a month, Mom will get a little something back after all is said and done. Assuming Medicaid is approved.

Please know that the Facility would never claim a credit amount ‘because it’s there’ as that would be a violation of the Resident Admission Agreement. I guess she had to say this for the record. Maybe my sarcasm didn’t come through.

To her credit, she was polite. Just gave a straight response to my cranky questions. Began with an apology. Provided the correct information. If only she had done that the first time.

I wrote back that I accepted these terms and authorized application of that credit to Mom’s nursing home account. Because Noah the administrator was still being copied, I took the opportunity to say that had anyone told me between yesterday and Aug. 12 (or Aug. 14, I guess, when we officially vacated the assisted living apartment) that the carpet was damaged, and that we would be responsible for paying for its replacement, that could have prevented my intense reaction to her message. I still don’t like it, but it would have made sense, and been courteous, and been appropriate, to inform me of this at the time the decision was made to replace the carpet and bill my mom for the cost.

Still no word from Noah, who I believe is ultimately responsible for this entire mess. And really, whatever, I don’t care. The biggest problem with this now is that I was all worked up with rage and then had no place to put that energy when I got this e-mail. So I cried a very little bit. And now I have a splitting headache. But in the long run, it is a good thing that this particular problem is put to rest.


7 comments so far

  1. foodhoe on

    how frustrating that must be, but I’m glad they made the effort to apologize!

  2. Tom on

    I’m Glad that there was some resolution. You shouldn’t worry about showing your rage; it can be surprisingly effective in these situations. In fact, there are times when a little manufactured rage can do the trick as well. “the squeaky wheel….” RAGE ON!!!

  3. deb athy guinan on

    you have more than $1,600 in good karma stored up. Apply when needed.

  4. Elizabeth on

    I’m glad to hear this is getting settled, and I agree with Tom – this is well-justified rage, so let em have it! And yes, it does seem like looking at someone’s account *before* sending an exorbitant bill does seem like, you know, a generally good business practice. Man oh man.

  5. jeff on

    Would you feel comfortable asking Chris for a little pro bono legal advice?
    Sounds like such a mess, and besides being unethical potentially illegal. I’d support you in a complaint to the ombudsman, etc…. as a witness to the event. Also, was the rug really that ruined? I’d agree with in need of replacement, but you and I were in an empty apartment after everything was hauled away and I wouldn’t have described the carpet as ruined.
    Do you want me to call Noah or someone else at Whetstone and be another voice in questioning their behavior? So that they know the rest of the family is involved?

    Love you.

  6. momsbrain on

    Deb: Exactly. Chances are I will need that karma someday. Tom and Elizabeth: I do think rage was perfectly appropriate. I was just stuck with some extra that I had to shake off.

    Jeff: I believe the entire administration is unethical, but I feel fairly certain what they did isn’t illegal, especially since they ended up using less than Mom’s full deposit amount to replace the carpet. I haven’t read all the fine print, but I feel certain somewhere in their admission papers, they reserve the right to do what they did. And since there is a decent balance left over that can pay for the part of Mom’s August bill that Medicaid doesn’t cover, I am fine with just letting it go. I’m sorry if that disappoints you. But I just don’t know if I can stand working with them any more than is absolutely necessary. Now, if you are inclined to be in touch with Noah, I will not discourage you. But I think the actual situation vs. what was described to me Monday are so different that I am … satisfied.

  7. Melinda on

    It just might be illegal for them not to notify you in 30 days after she vacated their “apartment”. According to “landlord” laws, they have to notify you in writing within 30 days of why you have not received your deposit. Let someone else take them on on your behalf Emily – you have dealt with enough of their bull. If not for yourself, at least for their next victim – and there will be plenty – trust me. That business office is a joke!

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