Nursing home contracts(15 Posts)
Anyone have any experience of nursing home contracts? They've asked me to sign an indemnity clause which in effect puts a liability on me personally (ie, my money, not my father's) to pay outstanding fees and any damage caused by "the resident"; and also to guarantee his adherence to their rules. Is this normal? I feel very unhappy about signing it.
just giving this a bump
not surprised you're unhappy about signing it.
Not sure if it is 'normal' but yes we had exactly this at my mum's 2nd care home. We signed it as my mum's original care home was being closed down within 21 days and literally we had nowhere else to go at such short notice. (And others circling for her bedroom it we turned it down.)
However, it wasn't as bad as another care home which wanted immediate evidence funding from us for three years when we sent them an initial enquiry to visit.
If you are happy with your dad's care so far then I would not regard it as a deal breaker.
We however found the 2nd home very 'grabby' so we started searching almost immediately for a new place.
Fortysix "However, it wasn't as bad as another care home which wanted immediate evidence funding from us for three years when we sent them an initial enquiry to visit."
you mean they wanted to see proof of funds before they would allow a visit?
when I looked into this - admittedly only asked 3 homes - they said they'd need to see 2 years proof of funds before accepting the person as a permanent resident.
and what if you can't afford to underwrite your parents fees?
Grace 212 Pretty much. The email said something along these lines:
"There are a number of processes prior to admission / acceptance. Firstly, may I make you aware we are a fully private care home and we require residents to evidence funding for at the very least three years. Fees are blah blah. You are welcome to come and have a look ..." So we did not even visit.
But having been to a failed care home I absolutely see it is important that the care home makes enough money to fund good management and leadership and makes a profit. I think the clause in OP's contract is absolutely fair especially if they haven't asked for evidence of funding.
We took seven months to find a third place. The third place has not asked to see funding but if they did or if they wanted to put a clause in place like OP's I wouldn't object because my DM is happy, very well cared for and her dignity respected.
It's a two way thing and there are risks on all sides. They don't know how my DM's behaviour might change nor her/our financial position but they are absolutely committing to DM and her welfare right now and that's what's important.
Clarity yes, I thought they asked for proof of funds from the accounts of the person going into the home - not that they'd go into the funds of anyone else.
if parental fees run out, it goes back to council funding surely?
I totally take the point about seeing proof of funds from the resident's accounts, but not from the carer's account. I suppose this is where it is heading though - the care home won't want to rely on the council to keep funding the place so they will ask the carer?
arrrggh what a nightmare this is. Perhaps I should take a break from these threads, I'll scare myself into a heart attack at this rate.
I think the clause in OP's contract is absolutely fair especially if they haven't asked for evidence of funding. I think it is not fair on three counts 1) they are asking for the right to demand that I pay without exhausting efforts to get the money from my father 2) they are asking me to agree to unlimited liability for damage they ascribe to my father (potentially, for example, complete rebuild costs, loss of business, redundancy payments to staff if, for example, he were a smoker and burned the place down) 3) they are asking me to guarantee my father's behaviour when he is in their care and I have no easy communication or influence over him.
He does have capacity, though in practical terms I think he'd struggle getting through this contract. And from his reaction to other things, this indemnity clause would scare the pants off him.
I had a similar situation with DS's university shared house - guarantee all rent arrears and indemnity for damage. I wrote into the contract that I guaranteed my son's share of the rent, and damage caused by him, up to a limit of £xooo. The landlord accepted that. There was no way I was going to be responsible for rent arrears or damage by young men that I'd never even met.
They haven't asked me for proof of funding, but reserve the right to ask for proof of 1 year, which I'm happy to provide. This would be of his funds, not mine.
Dint have you spoken to the manager about it?
the smoking example is a good one - surely their insurance covers that?
It seems I'm worryingly unnecessarily - I was working form a print out, but the page alignment is awry, and going back to the electronic version, it seems this clause only applies to top up funding and similar - eg where the local authority don't agree the need for residential care and won't pay, granny doesn't have any money, and so rest of family are paying for her instead.
So I don't have to sign it, because my father is paying. But I still think it's unfair for those who do have to sign it - my point 1) above doesn't apply, but they're still asking the person paying to guarantee the behaviour of someone not in their care, and they have not placed any limit on their liability.
Moral: don't consider signing contracts when you're too stressed to read straight. .... if only we were able to avoid that! The essence of elder care seems to be making life changing decision on limited information without time to consider and while you're stressed to breaking point.
The simple answer Mere then is to ask to amend the contract as per your concerns.
However, I would much prefer to have my parent in a place where there are some policies with regard to discussing (if not directly influencing) behaviour and ways to keep family involved if there is indeed family. I have seen first hand some residents whose behaviour has escalated to such a point where they need one-to-one attention virtually for all of their awake hours. These behaviours can significantly impact on the other residents and really affect the quality of life. Hospitals are not queuing up to take these increasing unwell people back into nhs care and it can be a lengthy process to have assessments done and medication changed. None of us know just how ill we might become or how our parents are going to spend their declining months and years. But from what I've witnessed families - albeit ones who are at the end of their tethers who have obviously endured difficult times- who are working and interacting with the care home nursing team and health professionals, do seem to get a better and faster resolved outcome for their loved ones which benefits everyone in the wider care home family.
Also with regard to potential damage to the care home - having candles and smoking thankfully should not be allowed anywhere by residents (but the staff will nip outside round the back . Obviously they don't want TV sets being hurled through windows and sinks pulled from walls but most of the oldies I've seen in my travels can barely lift an iPad let alone work it.
There's a difference between having policies in place to discuss behaviour and keep family involved, and having a legally binding contract that family are responsible for the cost of any damage caused when the resident is in the home, and with no upper limit on their liability.
Honestly, the threat of financial penalty will be the only way to engage some dump and run families I’m thinking about re behaviour.
I don’t disagree about setting an upper limit of liability though but I’m trying to think what damage my DM could inflict and I’m struggling...
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