What Does That Contract Say?

What is happening inside of some of America’s and the world’s nursing homes and rehab centers? If anyone from any legal establishment or if any lawyers disability placard , paralegals or anyone specialiizing in contracts area of law could look inside of the workings of almost any nursing homes and rehab centers, they might be shocked, dismayed, disappointed and probably just stunned at what is happening to seniors, disabled, handicapped, incapacitated, and other human beings who are brought into these facilities on stretchers, by ambulances, by ambulettes and other means.

Just recently, there were some patients from hospitals that were transferred to nursing homes by ambulette and by ambulance. When they arrived there at the nursing homes and rehab care centers, they were obviously in some kind of health-problem conditions, ranging from anywhere from minor health and needing rehab to more major health problems and needing rehab, and in other conditions. And what happened to them when they arrived at their destinations, where these facilities were supposed to be caring for them and were supposed to help them rehab, and supposed to look out for them? Everyone was treated differently in some respects, but there were some who were treated to lengthy, burdomsome thirty to forty-page documents, way to long to read, to consider, to understand or to digest. And they were made to sign three or four pages of those documents without being able to or given time to or given access to those pages to read, to understand or to fully see. Basically, they were blindly sigining legal documents without really having seen the documents. In any country this is wrong, but at the least it has to be illegal. For as long back as I can remember, in order for a contract to be valid, that contract must be seen, read, and agreed to by the parties signing the document. And for the most part, no one should be legally held to any documents when they were asked to sign them yet did not have the documents to read and understand and agree to, yet that happens in some nursing homes and rehab centers all over this country and all over the world. And it appears to keep happening and it is not front page news because outsiders do not know it is happening.

How can anyone sign a contract if they have no clue what that contract signs and how can that contract be valid? Recently, a nursing home resident, a new resident, was treated to one of these legalese-packed documents. They never saw the entire document. And the funny part is that no one at the facility showed the lengthy document to anyone at all even though family member was present at the nursing home for a long period of time during and after the admissions process. The family member was there and present and able to read, yet was never offered any papers to read. The facility waited, yes, waited, until the patient was alone in the facility, in order to approach the patient and at that time when he was alone, and without his glasses, then he was approached and asked to sign pages that he did not see and did not read and did not fully

understand. He did not know that he was apparently signing away many of his rights to privacy, and many of his rights to his own finances and to his own income, disability and pension funds, and things in the future. He did not know that he was signing a document that seemingly gives so much power to the facility that it left him with hardly any rights,and hardly any income at all. Although at that moment, the document and the processes were not in force, and though at that moment the facility had not acted on this document, the document still was a very powerful document that fully gave the facility all the rights and took away most of the rights of the resident or patient. AND, all of this was done, not while family members were present and done only when the resident /patient was alone and unable to confer with family and unable to ask any questions about the document and unable to have the document fully explained to him. Yes, the patient is fully competent, but still any fully competent person is legally entitled to read and fully understand what he is reading if he is going to put his signature on a document. I feel that the deceitful part or one of the deceitful parts of this happening was that the facility waited until the patient was alone, and yet did not even tell the famly that they were going to ask the resident to sign a thirty to forty page contract. Anyone would have asked to see the contract, to understand it and most people would confer with their legal advisors and with their families when signing such a contract that was giving away practically all their privacy, financial, social and medical rights with one full swoop of the pen. But yet, this facility, preferred to hand this document over to the patient himself, and insisted that he sign it. They passed off this legal contract, document as an admissions or enrollement document but neglected to tell the patient that he was signing a paper that would give the facility so many rights and that would leave him with practically no rights and practically no money and practically no income.

And, yes, and, this seemingly happens a lot in nursing homes and in rehab centers all over America and throughout the world. Facilities get away with this because patients are signing these documents alone and they are not understanding what they are signing. And think about it. If someone handed you a document or contract that took away your rights and your finances and your privacy would you sign such a document knowing that it contained those clauses in there? Probably not, correct? I would not sign it. And the patient would not agree to sign it. But only if the document was cloaked under the title of a routine admissions or enrollment document, some might possibly sign it. Only when cloaked under a — you need to sign this in order to be admitted here, it’ is all routine, you do not need to read it all — type of statement, only then, some tired, just transferred from hospitals, seniors or disabled individuals might think that they need to sign it, but even then they still have no clue what they are signing because they are not offered the liberty to read the document before signing it.

Here is how the facility gets away with this. They make the document so lengthy and so packed with pages and information that no one has any opportunity to read it all. Then they put about four or five pages , with lots of blanks in front of the patient, and they tell the patient that it is all routine, and that it is just for enrollment processes, but they do not tell the patient that these pages are taking away most of the patients rights, and rights to finances, pensions, disability checks and do not tell the patient that they are applying for medicaid, medicare and other government services for the patient — even though the patient has private insurance that fully covers their temporary stay at the facility.