Thursday, January 8, 2009

Avoid Brookdale on the Park Apts (& Nicole Redpath)

Sometimes an insensitive and cruel society can make it is especially difficult to advocate for an elderly and ill father.

I live in Naperville, Illinois. I try to keep a father alive in North Carolina. There are logistic problems to my traveling back and forth between my home in Illinois and my father's home in NC.

Sadly, I have encountered unreasonably insensitive people during this very hard time in my life. The worse offender is by far BH Management Company and Brookdale on the Park in Naperville, Illinois. Odd because I have lived at the same location since August 2005.

I do not cause trouble to the apartment complex. But I do just have obvious logistical difficulties when I am in the hospital advocating and protecting my father.

1. My bank - Bank of America. The Cary, North Carolina, branch of BOA holds the checks drawn from a Cary, North Carolina account for 11 days. Why? Because I opened my account in Illinois.

BOA actually has the money from the other bank for at least a week before they let me have access to the money!

I have asked the BOA where the money is within the BOA system for the week before I am allowed access to the money. No one knows. Hmmm.

2. My Naperville, Illinois, apartment complex - BH Management managed "Brookdale on the Park" apartments. These guys are even worse than BOA.

I have live at "Brookdale" in Naperville since August 2005. At that point, the apartment was managed by "Equity." Equity is a great company.

Okay, the actual physical building is not great. Poorly painted, poorly maintained. I tolerated bugs and a window that actually fell out during a normal Chicago area storm. But, I put a big emphasis on the people who run the apartment complex. I tolerate a lot in terms of the quality as long as the management staff is good.

Then BH Management bought Equity and the place has gone way down in terms of the people on the ground. For example, In late 2007 I asked "Brookdale on the Park" management to draw up a lease starting February 1, 2008, that would be for one year and that would upgrade my apartment. I actually had to go into the Brookdale on the Park management office several times to remind them of the lease. They were just ignoring me.

In March 2008, I again went into the management office of "Brookdale on the Park." The management staff told me that they overlooked preparing my lease. huh?

While I was at the management office in March 2008, I stated that I was disappointed that there was no lease and no upgrade. The management apologized and promised me that the next lease would include an upgrade (and an increase in price)!

I was not confident that the BH Management and "Brookdale on the Park" were an adequate company. It turns out that my gut feelings were well founded. Because of my gut concerns, I asked for a six month lease to see if the BH Management and Brookdale on the Park were a safe place to live.

During the six month period (February - July 2008), I had damage to my patio door that took weeks to fix. I had problems with sewage smell in my laundry room and the linen closet door was poorly installed. It took many requests to have the repairs performed. And some repairs have never been made.

The management at "Brookdale on the Park" knew that I was going back and forth between Naperville and North Carolina to care for my very ill father. They knew exactly where I was staying in Cary, North Carolina. They knew that I spent many days and nights in the hospital with my father.

All of that knowledge notwithstanding, the management of "Brookdale on the Park" never sent me a lease and never slipped a lease under my apartment door.

I begged and begged for a lease. I even guessed at the price for the lease term (starting August 2008) because no one at "Brookdale on the Park" ever informed me of the rent. I sent a check every month to Brookdale on the Park after August 2008 without ever knowing how much to pay!

Finally, instead of a lease, I received a horrible and rude email from Nicole Redpath of Brookdale on the Park. She said that they would not write a lease for me. She said that I was quite literally without a lease but that they would let me stay month to month at $1000 per month. Very nice, Ms. Nicole Redpath.

I explained to Nicole Redpath that I am literally in the hospital with my dad. He is non weight bearing and has a serious infection that might result in amputations if I do not stay with me 24/7. I explained that I give dad medicine through his chest catheter every 8 hours. I absolutely could not believe how uncaring Nicole Redpath and the rest of the staff of Brookdale on the Park treated me.

Infection in an elderly person often means that that become disoriented and confused. If I leave my dad alone then he is likely to become confused and leave the house.

BH Management, Brookdale on the Park and Nicole Redpath (Brookdale on the Park) could not have cared less about my trying to keep my dad (with Stage 4 cancer) safe.

I explained to BH Management and Brookdale on the Park and even the very rude and insensitive Nicole Redpath that there have been occasions when Bank of America has put 11 day holds on checks I deposit in NC (apparently because I have an Illinois account). Even if the check deposited at bank of America has actually
cleared and BOA had its money, the BOA would continue to hold the deposit and not put the amount into my checking account.

Each and every time BOA's crazy hold would mean that the rent check to Brookdale on the Park would not clear, I contacted Brookdale on the Park before they even knew of the problem. I believe I did the best I could and I was taking responsibility for the rent check issue by contacting the BH Management apartment as soon as I knew what BOA was doing.

Brookdale on the Park told me that they would accept my personal checks so long as they arrived before the 5th of the month and so long as my dad's health made it impossible for me to get a cashier's check.

Then enter Nicole Redpath of Brookdale on the Park in Naperville, IL. Wow. IMHO, she has made the most difficult time in my life (even worse than when I fought my own cancer) unnecessarily difficult.

Of course, I also tried to get cooperation from BH Management corporate office in Texas. What a joke. The tenant relation person in Texas forgets who the tenants are!! (Oh how I miss the Equity Corporation.)

a. Nicole Redpath told me that I must get cashier's checks (even if I was caring for dad 24/7 and in hospital).

b. Nicole Redpath told me it was my fault that I did not have a lease.

c. Nicole Redpath told me she would not accept the December 2008 rent check because it was a personal check and less than the total rent amount. Despite my caring for my dad 24/7, I wrote a check to get the rent money out of my account and gave it to my mom so that she could write a check to Brookdale on the Park.

d. After the BH Management and Brookdale on the Park specifically told me that they would not accept my personal check (and I took immediate steps to get them another form of payment), the goof-balls at Brookdale on the Park cashed my first check! The same check that they rejected and told me to send another form of payment! What? I trusted when they told me they would not accept the check that I did not need to waste the money to put a stop order on the check. That was a mistake. Of course the first check did not clear. Per Brookdale on the Park's instructions, I removed the money that would have covered that check to give them a different form of payment.

IMHO, Brookdale on the Park's attempting to cash a check after they request another form of payment is criminal.

e. Today I received the alternate payment that I sent to Brookdale on the Park via Federal Express. And I received the alternate payment at my dad's NC address. Hmmm, odd. Why didn't they send me a lease via Federal Express?

I will have to get my mom (with all she is already going through) to go to her bank and get another cashier's check. Silly. Insensitive.

Apparently Brookdale on the Park has a waiting list for tenants. Good for them.

My purpose in writing this is to warn all of you that care for an elderly and ill family member that you will encounter insensitivity and downright meanness from some elements of society.

You have to stay strong. The most important thing is your ill loved one.

Try to compartmentalize the annoyances - like the Brookdale on the Parks, Nicole Redpaths and BOAs of the world.

The work and effort that you are doing in caring for and advocating for an ill person is monumentally more important than those people who just simply do not care and do not cooperate with you.

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