Once you have made your decision and committed to a facility you will usually have to put some type of deposit down to hold the room. You will of course be told that many people are looking at that room and that if you do not put the deposit down you will lose it. Sometimes this is accurate and many times it is just used to pressure you to commit.
You will then be told that you will need to sign a few documents. When you actually come and sit down to sign them you will be shocked at just how many things you have to read and sign. There is so much to read and so much to fully understand in these contracts. You must read every word and if anything is confusing you should consult with an attorney to make sure you know exactly what you are committing to. The contract I signed for my mom was a little over half an inch thick and included some addendums added to it along the way.
Many of us sign contracts assuming they are standard or that we know what "most" of the documents say but I can't stress to you enough that you should read everything and ask questions about anything you do not understand. For example if you are a power of attorney signing for mom or dad can you be held responsible for the bill if your parents run out of money or do not pay something? Make sure you know the answer to this question before you sign. Do not let any facility tell you that you have to hurry and sign anything. You should also know the contract cancellation laws in your state. Usually contracts can be cancelled within a few days after signing if you realize you may have made a wrong choice. Make sure to find out if you lose your deposit if that happens.
I am not an attorney and can't provide any legal advice. However,I have learned a lot about these contracts as I have signed many. I have read every word in each one. This is why I encourage you to talk to an attorney if you have any concerns or uncertainty in what your are reading and signing.