POA vs. Mom wanting to go home from nursing home.

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My mom is 84 and we think will be "expelled" from rehab due to her lack of gains and cooperation. She has a broken pelvis and humerus and severe COPD. There is no way she can go home (apartment not set up for it due to location and angle of bathroom, etc. Plus she cannot walk 20' without having to stop to breathe and has to drag oxygen hose with her.This is how she fell. She is arguing that she wants to go home. We have power of attorney, but understand that if she is in sound mind she can decide to go home. Is that correct? What would happen in such an instance?

4 Comments

She lives on her own? Tell the rehab her circumstances and that you are not going to be her caregiver. Make sure they understand that, she may be telling them that you will be there to look after her.
dtrinfl2, do you think your Mom really is in "sound mind" if she thinks she can take care of herself after breaking her pelvis, her upper arm, and needing to rely on an oxygen tank, at the age of 84?

Of course she wants to go home, who wouldn't. But one has to face reality, the home isn't safe for her. Now if she would cooperate and do rehab, maybe, just maybe she might be able to go home, but she would need someone there to help her.

The arm that was broken, was it her primary arm? That happened to me last year and I wasn't able to so many things as I didn't have the ability to use that arm until after 4 months of rehab 3x a week. Getting dress was a major doing, I had to buy special tops as I couldn't even put my arm into a sleeve of a blouse, and forget trying to put on socks & shoes with one hand. Had to use the Mouse with my other hand, good grief that curser was all over the screen :P Learning to eat, comb my hair, brush my teeth, or even write with my other hand was a huge challenge, not easy when one is a senior.

What might happen if Mom can't go home if no one is there, she would go into long-term-care. And she may or may not regain her strength so she could come home.
AT A MINIMUM, there needs to be an OT home eval to see if it can be made safer. You would think the rehab team or at least the d/c planner and social worker would be trying to help make sure there was a feasible plan in place, and that you would not have to ask them to pull together with you on it, but...you'd be wrong. They seem to assume we "get it" and would ask them if we needed any help meeting our loved one's needs post-d/c. Ask for a meeting. Tell them what you have told us. Tell them you need a change in post-d/c placement and you need to know what the viable options are for getting there from here.
When my boys were little, they wanted to ride in the car with no restraints. I made them use child car seats anyway.

They didn't want to get vaccination shots. I was sympathetic but firm.

When you are in charge of someone else's welfare sometimes you don't do everything the way they want it done.

The glitch here is as you mentioned -- unless she has been found incompetent to make her own decisions -- you cannot simply pull the caregiver card and make her do it.

But you can certainly make and enforce decisions for yourself. "I am not going to become full-time hands-on caregiver for my mother" is one decision you can make. As Vstefans advises, make sure everyone involved in Mom's discharge plans knows explicitly what your decisions about yourself are. Also what your thoughts are about what would be best for Mom (even if you cannot enforce them).

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