How can I get my father out of a dementia specialty hospital?

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My father went into hospital for leg surgery. Surgery went well, he was confused in hospital (as always). then went to rehab for his leg. Got aggressive at rehab and they shipped him over to a specialty dementia hospital. I am his POA. They say he will have to stay there for 17-23 days but then he may not get out. I plan on caring for my father at home once he is out. I know he is not happy there and wants to be home with his dogs and his routine, etc. He was functioning at home well with care. How can I go about getting him released so he can be home for Christmas??

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Hospitalizations often have a negative effect on elders, mentally. Do you have a Power Of Attorney for health care (Health Directive)? You should be able to get him out. I don't see how they can keep him without his consent, which you can give for him if you have the health directive. If you don't, you may have more of a battle. He still may have to stay the 23 days, but after that it seems odd that they could keep him against his will. Try talking with his doctor directly. Good luck,
Carol
ALISON:

Unless he's a clear danger to himself and others, I don't see why they'd hold him hostage over 23 days. As Carol suggested, speak with his doctor directly so ascertain the extent of his "aggressive" behavior. Just because he has A/D doesn't give anyone a license to keep him locked up forever, and away from the people, places, & things that he still holds dear.

Thanks Carol - I spoke to the Director of the hospital this morning and he said dad could probably come home beginning of December. I just don't think he is happy there and that is killing me. My one saving grace and this may sound insensitive, but he will not remember this once he is back home. I think I am becoming overwhelmed with guilt. I am in Baltimore, MD and he is in RI - so the distance is not ideal... I feel like I can't do anything from here, but am willing to move up there once he is out so I can care for him. The guilt is a major horrible thing.
Okay - I have told the hospital that I will be picking up my father on Friday. The said that is fine but it would be AMA (against medical advice). I feel I have to get him out of there - he has DECLINED since being there (now is incontinent, zomby-like, still aggressive, etc). I am scared to take him home and care for him as I may be in over my head, but I feel like he has given up there and I am not ready for that and neither is he. Please share any thoughts concerns - anything - I just need help and advice! Thank you!!!
You may want to plan an extended trip so that you can stay there and visit him every day for awhile and see what is going on before checking him out AMA. One thing that would be a concern to me is that you can't take him back and have Medicare coverage for the stay. Medicare requires a prior hospital stay. So if you get him home and he's combative and it's too much on you, then what? Are they doing any physical therapy with him or anything therapeutic to help him regain strength? Also, does he have a regular doctor that is willing to visit him? Can you take him out for a dr. appt with his regular physician? Try to get as much info as you can, even witnessing for yourself by staying with him all day at the facility (or in and out several times during the day at different times ), so you really have a handle on what is going on.
Okay.. Let me say this is absolutely the most difficult thing I have ever been through, and I have already lost my mother to cancer....
I am battling between heart and brain, and my heart is winning, and I think it is winning for a good reason. Before he got to this place he was his normal confused self, but still himself (flirting with cute nurses, trying to be cute, confused, but still himself - I wish I could explain this more). I have been home with him and he is not combative with me - EVER. He hears the word "daddy" and he just complies and is his sweet old self.
The facility is doing more harm than good. They have him on seroquil (bad news), I have asked that they take him off as his "irritability" has not lessened since he has been on it. He has turned into a zombie (when i speak with him on the phone) .
He lives a normal (all be it confused) life at home. I have care for him and it works and has worked, and worked before the surgery. I feel i know my father better than anyone, and these Dr.s just seem to want the bed filled for an extra week. I know how my father is when in hospital or facility and it's never good. Get the guy back home and he functions beautifully. I am willing, when the time comes to put him into a facility that can actually help him, but he is not there yet, and 2 months, I feel cannot make him a different person than he was before all this nonsense. I feel in my heart I am doing the right thing, he needs to be home. He is not ready to be in any sort of care facility when he was (with help) taking very good care of himself -- paying bills, mowing the lawn, taking care of 2 dogs, etc...
Emotions running wild right now - I may be in over my head, but this is my dad and he has earned every ounce of joy that I could possibly give him as he has given me the best life ever.
Of course, do what you feel you need to do. I am sorry you are going through this and sorry he has been through so much. It is very hard for elders to be hospitalized for lengthy periods and it will be good to be back to familiar surroundings. I wish you and your dad all the best.

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