Dad’s anxiety has increased tremendously during Covid. Since I can’t go inside as often as I used to, we talk every day, but other than that, there’s minimal going on there - so it’s almost impossible for me to try and help him stay calm. I called his GP (affiliated with the LTC facility) and inquired if he should see a psychologist. The GP said it could be beneficial and she would contact the LTC facility to call in an order. I told the GP that as my father's POA, I wanted to speak with the psychologist first so I can give some background on his current medical status, as well as what changes I’ve noticed in dad.
A week Later the LTC facility contacted me and said they would set up the appointment. I reiterated to them exactly what I told the GP - that I needed to speak with the psychologist BEFORE my dad's appointment (and told them why). The facility said they would relay my request to the psych and let me know when the appointment was scheduled for.
As the weeks pass, I hear nothing (from the facility or the psychologist). I call the facility and ask if the appointment was made because again, I needEd to speak with the psychologist before he meets with dad. I’m assured by the facility that the message was passed along to the psychologist.
A week later, I have my indoor visit with dad (yay! ) While I’m there, I see a piece of paper in dads nightstand with the psychologist’s name, phone #, and affiliation (in LARGE print). Clearly he had already seen my dad (and I was never contacted and had no idea). I contacted dad's facility first and they said they left several messages for the psychologist stating that I wanted to know when the appt was, and I needed to speak with him before he saw dad. Then I contacted the psychologist (now that I had his info on that piece of paper I found in dads room - in large print!) I told the psychologist that I was my father's POA and I wanted a copy of the medical evaluation he did, as well as any notes from their meeting. Psychologist told me that he would need to have dad sign a consent form first. I explained that I was my dad's POA and I did not want him to do this - not to mention it wasn’t necessary because I AM POA. Psychologist suggested we have a telephone conversation to discuss the visit instead - If I didnt want him to have dad sign a consent. I didn’t know what else to do so I agreed to the telephone conversations. After the 2nd visit, the psychologist called me to discuss the visit (as promised). He told me that even though we were have a telephone conversation, he would still have to get dad's consent (Even though initially he told me that the phone call was so he didn’t have to get dads consent). I replied that this was crazy and as POA, I have never had an issue getting medical records for my father before. I was very upset by the psychologist’s blatant disregard for my role as POA, and our call that day was cut short. The next day, I received another call from the psychologist. NOW, he said that he spoke to his regional director, and the calls he would be making to me (the ones he suggested we have after dads appointments)) would be billed as a family counseling session. I said what?! These calls were his (the psychologist’s) idea - not mine. I just wanted the medical notes (and am entitled to them btw since I’m guardian, POA, and dad's health directive). He said the calls take time and they are a form of counseling. I said I didn’t need counseling for myself nor did I ask for it. He told me to think about it. Needless to say, I thought about it and sent an email to the facility, as well as the psychologist, that the visits should stop immediately. I’m so upset by this and feel that business practices of the psychologist should be investigated. Besides this, I hate to say it, but I feel that the LTC facility should be held accountable for this nightmare as well. Does the LTC facility make $ from these visits as well? What actions can I take to get to the bottom of this.