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My father lives in an assisted living community in Michigan. His window is barred shut. When I asked about opening the window, I was informed that windows are not allowed to be open due to the fact that some residents could escape. Does anyone know if this is a policy across the nation, or is it specific only to this community? I also wondered if it’s possible to contest this, or request that the window could at least be opened a few inches to allow for fresh air flow.

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My dad had a courtyard room in AL and we could open the windows. In memory care, however, the windows don't seem to open.
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Reply to marydys
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Call the local Fire Marshall. Ask if this is legal. As said, this is a problem in a fire. My replacement windows have a piece that can come out to stop the window from going higher than a few inches.

If Fire Marshall can't help call the State Ombudsman. The State does not allow restraints so would be weird they woukd allow windows to be nailed shut.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I can't imagine that this would be legal. In AZ any room holding a vulnerable person must have 2 exits. Bedrooms - one is the door and the other is the window.

I would contact the ombudsman and the fire marshal to determine if they can actually lock people in with no escape if a fire were to happen in the hallway.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Louise315 May 28, 2021
Check out my answer to SJP legacy. Unfortunately I don’t believe my town has an ombudsman. But I haven’t addressed this issue with administrators yet so I believe that will be my first attempt. I would be happy with just allowing the window to be opened a crack, As it’s the fresh air that I would like Dad to be able to enjoy.
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It may be the rules of the facility. Accidents can happen with dementia and open windows. In hospitals you will note most windows open only a little bit. It has also to do with temperature control and air filtration methods often enough as well. As them about their air filtration methods. It is very likely nothing can be done about this.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Louise315 May 28, 2021
Thank you for your suggestions. This facility is very on top of things, and they do a great job with my dad. It really surprised me that they had this restriction. I think part of the problem is that they have been placing people with varying degrees of dementia into the assisted-living side of their facility. This probably can be a problem, as they don’t usually lock residents doors, and I think they are fearful those that can move might even find a way to escape from another residents room? This seems strange to me, however, as I’ve never seen another resident wander into my dad’s room while I am there ( I am a caretaker and allowed to stay with him from 10 til 4:30pm). Dad is no threat as he can no longer walk. I suppose it’s possible that residents wander in and out of other residents rooms when I’m not visiting, but you would think I would’ve seen someone doing that while I’m there. They rarely have more than two people working as caretakers at a time for both sides of the facility, which consists of assisted living and memory care. However memory care is blocked by a locked door so that residents on that side cannot enter the assisted-living side.
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My dads memory care opens his window all the time.
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Reply to Babs75
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I've never seen a facility where the windows were barred. I've been to many care facilities and they all allow windows to be opened 6 or 8 inches, not enough that a person could escape thru them, but enough to allow some fresh air in. This was both in AL and MC. Barring windows could prevent ingress by emergency personnel. Fire dept inspectors must approved the opening of a commercial facility. I don't think you can do anything about it, but you could check with the local fire dept and see if barring is acceptable or even legal.
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Louise315 May 28, 2021
I probably should have been more specific. The windows are not barred, they have used strips of wood or some other substance nailed into the sides of the windows (in the groves where you normally would slide them up), to make it impossible to open them. I still think this would probably be a fire hazard as I don’t see how the residents could easily be moved out of their rooms in case of fire if they needed to use the window. But it isn’t as bad as actually barring the windows.
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