Can a doctor decide that an elderly patient cannot live at home (even with aides) and place her in a nursing home?


My aunt is in her 80s with severe osteoporosis. She has aides 5 days per week for 3 hours per day. She has fallen a few times when alone although she has not hurt herself seriously. The doctor is now hinting that my aunt should be in a nursing home. My aunt is adament about staying in her house.

My question is, can the doctor override her wishes and place her in a nursing home anyway with the state's consent?

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What happens if she falls alone at night? my biggest fear for mum!
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I realize your aunt is a fall risk but is she otherwise safe. cab she get to the bathroom unaided and make herself something to eat and drink. Does she have a panic alarm to use if she does fall.
Three hours a day does not sound a great deal of time. Enough to help with bathing laundry and housework and shopping.
The Dr himself can not order this but he can persuade the relevent authorities that this needs to happen. As far as osteoporosis is concerned she can just as easily fall in a nursing home and break something if she is independently mobile.
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Interesting question on a very pertinent subject. I don't have an answer but think it might vary by state.

I do think the doctor would have to have solid grounds and prove that she's not getting adequate care, or she/he might have to bring in APS to make that determination.

Personally I would find another doctor who's more amenable to respecting your aunt's wishes. Medical people often think in terms of institutional solutions rather than what's best for the patient, and if she wants to remain in her home, she has that right as long as she can get adequate care.

I think I would research the justification your state may have for taking this kind of action. But do pre-empt it by finding another doctor. That's what I'd do.

And being that I'm gutsy and have no problem standing up to doctors (as I've done many times), I most likely would ask that doctor if he raises the issue again whether he plans to pay for the care since we can't afford it.
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The doctor can't, but you can if you have medical and durable POA. It sounds like she needs to be in assisted living or a nursing home.
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