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My Wife has been hospitalized for 51 consecutive days. Originally went in because of extream dehydration. Complications set in but in the end it was diagnosed as C.Diff.Colitis. Because of the complications she was in ICU for a week. While there she needed Dialysis treatment and heavy doses of steroids which created some problems for her. For at least 3 weeks she existed as in a coma and of course could not eat solid food or drink water. When she entered the hospital she weighed 235 lbs. today she is 186 lbs, She has been bed ridden ever since her admittance to the hospital. Yes I understand she needs physical therapy to be able to walk again but in her state of mind she just wants to go home, she feels helpless and abandoned. Now with this COVID crisis I'm restricted from visiting her at the Harts Health Care Center. This morning at 1:30 am I received a panic call from my wife begging me to please bring her back home. By law can I bring her back home. Before the hospital released her they told me they would not release her under my home-care unless I had a qualified Adult person and myself in the home 24/7. They gave me a list of service providers and told me the minimum charge would be $21.00 per hour self pay. Is this true? Am I really out of luck?

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Sounds like it would be incredibly unsafe for her at your home now.
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Thank you all for your valuable thoughts and opinions. This weekend has been a rough time for my wife and I. We elected and agreed on the transfer from the hospital to the rehabilitation center and what happened next was heart breaking because of the COVID-19. Visitor restrictions came into play and I couldn't even walk-in to the center during her admittance to the center. This weekend has been a challenge. I pray our decision was the right one made.
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Grandma1954 Mar 2020
I am glad that you both agreed to rehab. This is going to be a struggle for both of you.
While you feel bad about the restrictions know that it is for the safety of your wife as every patient in the building also has the same restrictions.
Take things day by day. Talk to her as often as you can. Encourage her to do the PT as best as she can and try to do more on her own. The faster she gains strength, the faster she can support her weight and move SAFELY the sooner she will be able to come home.
Keep yourself busy. Start some of the "Honey do" items on her list of things for you to do. Clean out a closet. Oh...go buy her a few easy to get into new outfits in her new size, I am sure her other clothes will be slipping down and that could be a trip hazard when she is walking.
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I’m not sure that a hospital can refuse to allow your wife to leave if it is requested by your wife and she is of sound mind. Both I and my DH have self discharged on one occasion each. However it may not be the best thing to do. Try not to get caught up in either anger at the hospital or sympathy for what your wife wants, and be as objective as possible about what is the best thing for her and for you. As well as the insurance issues, you will feel dreadful if you take her home and it turns out to be a disaster.
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My opinion, tell wife she needs to do the therapy to get her strength back. That you cannot physically care for her until she is able to walk with at least a walker. That she has to be able to use the bathroom on her own.

If ur 5ft 7in how tall is your wife? If shorter, 186 lbs is a lot of dead weight. I am 5ft and 186 would be a lot of weight for me. If she is bedbound that is a lot of weight to be shifting around trying to change a Depend. Even for an aide. The metal taste was probably caused by antibiotics. It takes a while to get rid of.

For now, your wifes immune system has been compromised. She is a good candidate for the Corona virus. I would keep her right where she is for now. If this virus takes off, Hospitals are going to be crowded and you may not be able to get her re-admitted.

You can have her discharged AMA. Her bills will still be paid by Medicare and your suppliment. So don't allow them to tell u different. You could request in home care with Medicare paying. This way she would get an aide maybe 3x a week. But only while she has in home services. Home therapy can be given too. Get ur ducks in a row. Maybe ask for an in home evaluation to see what you will need.

My opinion is though, this is going to be too much for you take on without some outside support.
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Thank you, your reply makes a lot of sense. I have been struggling with my decision to allow her transfer to a rehap facility.
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NeedHelpUall, so sorry your wife and you are going through this medical issue.

I see where your wife would not drink the water at the hospital because it tasted like metal. Was that the same reason she wouldn't drink water at home? This all started out with your wife being extremely dehydrated at home, correct?

The taste like "metal" has me curious. Wonder if it is a side effect to some meds your wife is taking? Does the doctor know this, as this could be a piece of the medical puzzle. Could be your wife is also dealing with acid reflux which can create a terrible taste as acid comes up. I have that issue, and for me Tums Smoothies tablets are my lifesavers. Ask the doctor first if your wife can take Tums. Tums are also a good source of calcium.

What your wife is experiencing is "delirium" which is very common for patients being in the hospital, more so with us older folks. I had that after 3 days in the hospital and couldn't wait to get out.

As for taking your wife out of the hospital against doctor's advice could open up a can of worms. If there are any complications related to why she was in the hospital in the first place, Medicare does have the option to say no on paying for future related treatments. Those out of pocket costs could be tremendous.

As for the C-19 virus, normally right at this moment I would be volunteering at the front desk at our local regional hospital. Being I am a senior citizen, I had to bow out of going there until this virus starts to curve down. I wouldn't be surprised if visitors were starting to be turned away.
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I agree with PP that she may be better off at home, but I would be pissed off beyond belief that they are saying you cannot take her.  They can ask her/you to sign off that you are taking her against medical advice ("AMA") and that you will take care of her.   Demand to go up the chain at the hospital and tell her that  your wife's mental needs are not being taken care of, they need to deal with her feelings of abandonment.  They need to explain to her EVERY DAY the quarantine and that is why you are not visiting. And I would tell them they cannot hold your wife captive without a court order.   If she is off dialysis and not in a coma, this is going to be difficult.
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I would not want her released. I understand that you are concerned but she should be monitored closely.

NPR news has reported on cases where families picked up residents and soon after they were home they tested positive for the virus. Let her stay where she is and if she needs medical help she will already be in a facility where help is available.

I am so sorry and hopes she shows improvement soon.
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I feel for your situation & I am very sorry your wife is so unwell. In the spirit of trying to help - hard questions warning:

1. Are you saying you want to bring your wife home because she WANTS to go home?

2. What care does your wife NEED?

3. Do you believe you can provide better care (on your own, or with paid carers) than the hospital is providing?

Yes the hospital can withold discharge if they hold serious concerns for her safety. This can become a legal issue. But it doesn't need to get to that.

Take a step back from the high emotions.

What is the common sense thing to do here?
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For the past few days as she was improving on her body strength the only thought for her was going home.
The hurdle she faced was getting past the bad taste she had in her mouth from all the medication she was given during her recovery period. All the food she was being given she would reject, she said it tasted like metal. Water she would not drink for the same reason. No nourishment by mouth being taken by her complicated things.
But yes I believe I can provide better care for her at home. There is in home care service but they do not have to be here in our house 24/7.
Thank you for your thoughts.
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The hospital will not, and should not release your wife. It would be an unsafe discharge without the trained medical attention that she needs. That could lead to licensing issues with the state for the hospital. Because she is bedridden, it would be impossible for you alone to provide the 24/7 care that she needs. Then Covid makes it even more difficult. She would be very vulnerable to catching the virus. Try to relax and understand that the hospital is doing what they are required to do, ethically.
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Thank you for the quick response. I understand the hospital's position but I still feel that I could provide a better environment for my wife's well being. Her mind is confused at this time and can not understand why she's there. It's impossible for her to get special attention because of the so many in need, but if I had her in our home she would get that attention. She does not need someone to sit by her "24/7" she just needs someone there when she has a need. In her physical condition if she has a Bowel movement she can not get up to go the bathroom, she needs a diaper then she needs to get cleaned up. No adult likes to sit in a soiled diaper for an hour and no one likes to cleanup a soiled diaper, She's my wife I can do that.
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