Can a nursing home force me to hire a sitter for my mom?


My 86 year old mother suffers from dementia and other ailments. She is a difficult patient and is often angry and agitated. She is also currently suffering from a bout of c-diff. I'm constantly being called at work and home because they're having trouble dealing with her. It's worse now because she needs to be isolated because of the c-diff. The social worker at the nursing home said I need to have someone sit with her. They want either a family member, or for me to hire someone. Neither is possible since I'm the only family member in town and mom is on medi-medi. I feel for the nursing home staff but isn't that their job? I'm doing the best I can but the social worker is just laying on the guilt!

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My moms situation was a bit different - she was in Assited Living. Within ten days of moving in mom had two falls, one requiring an ambulance ride to the ER. So AL said she needed more care than they could give and said she needed to move out. Since I didn't want to have to place mom in the first nursing home I found - wanted time to find a nice place that would be a good fit - I brokered a deal with AL that she could stay as long as she had a private pay caregiver with her during all awake hours - mom slept through the night fine. They agreed and frankly, I think they would have let her stay that way indefinitely but moms money wouldn't have lasted very long at that rate - between the AL and the private caregiver we would have been looking at $18,000 a month minimum. So yes, I believe deals like ours and what your moms place is telling you are actually somewhat common. Sorry.
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Thanks. I'll take a look at the paperwork. She doesn't require 1 on 1 care but she's more trouble than they want to deal with and I get that it's a business and they don't want risky patients. 99.9% of the time they'll call me saying she's acting out and by the time I get to the home, she's fine. Unfortunately, there isn't any money to hire a private aide, so they may have to transfer her to a geri-psych facility. There is one about 40 miles away that is supposed to be good, so maybe they'd be better equipped to handle her. I'm trying to stay positive about the situation. It's all I can do at this point....
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Yes, they can. Nursing homes do not provide 1 v 1 care. Instead they have a set patient to nurse ratio which differs by facility. If your mom requires 1v1 care at all times (for example if she is violent, wanders etc) they can definitely require this.

Please be careful because if you refuse to provide this care, they can discharge her as a patient. They can't discharge her onto the street, they would be discharging her into a different facility that can handle her behavior...usually a psychiatric facility and they are not always all that pleasant.

Read the contract with the facility that was signed when she entered. In there you will probably find information on what terms they use to determine if someone needs a personal sitter/aide and it will also detail what behaviors can result in discharge.

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