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I have been visiting a Colorado Springs LTC facility and have made friends with several residents.

The facility has told me that I may not visit, since I am not a family member. The residents love it when I visit, and welcome me warmly, and I have always been calm, polite, and respectful.

I have faced increasing opposition from the facility's administrators, even to the point where I have been threatened with arrest if I set foot on the premises.

I have had no help from Ombudsmen or State Surveyors. I even Filed a court action to enjoin them from harassing and threatening me. It was dismissed for "lack of subject matter jurisdiction."

There is a new Executive Director that doesn't seem to personally mind if I visit, as she has seen residents that I know welcome me, but Corporate is vigorously defending their "right" to isolate residents from visitors, even though they are in direct violation of Federal law.

My behavior has not been called into question, and I even had them run a background check on me which came back clean.

Can you think of anything that I can do to stop this abuse?

-Kris

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Pam's right, Kris. If you have been escorted away by security, reported them to authorities for asking you to stop visiting, turned down their legitimate offer to volunteer, yet can't move on? You have an attachment problem of some kind. You're over the line.

You have no idea . . . you may be making any number of family members uncomfortable with your friendships. It may have been one person who mentioned your visits . . . it may be six. You don't know. But you DO know you've been asked to obey their rules and discontinue their visits. Your reaction to that is somewhat off-putting. The more you object? The more convinced THEY are that they made the right decision.

There is nothing more you can do. If you can't move on from this, you need counseling. I urge you to consider it.
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Pmastegman: "Sometimes when a loved one dies in a facility, there is a family member who finds a constant need to return there as a way to stay in touch with all the deceased represented to them. It can be a sign that they cannot accept the death, nor move on from it."

That is not the case with me. I was greatly relieved when my mother died, and move on very quickly. I just saw an opportunity to visit the sick, as I already had friends there.

I remembered that Jesus said "I was sick and you visited me." I thought it through carefully and then decided to make a commitment. I do not make or take commitments lightly.
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ba8alu: "Is the one family you mentioned possibly actually the source of administration's discomfort?"

That is my suspicion. She is quite bitter and nasty.
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Sometimes when a loved one dies in a facility, there is a family member who finds a constant need to return there as a way to stay in touch with all the deceased represented to them. It can be a sign that they cannot accept the death, nor move on from it. Griefwork is what some call it, but it can grow into an unhealthy obsession that requires professional counseling. Kris, let it go and get some help to accept that mom is gone. No one is trying to hurt you, they just want you to move forward.
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Is the one family you mentioned possibly actually the source of administration's discomfort?
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Huh?
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Dear Ismiami, You wrote "In other words that rule may not apply."

The facility is a Medicare Facility, and have agreed to follow the Federal law, and the CMS guidelines as a condition of their certification.

Some have suggested that I visit other more welcoming facilities, but these are individuals that I know and love. They are not replaceable. Some have expressed dismay and confusion when they saw me escorted away by security.

The CMS guidelines do not mention insufficient prior relationship as a condition. They say that any individual must be given equal visitation privileges as long as the resident consents. The only condition is that they may deny someone if they are a security risk. Since I gave them all of my personal info, and they ran a background check on me, and I have NEVER met with anyone in private, I don't believe that I have given them any reason to consider me a risk. I also have met with the new Director, and she doesn't personally have any problem with me visiting, but the two previous administrators were real bastards about it. They even at one point said that I was stalking the head nurse, and that gave them legal grounds. They have since abandoned the stalking allegation, since I pointed out that I have never phoned, emailed, talked privately with, or even written a note to the head nurse.
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Now I can better understand why you gave an emotional tie here. Do consider volunteering elsewhere.
Sounds like the one family that dies nit like you complained, and it only takes one.

Take Care
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When mom was in the nursing home, everyone was required to sign in with the time they arrived, who they were visiting and their room number. I suspect the nursing home in question may have a similar policy.

I can't imagine why you are fighting this battle so intensely that you've even reported the nursing home to authorities. If you did something to injure a resident or interfered with staff to the detriment of a patient, there would be some liability on their part, in my opinion.

You say you turned down an offer to become a volunteer. They gave you a legitimate reason to be there that fit their rules, and you turned them down. That's telling.

Time for you to move on.
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I have a friend at a Brookdale facility and I know that particular ALF private pay only, they accept insurance, not Medicare or Medicaid. The one you are visiting may be the same.
Your link applies to Medicare and Medicaid. My friend has Medicare, but her ALF is still private pay.
In other words that rule may not apply.
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Thanks for answering, Ismiame.

Actually I do have a prior relationship with the residents. When my mother was there I made friends with most all the residents on the floor. My mother was very pleased to see that, so after she passed, I continued to visit my friends. There is no way that I could be scamming anyone, since I only meet with them in the common area in the presence of staff. When I run into family members, they have been pleased and supportive, except for one particular family member whose mother is there, and I don't even speak to her mother.
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Were they friends before you began visiting or made once you started visiting? Perhaps the families of the residents would add you to the approved visitor list? The facility responsibility is first and foremost their primary concern. And by not cooperating with the facility this gives rise to questions of your character and motive. Many churches have mission groups that simply visit with those homebound. Do you have a church membership? If not that would be another avenue to consider to be able to simply visit.
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As a nurse, my best advice is this is a privacy issue and the facility does not want to get sued should you injure their resident (I know you would not). May I suggest you volunteer at another facility in CO Springs where they welcome your participation. Also, you can drive 37 miles down to Pueblo and go to the catholic hospital and get some referrals where you might volunteer. Thank you for helping out our loved ones, and please do not take the NH's actions personally. It is private property and they have a right to restrict access to anyone. Yes, you can be prosecuted with trespassing and you would probably have a fine and probation. Just use your talents where they are needed and wanted. God Bless you!
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A stranger visits residents, there is no prior relationship to any of them. That is what I gathered, you started visiting and made "friends". How do they know your intentions, how do they know you are not looking to scam vulnerable people? I am not saying that you are, I am saying that they do not want to take liability for you. I have to support the facility in this. You may not be dangerous, but by allowing you they decrease their stance to not allow the next stranger. I would no more let a stranger mingle long term with elders, than would I allow a non parent stranger to play with kids at a school yard.
If you have a passion for supporting the elderly, perhaps you can do so through an organization such as a church or support groups.
You have no "rights" here, the facility can block stranger visits and the families likely would support the facility's judgement.
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Thanks for answering gladimhere. I was offered the opportunity to "volunteer," but I turned them down, as they were just going to have me running activities. I have never entered an individual room, and have only met in the common area. These are my personal friends, and I want to visit as a friend, rather than a representative of the company.

They are required by Federal law to let the residents receive any visitor that the resident consents to see.

Please see this CMS directive: http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/Downloads/Survey-and-Cert-Letter-13-42.pdf
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Kris, if you are not a family member I understand the hesitation by the administration. Rather, I would suggest that you go through their process to become a volunteer at the facility. Brookdale is not isolating their residents but protecting them. Facilities most times will welcome outside volunteers, but you need to approach it the right way if you do not want suspicions to rise.
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