What rights do I have to find out info on my grandmothers well being at an ALF if I don't have POA?

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My grandmother was recently placed in an assisted living facility in Maine. She has alzheimers but is in regular assisted living right now. I am very close with her but live 3 hours away and like to know what's going on with her. My aunt who has DPOA and lives locally, will not share any info with me. During my visit today, I asked the head nurse some questions such as can her window be opened more than 4" and can I take her off site for a car ride or to lunch? She gave me her card and asked me to call her to discuss once my grandmother wasn't around. I called and left a messsage. I then find out that the nurse called my Aunt and told her she didn't feel comfortable giving me info since I didn't have the POA. Huh? What rights do I have as a concerned relative if I have questions and am being kept in the dark by my family members? Any legal advice would be greatly appreciated! I am not sure what my aunt is capable at this point in keeping me from getting information out of spite. Very unfortunate situation! Thank you!

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You're right that this is very unfortunate. Unless you have HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) forms in hand giving you the right to information, the AL likely can't give you any. HIPAA language is part of the POA for health care or health directive, but can also be just a form on its own.

Is there anyone in your family who can talk some sense into your aunt so she'll give you permission to take your grandmother for a ride? You could try to fight this legally, but it likely would be expensive and I don't know that you could win.

It's just so sad that a family member would do this to you. I'm really sorry. Do try to find someone to intercede for you.

Carol
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As a nurse and paralegal and had the same situation with my siblings, I can tell you you do not have any rights under the guidelines of personal information act. Only the DPOA/POA/guardian/conservator can direct information given for a person with dementia according to HIPPA law, and the nurse at the nursing facility did exactly what she was supposed to do. I suggest you be very nice to your aunt so she will tell you what is happening. Thanks for caring about your grandmother!
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I thought this concern was written by a granddaughter who could not get info on her Grandmother in the nursing home. Please help your daughter or niece? then to be privy to the information regarding her grandmother. Yes, all family dynamics are different. You don't have to share your Mom's info here, but please share with your daughter/niece unless, like I said before, there is more to this story. Everyone is only trying to help and give support to those who are asking the questions. To Concerned GD, don't stop going to visit your grandmother; she will always remember that you cared about her, even when she does not remember who you are. Blessings.
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The red flag that stands out to me is- why is your aunt isolating you from your grandmother? The above comments are correct about rights under HIPPA.
Are other family members being kept away from your grandmother?
Is she being well cared for? No suspicion of abuse or exploitation?
There are mediators who can help get family members together to discuss their concerns and come up with a plan so everyone can visit grandma. Are your parents in contact with your grandmother?
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Been there, doing that. I am treated like the next door neighbor, when it comes to my mom. All I can do is keep my eyes open and try to figure out what is going on. I can't rock the boat too much or the POA will fix it so that I can't see my mother at all.
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There is more to this story, I think. Your Aunt is either hiding something i.e. abuse, both physical and/or financial, or...she is paranoid about other siblings who might be giving her some flack about something. I'm sorry you can't get info on your Gma, but the NH nurse's hands are tied; when the government put that "right to privacy law" into effect it punishes the good people along with the bad. When folks designate their POA, they need to be absolutely sure of that person's integrity and compassion, not only toward themselves, but also to other family members. We don't know the dynamics of your family, but it sounds a bit like my family was and I feel sorry for you. A person in a care facilty should have the best of what all family members can give them. God bless you for caring.
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My sister and I do not want much info given out concerning our Mother. Each to their own. All family dynamics are different.
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