What are the chances of getting her out of the nursing home?


I am friends with a couple in their 80's. Wife has been diabetic for many years and was able to take care of herself as far a medication and diet until last year. She had several episodes (if that's the term) where her husband had to rush her to the hospital. Daughter-in-law, an RN has a friend at Social Services and tells her the husband can't take care of wife properly. He is a proud stubborn man who didn't want anyone saying he couldn't take care of her. He told social worker to get off his property - she came back with sheriff.
He got subpoened to court while wife was in rehab center where she fell out of a wheel chair and broke her hip. He went to court without an attorney and the judge appointed a lawyer to be both her guardian and conservator. He put her in a nursing home and proceeded to sell off their jointly owned property to pay $7k per month plus meds and whatever else. One day I visit she is comotose and other days she is wheeling herself to the dining room. She blames her husband for being there and wants to go home. Only son wouldn't agree to be guardian as he discouraged to do so by the daughter-in-law. My friend has a lawyer now and I have gotten involved but I am getting the idea that although he hired this lawyer to get her home, the lawyer is using me to keep him calm while he helps the court's lawyer sell of their property. There were other options than a nursing home but once the court appointed the lawyer, who by the way has never met his ward, her husband didn't even have the right to learn about her condition or medications or anything about her care until the new lawyer got him permission to learn these things. What are the chances of ever getting her home with a caregiver who looks after her exclusively. Nursing home caregivers have 15 patients each. She is getting more depressed by the day. It's like she has given up.

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Good idea. I'll do that.
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Call the attorney's office and tell them that you are not being allowed access to her medical information as previously agreed . The nh will need a hipaa form on file.
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Terryjack1, You are so right. The whole thing was handled wrong and I blame the husband for being so stubborn; insisting he could take care of her. The daughter-in-law may have made other moves if he had been reasonable. Right now I am angry! The new attorney got the court attorney to write to the NH and say I was able to inquire about her health and care. I was put in the computer. Last week they had a care plan meeting and I was told only the husband could attend. He says the only thing they said was she should get up at least an hour per day. I haven't read the report if one was made. What really makes me mad is this woman is going to starve to death. Husband goes in for breakfast; I go in for lunch and her daughter-in-law, I assume, sees to her dinner. She is not given any special diet for her diabetes and she can't eat what they give her - hamburgers, hash browns, etc. She drinks her 1/4 pint shake if they give her strawberry. Tiny bites of 2 green beans, and water is not enough to keep an ant alive. She has gone down hill mentally too. Maybe that's what starvation does to a person. I may not be a nurse but I can see. I went to the med nurse and asked what they were doing for her anemia and was told I was not allowed to receive that information any more. I'm out of the computer. I was angry then but said nothing. I went to the drug store and bought her Ensure - Strawberry. For the past 3 days, she has drunk 6 oz in the morning. Her husband takes her Ensure for lunch and he says she drinks all 8 oz for him. She was sleeping day and night but today she was awake and smiled when I came in. Not being a professional, I guess I should assume she is getting the care she needs. So after every visit, I send my observations to the new attorney. There is a "paper slip" that comes on her trays. It is to be filled out by the care giver showing the percentage of food she eats for each meal. She had 4 of these slips on her night stand today. No notations on any. If she has a visitor the caregivers consider that leave to let the visitor feed her. I have researched the "conditions" that was in the court order. I learned Deep Vein Thrombosis is not an ongoing condition. The blood clot either disapates or it goes to heart or lung and kills you. One thing that can cause DVT
is "3 days bed rest." There are several kinds of Anemia, but I was not allowed to ask what kind she has. I'll look into the hypothyroidism as soon as I can. The caregiver does check her blood 4 times a day and gives her insulin. I have asked several RNs about her diseases and they tell me there is nothing that couldn't be taken care of at home. Thanks for letting me vent. I will continue to go see her as long as she smiles when I come in.
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find an attorney. sounds like things were handled wrong from the start. I feel that people should remain at home with supports for as long as possible if that is what they wish. The wife may have been delusional at the time of the hearing and this may have been why she was appointed an attorney. Something doesn't sound right here and I would be very concerned. There is always a concerns that seniors may not be able to care for self or spouse as they age, however there are support systems that can help. While those supports are not a fix all solution they do help.
The husband could contact the local adult protective service, aps is there to help, not hurt those in need. APS, if unable to assist will at least be able to refer to someone or an agency that can. I'm concerned about the guardianship and assets. I also have concerns about the wife's fall and injury. Contact the long term care ombudsman if she is in a facility, they will be able to assist and can make referrals. Reassure both they have your support, reassure the wife she you care about her and that the issue is being worked on for resolution. For me, I would contact the attorney and the ombudsman. Is the guardianship really necessary and why doesn't the conservator apply for Medicaid? Why take assets first? I work with the guardianship program and for me, I like to involve family and give them info on their loved one's condition. There have been times where I question a guardianship and work to resolve issues so the guardianship can be removed. I'm not sure the judge and attorney had all of the facts at the time of the hearing. This certainly isn't how I would do things, but if only part of the info was presented the court can only make a decision on the info they have. There are ways to avoid a guardianship. If capable, appoint a durable power of attorney to handle medical and financial issues, name a second in the event the first one is unable to make decisions, complete an advance directive and living will stating care wishes and one can have the bank or utility companies to make monthly payments which eases the monthly check writing duties. I push prevention but also know that sometimes for many reasons a guardianship may be necessary. I'm sorry your friends have had a bad experience. I really hope things work out for them.
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If her husband has sold the property, where would your friend live IF she were able to return home? You are not a relative and friends can only support their friends. Be supportive, but you are trying to get involved with an issue that is already being handled by the court system, and unless you have lots of money, your opinion doesn't count. Being depressed in a nursing home is nothing new and as we all age, all of us will someday face the reality that we will not live forever. That is depressing to most. Others of us view life in more positive terms and live each day as though it were our last. That is less depressing...
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thanks, flegflyer, I will do just that so I can carefully let him know she is not coming home and why.
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You are correct. I have no legal standing, only heart standing. Wife had managed her diabetes for many years until this past year. Husband took her to all her doctor's appointments, bought her medication and was very attentive. He was in as much shock as she was when this hell broke loose.

Husband was not delinquent on his medical bills until the court attorney put her in the nursing home at $7,000 per month.

We are talking total SS of $1,300 per month and the little they collected in rents. Most people don't know it but there are only 2 classes that get rich with rental property. They are slumlords and huge real estate corporations. Believe me I know. So you collect a months rent and a furnace goes out and there goes 3 months rent. So these people are not rich by any means. The most they have is equity and you can't eat equity.

She was not in court for this proceeding. If she had been, they would have thought she was confused or demented as she is nearly deaf. She communicates in writing. She reads my notes and answers on topic.

Her guardian does not see her. He sends his assistant who makes reports that apparently are too confidential for husband to see.

People forget or ignore the embarrassment and loss of dignity the elderly experience when they have been self sufficient for so many years and suddenly are not.

I got involved after the fact because husband was too proud to ask anyone for help.

The care plan meeting today lasted 5 minutes. Husband was asked if he was satisfied with her care. He says he said no. He wanted to know why she is up one day and comatose the next day. He says he was told it was because she has so many problems. Care plan is to get her up at least 2 hours a day. Since this NH is also called a rehabilitation center I would think their goal should be to get her well enough to go home. That may be wishful thinking but that is also why people say you go to nursing homes to die.
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MarylouiseB, if you are going to help the husband with the logistics regarding medical care for his wife, research what is deep vein thrombosis, what is a seizure disorder, what is hypothyroidism, what is coronary artery disease, what is chronic anemia, and why the wife would be a high risk for readmission to hospital. Then you will realize why it would be better for the wife to remain in a nursing home.

The wife's husband sounds like he is mobile and can take care of real estate investments, but that's a far cry from caring for a very ill wife.

As for bringing the wife home to visit her house, never ever do that. That would create a lot of emotional havoc on both the wife and husband when the time comes to return her back to the nursing home.
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The new lawyer got the court lawyer to write the NH letter authorizing them to allow both me and the husband to "discuss condition, medication, prognosis, etc." and said NH would be "held harmless" for their good faith reliance on this letter. Court lawyer's secretary called me to pick up letters and take them to NH. NH put us both in the computer so we could learn of her condition.

I had found a letter on her nightstand saying there would be a care plan meeting and wife was to call and get time of meeting. I called and never got anyone. Finally went to unit manager and asked her to find out for me.
She did. Then I get a phone call from court-lawyer's secretary telling me I couldn't go, only husband. New lawyer calls me and says I can go. I go and they tell me I cannot attend the meeting which was moved from her bedside to the conference room.

There is no POA unless it is also the court lawyer.

I called new lawyer and told him I was excluded and he was angry and said he would call me back. He didn't.

bookluvr, I see your point. I hope your dad survived.

Husband is taking care of maintenance of properties and tending to the business as usual. He seems to be in good health.

Oh, for a home-like setting. Wife is in a curtained off area, 8 X 10 shared with 3 other patients. Room for bed, chair, stand, wheel chair.

This couple has always lived in the country in large house and with acreage.

She misses her dog and I was wondering about a visit home as she was going out with husband for lunch before she got pneumonia. She's over that now. But getting her to go back might be a problem.

Husband told me he got a subpoena to court regarding the sale of his property. New lawyer says he got that squashed as husband is cooperating on that front.

I will ask new lawyer about the accounting court date you mentioned.

I will talk to husband and see if we can't find a better place for her.

New lawyer is trying to get permission for her long time family physician to visit and assess her condition but he will have to get court attorney to agree.

Some days I feel like a busy-body and I'm thinking the NH thinks I ask too many questions and I sometimes think I am getting more involved than I meant to.

The copy of the court order says wife has been diagnosed with poorly controlled type I diabetes, deep vein thrombosis, seizure disorder, hypothyroidism, history of coronary artery disease, chronic anemia, and high
risk for readmission to hospital. I have no idea what all this means except the diabetes part. She's had that for many years and also the anemia.

Some times I think I should just pull away from the situation and wait for the funeral.
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I think at this point the friend Marylouise has no legal standing, but wants to help anyway. Getting the Mrs. back home is not an option. Several trips to the ER for sugar crashes is in itself proof she cannot manage her meds, nor could her husband. When he allowed her care bill to become delinquent, he sealed his own fate, that is further neglect and abandonment, and that would be further reason to appoint an independent guardian. This couple had two SS checks plus rental income, they could easily have hired in home help. They chose not to, and that further shows their incapacity.
During the court proceeding, the Mrs. would have been seen by a court evaluator, this is her court appointed attorney for the proceeding, or Guardian ad Litem. Her opinion and her capacity was communicated by this attorney, if she was able to speak at all.
You say her Guardian has never met her. Not so, the Guardian sees their ward at a minimum of 5 times a year and reports this on the annual report.
She wants to go home? What she wants and what is safe are two entirely different things. Going back home would be a death sentence.
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