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I am 42 years old, and have MS. 6 months ago, I broke up with my boyfriend who had been living with and taking care of me for 5 years. I got a couple of new home health girls to take care of me, and I was on 25 different medications. 6 were narcotics. They overdosed me, and sent me to the ER unresponsive. A month later, the same thing happened. This time my Dr sent me to a nursing home. I have been here for 6 months, and take none of those narcotic pain pills anymore. So why do I have to stay here, when the reason I was put in the nursing home is gone. I am way too young to be here, I am miserable, and I have 2 cats that I miss so much that my dad is taking care for me. Please is anyone knows of anyway I can go go home, I beg of you, please let me know. Thank you.

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You don't have to stay there. You are a consenting adult and you can make your own choices about where you live.

There is, of course, a "but."

But you need a lot of support to live at home. It broke your relationship. It was beyond the capabilities of a home help agency. It would not be reasonable to ask it of your father, especially as he approaches old age himself.

So what's your solution? Look squarely at what it would take for you to live independently-with-support, and see if it seems like a realistic prospect.

Even if it doesn't, you are too young to be in an elder care setting and you are entitled to enjoy quality of life appropriate to your age and abilities. Whoever's responsible for your care plan should be paying attention to these things - that's the person to squeak at.
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No you can leave now. You're not in prison. Its more concerning to me that you are not aware that you can leave. That you can't be held against your will. The home assistance agency can be sued. Unless they sent you caregivers with nursing degrees, they are not licensed to have staff handle medications. Goodness, I used Visiting Angels for my mom and they were not even allowed to hand my mom her meds that I had put in her pillbox with notes on what time to take it. My private caretakers would give Mon her meds, but many times I found pills dropped on the floor because they wouldn't sit with her to make sure all pills were taken. I think you should look at assisted living facilities. That seems to be a good choice if you are able to self care enough to meet their minimum requirements. Call A Place For Mom and see if they can help locate a living situation for you. Call adult protective services about being held against your will. But make sure you have acompetent living situstion in place before you pack up and leave.
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Amy, I can understand why your doctor had you move into a nursing home. My gosh, to be overdosed twice within a month or so by the caregivers.... something is quite wrong here. My I ask where did you get the caregivers? Usually one has to certified to be able to handle client pills.

Any chance you could move in with your Dad temporarily to see how you do being away from the nursing home? That might be an option you can ask your doctor. Maybe have a certified med tech come in to fill your pill box once a week.

May I ask if you are self-paying at the nursing home or are using Medicaid who is paying for your care? Was Medicaid involved with bringing in the home health Aides? If you are on Medicaid, chat with your Social Worker to see what options there are for you.
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Contact the patient's rights advocate.
Were you ever charged with a crime (narcotics abuse); was your boyfriend arrested and you lived together; or do they think you yourself tried to overdose. And, are you on a 5150 hold? Did someone get a conservatorship on your person?


Second, you need an attorney.

I have seen cases where if you were actually a criminal, your rights would be better protected than if you had done nothing!
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Have you had this discussion with your doctor? I wonder what the rationale is for keeping you there. He may think you cannot live independently and more importantly, that you are unsafe on your own. In that case he has a moral and ethical responsibility to try to keep you safe.
He also has the responsibility to discuss your treatment with you, thus I would ask to speak to him first if you have not done so yet.
There has to be a good reason; your insurance company wouldn't continue to pay if they feel you do not meet certain criteria.
Have you spoken with the NH social worker?
Are you getting therapy at the NH? Can you walk using assist devices or on your own? Do you need assistance bathing and dressing? 
Was there any other episodes of overdose prior to this admission? Six narcotics are a lot. Was your doctor prescribing these or was another doctor?
Maybe your MS medications needed adjusting? I know a person now who just switched from the injections to oral MS treatment and she was watched carefully as the oral medication needed to be titrated until her neurologist determined the correct dose for her. She is able to work full time with MS. 
If you haven't yet, ask your doctor to make some time when you both can meet at the NH and discuss his plan. I believe NH have care conferences quarterly and you are invited. 
Good luck!
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Dear AmyJo17,

I'm so sorry, I know you want to go home. Now that your situation is different, can your father vouch for you and get you released. Is there a social worker that you can talk to that will help you? There must be a way for you to get back home with the right care.
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No, they cannot keep you in a nursing home against your will.

We have "group homes" here in Mississippi and you should be eligible to live in a group home.

I've never heard of being "committed" to a nursing home - so this should mean you are free to leave. Definitely call for the Patient's Advocate. YOU have rights.
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Without knowing your entire history, the only suggestions I would even feel is worthy of offering are these;

... ask for a phone book if you have no access to internet, pick up the phone and Call a personal injury attorney .. most are contingent fee basis.. meaning they only charge you if you win a case. (Yes they will look for a basis to see if you have been lost and or are being held within the system against your will) .. they will also (hopefully, if not call another and another) give you steps to take. Also call your insurance provider, I say insurance provider because they are the ones most likely paying your way and they must have clear and consice reasons to allow the stay. Then you call your state regarding your rights as an individual. Then... go to the records department within the facility itself and fill out a paper form "request of medical and mental health records, select the "entire file" ... and start reading. It's your right as a resident/patient to see them at your discretion. You will be able to read all "notes and orders from comments to prescription and evaluations from physician/s, nurses etc etc etc. You'll start to find the answers to your questions very soon and you should then have a more clear avenue to take. 

Final mention; (As obvious as this may seem, have you ever actually asked your physician "why am I here and when will I be released" ..if so what is the response. And write everything down or record conversations. You must do this if u have not, because an attorney will ask you if you've"asked and what are the responses.)
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Speak to the NH social worker, and see what other options are available. 42 is young for an elder setting. Sounds like with your condition they want to make sure your needs are safely addressed. Sorry this has happened to you, and hang in there. Things will work out for the best.
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So sorry you're going through this. Truly. I understand. My sister had MS. When her disease progressed to the point where she couldn't take care of herself, it was very difficult for her. She got divorced which, with the stress, made her MS worse. She stayed at my Mom's for a couple of months but when she was unable to walk or transfer (from bed to chair / wheelchair, etc), and needed 24hr care, she ended up in the hospital and then was moved to a care facility. Although she had worked for years and was very independent, (traveled the world), this disease took everything from her, including any financial independence, so she very quickly ended up on Medicaid. There is a misconception that nursing homes are only for the elderly. I have seen a twenty-seven year old male paralyzed from the neck down, and many other young people at the care facility. It comes down to finding the right place. If the doctor said you couldn't go 'home', that indicates perhaps that there was no one available to care for you at home. (You mention your dad in your post. My opinion is that he's probably not a good choice as a caregiver. Enjoy your visits with him while someone else is caring for you. You need him in your life). If you can't care for yourself, hospitals won't release you without a care plan. Given the information you have provided, I suspect that's why you are where you are. If you are private pay, who is paying? If you are on Medicaid, you can contact your case manager. S/he is your advocate and will discuss with you your options. You also, as others have said, have the right to meetings with the care facility. You can be your own advocate. If they know you don't want to be there, they will look at other placement options. Facilities don't want unhappy residents. Finding another facility that takes a high need Medicaid resident isn't easy. At least in my area it isn't. Where do you live? Reading through your post, I am wondering why your caregivers were responsible for administering your meds such that you weren't aware of the incorrect dose? Only asking this to determine your level of need - not expressing judgment. I understand your fight. I understand that you want to be heard and want your life back. There are options. Work with the care facilities social worker. Work with your case manager (if on Medicaid). Work with your family. Please know that others do care. I wish the very best for you.
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