My father was in hospital A 2 weeks ago, then rehab, then sent to hospital B 2 days ago. He is in end stage COPD.

How do I find an advocate to help support me and get me the answers I need to deal with his care? I've asked to speak to a social worker but no one has come. I think they may wait until he's ready for discharge.

I'm an only child with no support, I work and I really need someone on my side to help me. I don't know if medicare will cover the cost of rehab again since he was only out of the hospital 7 days. I don't know what level of medical care he'll need. I need to let my employer know if I'll need time off. I need to possibly arrange home care and need to know what level of care he'll need.

Dealing with hospitals (especially 2 different ones and rehab) is frustrating and social workers, doctors, etc don't really understand the stress this puts on the caregiver.

Appreciate any ideas.

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I couldn't say it better. Everything debmcd said was correct. I'd got your local ombudsman on it right away. Go to and type in the Zip code or find this person on the state website. They are very helpful in these cases. You do need to buy time, so read Deb's answer carefully.
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On Monday morning call and start asking for patient/guest services, patient advocacy, charge nurse for the unit he is one, the ombudsman representative, manager of social services. In fact you might start with the utilization review nurse and work your way though the list. Identify yourself as the caregiver and that he cannot be discharged to home. Medicare frowns on "bounce backs", but the hospital carries the burden not you. Even if your dad doesn't qualify for rehab again this admission should buy him some time in a skilled facility which should give you some planning room. As a long time nurse, I certainly agree that the system is not concerned about the caregiver, they are just trying to move patients though the system. You have to find individuals within the system that will help. It is a lot of work for families, almost a full time job. I hope you get some answers. If they are trying to discharge to home and your dad is competent and says " I will be fine, this is good", you are sunk. If on the other hand, he says "I can't manage, I am not safe I can't go", you are in a much better position.
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