Does the hospital have any responsibility when dealing with a dementia patient?

Follow
Share

My mother was treated at the ER for flu like symptoms. She has been fully conserved and the hospital was aware of that and her dx of frontotemporal dementia, as she was brought there by her court appointed attorney. Not know how long treatment would take, the attorney left expecting to be called before her release. Instead, my mother was released from the ER with printed information in hand, called her a taxi and sent home alone. Thankfully she arrived safely, however since no one was notified she had been released, she went home to an empty house left to her own devices. Doesn't the hospital have any responsibility when dealing with a dementia patient?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
23

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
The first thing you do when you take someone with dementia into a hospital is put that notice on their charting with the triage nurse. Then show them your medical power of attorney. The hospital will still not correctly access the patient especially when the nurses come in and ask how they are feeling. My husband always says, "Fine", then when I arrive he tells me the real story. Beware of hospitals, yes even the ones with awards who want to do all kinds of testing and keep the patient in. I have removed my husband twice and he is still alive and nothing untoward happened to him when I removed him "AMA". They know I'm a nurse and just had me sign several papers stating I knew I was taking him out. Of course I knew it!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

In my experience, hospitals, even highly rated hospitals that win national awards, have zero to very little understanding of how to deal with dementia patients.

The hospital has now locked the barn after the horses are out. That is good. But you are wondering about legal action against the mistakes of not hooking up the bed alarm and giving therapy without knowing the nature of the injury. I am not generally in favor of suing over every mistake any business makes. But the total lack of dementia understanding drives me nuts. If a stream of letter of lawyers would get their attention, I'm in favor of it. I don't know if you'd have a case -- a lawyer could tell you that -- but if you do decide to proceed, keep us informed about how it goes.

Besides putting someone in her room, what did the admin and investigator say?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother has dementia and had to be taken to the hospital via ambulance after she fell in her home. She was x-rayed and no broken bones or tears were found. A bed alarm was put in her bed at the hospital. My brother stayed with my mom overnight and alerted the nurse that he was leaving to go put up our dad and ring him back to the hospital, and asked the nurse to watch out for our mother. I got a call 6:30 am saying my mom had fallen on the floor. The nurse forgot to put the bed alarm in the bed. X-rays and a ct scan was taken again. They showed nothing. I had been asking for an MRI to be done since she arrived in the hospital. My mother was in even more pain after she fell in the hospital. Finally, 9 days later the MRI done and revealed she had a broken collar bone and a torn rotator cuff. The hospital had been giving her therapy on her arm and did not know the extent of the damage. I met with the hospital investigator and administrators, and they have now put a nurse tech in her room.I do not have POA. What should I do about this situation? Should I get a lawyer? We live in the state of VA. Thank you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

When Reagan was in office, he closed the mental hospitals
--which meant lots of inmates became homeless--street-people.
It has not changed much since.
Facilities play the "hot potato" game, trying to empty beds as fast as possible, and dump any patients who cannot pay or have no discernible insurance. Happens all the time.
Those patients who are confused, either from dementias of some sort, or from illness, are easy targets.
Laws get made to try to prevent it, but it still happens.
Facilities LIE on charting, to cover themselves--from leaving out notes about the actual condition, changing vital signs that indicate a problem, ignoring adverse reactions to medications, mistakes made, etc. .
Not much can be done about that, as far as I know.

Newer charting has removed as much descriptive charting as possible
--only charting vital signs and tests, and assigning scales for pain, awareness, etc.
30 years ago, nurses sometimes got asked to change charting--do-overs--
if the Charge nurse thot the charting reflected badly on the hospital, they'd demand the nurse on one shift re-chart notes to make things look better for the hospital [Kaiser Hospitals]--to the extreme of having a 24-hour/3 shifts all change their notes.
Big Corporations have gotten laws passed to protect themselves from litigation--they do not want to pay restitution or damages--these newer laws protect them, not people.
Our regulatory agencies [EPA, FDA, etc.] have chemical company execs placed onto their governance, which means, those "protection agencies", formed to protect consumers, now are run by the very corporations we need protected from.
It is up to all of us to be the very best advocates we can possibly be, and train our kids to do so, too.
Otherwise, we might as well "go sit on the iceberg & wait for the polar bear to get us"--oh. wait....those are all melting, & polar bears are threatened with extinction...darn--might have to go out and wait for a grizzly bear to get us..!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Chimonger, that was aweful. They try to do my dad that way last year n y'all had told me that they cannot just release him on his own with alcohol dementia. I was in Fl at the time n I threaten to call the local news people if I saw my dad out in the rain from being release without a family member. I guess because he had no insurance but Medicare A n at the time they didn't know if he had that either for we didn't know us children. Us children had to stand up against them n the stupid social worker at the hospital. We finally got the sw to help find a rehab center for him for he couldn't walk on his own for being too weak! Finally, the sw guided us to apply for Medicaid for him n she found a rehab not to far away. However, if we didn't stand up n make threats, I think my dad would be out on the street somewhere today. Sad how this can be allowed to happen n not be notice by the government or whomever suppose to check for the safety of the people.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My husband, who has dementia and Parkinsonism, has been hospitalized 4 times in the last 2 years, twice for neurosurgery and twice for the effects of a UTI. Each time, a 1:1 aide was ordered by the doctor in order to ensure that my husband would not get up on his own and fall. However, if it weren't for the fact that he has a Parkinson's gait and is therefore at high risk for falls (with their concern about their own liability), I don't think they would have ordered this service (which Medicare paid for).
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

YES!
The hospital does have responsibility to care for patient, not just shove them out the door to make room.
Turning a patient out the door like that, comes under the "patient abandonmeent" laws.
UNfortunately, this happens frequently, not only to patients who are mentally compromised, but those who are just darn sick, and the hospital needs a bed.

One client I had, was ambulanced to ER, sent home on her own unbalanced devices, then the hospital, instead of contacting family [they knew them], to bring her back in [hosp. had failed to check med levels properly],
the hosp. sent 2nd ambulance to bring her back into the ER.
There was no need to use 2nd ambulance.
AND, they tried to bill her for it later.
Then, they wanted to make Medicare pay for it, even though it was the hospital's screw ups in several ways.
All I managed to assure, was the patient didn't have to pay that 2nd bill.
The hospital in Centralia, WA is notorious for strange treatment of patients.
IMHO, I wouldn't send a dog to that place--major mess-ups have happened far too often in the last 10+ years, to consider them safe to even put on a bandaid.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree with Ferris for it was the hospital staff era and they should had notify someone before just dumping her off without her having any supervision knowing she has AD. You are so lucky that she didn't walk out the door n got loss or try to cook something. I really would check those attorney notes n some! Thankfully, she is alright.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It is unbelievable but so true what is going on with our sick loved ones. I too have experienced some grave errors done with my father that I could fill this room with. You must stay on top of things as some will take advantage of a patient when they are at their weakest moment. It is unreal what I have seen in the last few months. I stand tall for my father and I say cut the chase with all the BS and get right down to bare facts. Use a tape recorder if you have to in the doctors visit. You can ask if they do not mind. There you will have proof of what was said and done. I can not believe they would send anyone home to an empty house in this situation and yes I would consult with legal counsel about this. I also understand doctors, hospitals and nurses are overwhelmed but they also take an oath to do what is right by their patients. After reading some of these things I know I am not alone with my own story. It is sad too. What has happened to the compassion for our elders and the care that was there many years ago? It makes me stop and think for a minute about all of this. Know you are not alone and you talk to the patient advocate and make sure you take your notes and it is documented what happened. This should never have happened. I wish the best for all of you and stay on top of things. Without family around it makes you wonder what goes on behind closed doors.....I am a fighter when it comes to the care that my father is getting and while I do not make any idle threats I know who to go to and I will do just that. You have to protect them at all times and at all cost. You are doing the right thing! God Bless.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

thank you ferris1... that's what i was looking for... risk management. thank you so much!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions