Does a hospital have any responsibility for letting a man (90) with dementia leave the hospital (actually calling a cab for him)?

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After his health issues were fixed, my father refused to go the a rehab facility. He obviously has dementia and I discussed it with the social worker prior to his release. I refused to take him home because I knew this might be the only opportunity to get him in an appropriate care giving situation. I cannot physically or emotional proved care for him any more.

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If a patient has not been declared incompetent they can't stop him. An MD can make that declaration but it isn't something they take lightly. As long as he is legally competent, he can do as he pleases.
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i think thats as it should be . ive read a bit about law and the elderly and the term " self determination " keeps coming up . if im 90 yrs old and i say im leaving the hospital , i dont intend for anyone to stop me . to deem a person incompetent isnt a trivial matter . the only people in our society with the authority to make this determination are qualified judges and those arent stupid or emotionally charged individuals .
im looking at it from an intelligent 90 yr olds perspective . you havent lived long enough to tell that man or woman what to do .
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Sorry for you Joanna that it is apparently extremely difficult to get a justified decision in favour of the person suffering dementia, and the family. I remember that it has taken me 4 years to find a specialized hospital, to have my husband examined for a full 100 % for his capacities. All other doctors also said, yes he is in the first stage of dementia, or even many who said, it is stress or burn out, because he is too young to suffer from dementia or Alzheimer. Finally, I have found this hospital where there is a specialized geriatric division. Purely by luck I saw an article in the local newspaper that there was a special department with specialist who only examined whether or not there was dementia and at what degree. My husband had to go at least 5 or 6 times, and was each time tested during 2 or 3 hours by means of special computer programs, so that they could finally conclude what his situation was. And of course I did not expect that either, that at 52 years, the result was : Alzheimer. My husband did not understand what it meant, but I did (seen my profession) and when he was not around I have cried my eyes out for weeks. At this stage he also still could tell you his name, birth date, address, the name of his children, etc.. And he was completely able to take care of washing / showering himself and clothing himself. But for instance very simple things like cooking potatoes, he could no longer. Making coffee : forget it ! Asking him to do something, and I first had to ask it 2 or 3 times as apparently he did not understand what I asked, and mostly then he still did something else. I see from your further messages that the situation is not human anymore, so I can only advise you to ask around or contact a lawyer to see which procedure can be taken or how and where you can find adequate help. It is not because you absolutely want him to get out of his house, but simply and purely for his own security and sanity. I think that it is impossible that nowhere some help for him can be obtained. As you say : may be some day the house is on fire, or he falls and don't succeed in getting help because he does not remember how to use the phone, etc... I hope that you can shortly obtain some assistance in finding the best solution. Wish you lots of strength and a big hug from Belgium in Europe
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It should be required of the cab company to refuse transport unless the hospital can provide a statement of proper release. Hospitals have been getting away with this and even in the news, were dropping off very ill homeless on the streets of Los Angeles. That said, lets focus on getting your father and you help.
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The patient's attempts at staying in control are working, to his own detriment. Soon, that won't be the case.
It is a whole new protocol required to preserve the patient's rights and privacy, so it is nearly impossible to get everyone on the same page in order to help the man. Don't waste your time trying to make the hospital accountable. If he is a danger to himself/or others, Adult Protective Services can be called, if only to document your concerns. They may not intervene. But soon, you will be able to take some action to help him. Standby.
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A couple of weeks ago while doing volunteering work at a hospital, I noticed a hospital Aide or Nurse was wheeling a very elderly lady out the front door lobby... a few minutes later a cab arrived and several security guards and the Aide/Nurse were helping this lady into the cab.... trying not to get whacked by her cane. The only thing the guard said to me was the lady insisted on leaving the hospital and none of her relatives or friends would come to pick her up. In all the years I have been at that hospital this was the first time I ever saw that.
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What a joke. Two years ago my mom may have been able to recite her address but that does not mean she can care for herself. Who has his POA? Is it activated or does it require he is incapacitated. If the later, get the necessary letters from doctors or find a guardian for him.
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In researching more, I think that even with dementia, if the person can state their name and address and dress themselves the hospital cannot keep them if they want to leave. He would have to be pretty much non functional to be considered incompetent. I can't stand the thought of him burning down the house or going hungry or falling or not taking the medicines he needs but dealing with him even before this when he was "healthy" was a nightmare. And his house is on a small hill on a busy street but the driveway and house are screened by a jungle. In fact in another month I'll have to hire someone to take a chain saw to the vegetation on the sides of the driveway so a car can get up. I know he doesn't want to leave. But how do I make peace with myself? Leaving him alone would be like leaving a three year old on the side of a busy street.
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I guess Im just flabbergasted that they did it. No, he doesn't live with me. He lives in his own house and insists he can take care of himself. The problem is that he can't. I am his only transportation for doctors, groceries and, prescriptions. The house is in bad shape, holes in siding, squirrels in roof, etc. I cannot maintain it. I can barely cope with my own due to disability. He is a danger to himself and possibly others. I gave the hospital administrator many examples of the past and current problems and she seemed genuinely understanding. He was diagnosed by a neurologist and every medical professional he spends 5 minutes with says oh yeah, he's got dementia. It's pretty obvious. I probably should have insisted that they get a psychiatric consult but after three years of stress, frustration and ill health, sometimes I just cant get it right There's no manual for this. My doctors say I need to take care of myself if I don't want to have another heart attack. Now if someone could just tell me how.
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You should report this incident to the board that licenses the hospital!
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