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He has Alzheimer's and is in a locked unit. Recently I became aware of another another nursing home closer to me. This is not a locked unit. The nursing home that he is in has not had his alarm bracelet on him for several months now as he is in a wheel chair now and cannot even maneuver that around. This nursing home has decided that it is in his best interest to stay there. I feel that this is not their decision as I'm his medical surrogate. Does anyone know the legality of this?

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Reply to freqflyer
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MPurdy, legally this is your decision to make, yes.

That doesn't mean that the NH is not correct in their opinion. Changes in environment - surroundings and personnel - are particularly hard on people with Alzheimer's Disease; so it isn't only a question of whether your loved one needs to be in a locked facility or not. Moving him is to be avoided unless it's really necessary.

If the only advantage of the other NH is that it is closer to you, then you are in some danger of placing your convenience above the wellbeing of your loved one. Is there anything else about it that you feel would clearly benefit him in some way?

I very much doubt it would come to this in your case - you're proposing to move him from one safe environment to another safe environment, it's only the move itself that would be disruptive and undesirable - but in theory at least, if a resident's proxy, surrogate or POA made a decision which the NH staff believed was seriously detrimental to the resident's wellbeing they could take it to court.
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Our local nursing home has an "Open" Memory Care Unit that has a door that closes and locks when a resident who has a "wandering" bracelet on gets too close to the door. This facility also has two "Locked" Memory Care Units.

Does the nursing home that your partner is in have BOTH a "Locked" Memory Care Unit AND a "Open" or "Unlocked" Memory Care Unit. If the nursing home has both types of units, why was your loved one placed in the locked unit? Was your loved one having some behavior issues due to the Alzheimer's?

"The nursing home that he is in has not had his alarm bracelet on him for several months now as he is in a wheel chair now and cannot even maneuver that around." Can your loved one use his/her feet to move the wheel chair up and down the hall? I assume that your loved one cannot use his/her arms to "push" the wheelchair so that he/she can roll around the unit. Does your loved one get upset if something changes in the environment? What is the possibility that your loved one might need to be in a "Locked" Memory Care Unit as his/her Alzheimer's gets worse or progresses?

Ahmijoy has several good questions that you need to ask yourself before you move your loved one to another facility. You need to analyze the move rationally and do what is best for your loved one...even if it isn't what you want to do. God Bless!
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Our local nursing home has an "Open" Memory Care Unit that has a door that closes and locks when a resident who has a "wandering" bracelet on gets too close to the door. This facility also has two "Locked" Memory Care Units.

Does the nursing home that your partner is in have BOTH a "Locked" Memory Care Unit AND a "Open" or "Unlocked" Memory Care Unit. If the nursing home has both types of units, why was your loved one placed in the locked unit? Was your loved one having some behavior issues due to the Alzheimer's?

"The nursing home that he is in has not had his alarm bracelet on him for several months now as he is in a wheel chair now and cannot even maneuver that around." Can your loved one use his/her feet to move the wheel chair up and down the hall? I assume that your loved one cannot use his/her arms to "push" the wheelchair so that he/she can roll around the unit. Does your loved one get upset if something changes in the environment? What is the possibility that your loved one might need to be in a "Locked" Memory Care Unit as his/her Alzheimer's gets worse or progresses?

Ahmijoy has several good questions that you need to ask yourself before you move your loved one to another facility. You need to analyze the move rationally and do what is best for your loved one...even if it isn't what you want to do. God Bless!




Asked by MPurdy

about 2 hours ago


another nursing home closer to me. This is not a locked unit. The nursing home that he is in has not had his alarm bracelet on him for several months now as he is in a wheel chair now and cannot even maneuver that around. This nursing home has decided that it is in his best interest to stay there. I feel that this is not their decision as I'm his medical surrogate. Does anyone know the legality of this?
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Reply to DeeAnna
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MPurdy, since your love one is in a nursing home, that means he needs skilled care. And with Alzheimer's there is always that chance of wandering out the door even with a wheelchair.

My Dad was in an Assisted Living facility and was located on the Memory Care floor. He had the use of the whole building until night time, when that floor is closed off to the rest of the building. No big deal, there were numerous common areas with sofas and TV's.

The lock-down isn't like a jail as some relatives may think, it only means the front door to the building is locked, no different than any of us would lock our front door. And in Dad's building, the elevator will not be in use in the evenings, only the Staff is able to use it via a code.

Moving a person who has memory issues can become very complex. That means he would need to learn a new building floor-plan, if he is able... will need to learn the new Staff as he won't recognize anyone.... will need to learn the food, which might taste different. Right now with the current facility, he knows all of these things without needing to really think about it.

I would only move your love one if he still has the ability to learn his new surroundings without any issues.
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Well, no, you’re right, it’s not solely their decision where he goes. By “surrogate”, do you mean Guardian or POA? In any case, they are not keeping your partner a prisoner, after all.

But, the facility must have his best interests in mind. Moving dementia patients, changing their environment, the people who take care of them and their routines can be very upsetting to them. It’s very difficult for these patients to start over, more or less, when they’ve become accustomed to one place and have now been placed in another.

Consider very carefully your reasons for moving him. How far away is this facility from you? Is it a major inconvenience to travel to see him? Do you go daily? Have you researched facilities closer to you and found them superior to where he is now? These are all important things to think about before you move him.
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