Upon admission to the assisted living facility where my mother currently resides, she was assessed and admitted with several health issues, among them dementia and moderate Alzheimer's with psychoses. She has been there more than a year now, and last month, she "eloped" in front of everyone who did nothing to stop her and she walked about 3-4 blocks unescorted to a very busy, and non-forgiving highway. A city worker called it in, and she was retrieved, unharmed, but I was called up there and while they had her, she got into a confrontation with a worker and threatened to break out the windows if they didn't let her go back to her room. I was told that she would have to go to Memory Care at least for that night if they could not get her into a behavioral hospital, which they were able to do on an emergency basis. She was there for more than two weeks as an in-patient both on emergency status, and voluntarily. Her meds were changed and they released her in my care with discharge orders and a bag of stuff to take back to the facility, which I did. I didn't dump and run. I familiarized her to her new room and gave her a tour of her new place, and took the stuff to the nurse as requested. The stuff consisted of clothing and meds. I took the clothes to wash. The rest stayed with the nurse. Ten days later my mom lost her glasses, and while I was rummaging through her drawers, I found FIVE bags of meds, DEFINITELY HERS, in the drawer that should have been given to her on the day/time BEFORE she went to the behavioral hospital, and her first day IN the behavioral hospital. Two of the bags opened, and a particular medication GONE, the other three unopened. OBVIOUSLY she didn't take those meds. I have been IN PERSON to the behavioral hospital to get answers, have contacted the Pharmacy who delivered the meds in the first place, to the Board of Nursing, and to the current facility with the following responses: They don't take back unopened, unused meds (pharmacy), NOT THEIR PROBLEM according to BOTH facilities!!!!!!!! Outside of contacting DHS, the State Pharmacy Board, the State Department of Health, what else can I do? Oh, yes...I HAVE contacted the attorney who did the guardianship for me. EVERYONE has knowledge of this. What do you think?

Regarding the leaving from the AL, unless she was in a locked and secured unit this was always a risk you take, and one that is probably addressed in your admission paperwork.

In many states it is technically illegal (goes against Resident Rights) to stop residents from leaving of their own free will if and when they want to do so. A staff member can try to re-direct them but if they want to go, you cannot physically restrain them. I had a lady get in a car with a young man I knew was taking her to her bank to get him money so he could use it to buy drugs and all I could legally do was follow her into the parking lot and beg her to please stay (she refused).

Regarding the medication, it sounds like the bags you found were from what she was discharged with from the hospital? Or are you saying this is the medication she should have been being given from the MC unit after hospitalization?
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Reply to plum9195

I too am unclear on your question.
I know that sometimes people are discharged home from a rehab center with the rest of their medications in blister packs. Meaning those meds were ordered and billed to that person thus those meds either need to be discarded or given to the person.
It sounds like this is what happened. You say you brought your mom back from the behavioral hospital to her AL with her meds from the hospital “in a bag” and you gathered up her clothes to wash but left the rest of the bag there with the meds in it.
If this is not what you are saying.
Its unfortunate she “eloped” from her AL; you say several people were around who should not have let that happen. It sounds like you received this info from a third party as you weren’t there in person. This was wrong that she escaped.
But I too am thinking your mother needs a higher level of care to make sure she takes her meds while staff are there in her room.
I sense your frustration and hope things improve soon.
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Reply to Shane1124

Sorry, I've been following along but I am still not sure what you are trying to say, too much confusing back story is getting me muddled.

Where does your mother live now, AL or memory care?
Why was she in a memory care, how long was she there and why didn't she stay?
Where was she when she got out on her own?
Was she not getting any meds at all, or are the ones you found in her drawer leftover from a time when she wasn't having her meds managed by the facility?

Certainly she should never have been able to leave a locked memory care facility but it does happen, there were notices at my mother's nursing home for visitors to be aware of residents trying to exit, there were also folks who were constantly trying the doors. Do you have any idea how she was able to leave?
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Reply to cwillie

She is not self-administering of her meds.  They were given to her from the cart in AL.  For sure, they are given to her off of the cart in Memory Care.  Pharmacy does not intend to give credit for unused, unopened meds.  My concern is:
While under the care of a facility who knows her diagnoses, watching her walk out unescorted to a busy street is NOT their responsibility?  What IS their responsibility when they have registration boards for people visiting to sign in and out, and if taking a resident out, where/when/who with/return time/phone number.  I am the ONLY person she is to leave with unless with one of them on a sanctioned trip with their staff in their facility vehicle.
What about the meds in her room in Memory Care?  Again, not self-administering so they needed to come off the cart.  Missing meds from two bags with others (containing the same med) that are untouched?  Facility taking no responsibility for her leaving facility, or issue with meds in room ( in Memory Care) with her diagnoses?  I see this as irresponsible at best, and neglect for sure.  I am still in disbelief over all of this!  They want another "meeting" in a week.  I'm sure by then I will have more to say than I did at yesterday's "meeting".  And I thought things were cleared up from the first "meeting" that was held after she returned to facility after her stint in behavioral facility and I was asking how her leaving was possible at that time--BEFORE I found the meds 10 days later in her dresser drawer in Memory Care.  I was miles away when I got phone call that they got her back, unharmed.  Back from where?  There was no trip that I knew of until I got the lowdown when I got there.  Now this with the meds?  Again, she was under the care of AL facility until she entered the behavior facility, then she was under their care until her release and back to AL facility ( now in Memory Care).  I was simply the driver/deliverer of her to and from.  When she is with me, I AM RESPONSIBLE for her.  Am I to be responsible for her when she is at the facility(-ies) as well?  Why am I writing checks for her care if that is the case?
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Reply to debbiesdaz
Riverdale May 7, 2019
Yes it is all disturbing. Obviously there was a major error on their part with her leaving the facility alone. When you say she received the medicine from the cart, how did that happen? She has bags of medications? She should be given the exact pills she is prescribed at the time she should be taking them. How did she end up with " bags "? However that happened it is very bad. If she has this vast amount ( any should be considered vast as they are responsible for administering the exact dosage ). No other amounts should be in the room. A pharmacy indeed cannot take back medications. Perhaps they could give you credit if they are at fault.
With all that has happened I think the cost of that should be your least concern. I understand the frustration with added costs but the other issues are more of a primary concern.
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It sounds as though you think that the AL facility is responsible for giving out her meds, and they don’t think that’s right. If you are correct, the AL facility should be reported (leave out a lot of the detail, the issue is whether the AL is carrying out their contract obligations). If the AL facility is right and they are not responsible for meds, your mother needs a higher level of care where meds are properly managed. It does sound as though there is a misunderstanding here!
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Reply to MargaretMcKen

I don’t understand. Is your question about mom’s treatment or unused meds? Please explain further. Thanks.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

I find it strange that she is allowed medications to be in her room. In the two AL facilities my mother has been in in two different states all medication is kept by the staff. Even the most simple over the counter medications are not supposed to be in the residents room. I don't know what to say to you other than I find that disturbing. I have stated this before. There are many differences between the 2 places my mother has been in but the medicine factor is the same. I can't imagine the possible horrors of letting residents be responsible for their own medications. Perhaps you can provide more information as to how medications are dispensed and how a facility expects their residents to truly know how to administer them to themselves. There may be some who could do this without any incidents but how can this method be trusted for all. I hope you find the answers you need for her well being.
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Reply to Riverdale

I too am not sure what your question is? You cite multiple issues but you don’t state what exactly you are trying to accomplish? You say that the response you’ve been given by multiple agencies is that they don’t take medications back—that indicates that perhaps you are trying to return unused prescriptions? If by chance that’s what you are trying to do, it’s not going to happen. You can turn in unused prescriptions to be destroyed but you cannot return for a refund. Time to give up that fight because the law is not on your side. But somehow I don’t think that’s what you are asking about here because there are far worse things in your post to be worried about. Please come back and clarify
what you are asking.
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Reply to worriedinCali

I am not sure what your question is about.

I understand that your mother was not taking her medication as prescribed and you recently found the unused pills.

Was the AL supposed to administer the meds, or was she supposed to self administer them?

Is your question regarding the fact that Mum had not been taking the medication as prescribed?

Or is your concern that one of the medications is missing and you do not know if Mum took those pills or someone else took them?

I do not think your question is whether or not the pharmacy should give a refund for the meds although you do mention that in your post.
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Reply to Tothill

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