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We are currently looking at nursing homes for my mother who has Alzheimer's. The home that we like the best has one policy that I'm unsure of. Anytime a resident in their Alzheimer's wing is in their bedroom the bedroom door is locked from the outside. My fear is that my mom will panic if she can't get out of her bedroom. I also worry about the safety aspect. Do other dementia nursing homes do this? Is it legal in Michigan?

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When you have these little niggling doubts about something, listen to your instincts. I would be VERY uncomfortable with that. Keep looking.
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Also what was so good about this place?? just curious?
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Carolann this sounds so wrong and like an institution not a home for the elderly? I would report this it cant be legal?
Oh i see pam is already on the case good old pam!!
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And it's for everyone, all the time. Not just those who need a "time out."
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FYI....the bedrooms are locked from both sides. The aides use a key to get in.
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Oh im lucky that i have 2 very good NHs here and i have friends whose parents are in there so iv had feedback! Try and ask someone in the NH the families that come to visit thats the best way I think! No i wont have to look far as these 2 have a very good reputation and ive heard they are extending which is great news as it was hard to get a place there! I am being told to put mums name down now i must do it but i guess its hard to think this way and i still think she may go before a home? But we never know? so hard to find a good place its a disgrace really!
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Worse, than that Kazzaa, let's say you are locked IN, but the door can be opened from the hall. That means a hallucinating person can get IN, and now you are stuck in your room with someone talking to holes in the wall. And good luck with that pull cord.
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Wow! things we learn here? i can understand locking doors if they are violent? but this is NUTS!
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Thank you for your comments. They reflect my feelings. I think I'll look elsewhere.
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vstefans is on the right track. If the home simply locks everyone in all the time, it is abuse. Michigan specifies "short term" and "monitored" but fails to define whether short-term is five minutes or five days. They also fail to define monitored, whether it is by camera or with an aide standing by.
If the patient is aggressive and assaultive, certainly, seclude them to protect the other patients until they are calmed down, the hallucination is over and the meds have kicked in. But to lock them in as a matter of policy sounds more like a correctional facility.
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FIND A DIFFERENT HOME. I don't care how nice it looks, it isn't. That is an inhumane cookie-cutter policy and makes no sense except to an administrator who completely prioritizes CYA for the facility and staff over the well being of the patients.
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I have only nominal experience with AZ units here in Michigan. One wing was locked but rooms were not. In another, the entire floor was open, but it was well monitored. Rooms were not locked.

I would contact various other homes and ask about their policies.

I don't think it's wise to lock someone in his/her room. Whether it's legal or not, it creates an escape issue if a fire breaks out. I can't imagine any fire department would approve of such an arrangement, so if it exists, it may be in violation of fire safety laws.

PM me if you like with the name of this place and I can tell you if I know anything about it. I wouldn't write anything publicly, however, because of liability issues.

There are a couple that definitely should be avoided. One in particular has the reputation of taking in residents who don't come out alive. The conditions there are terrible.
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Per Michigan: "Involuntary seclusion is a type of mental or emotional abuse that
involves separation of a resident from other residents or from his or
her room against the resident's will, or the will of the resident's legal
representative. Emergency or short term monitored separation
from other residents is not considered involuntary seclusion and is
permitted if used for a limited period of time as a therapeutic
intervention to reduce agitation until professional staff can develop
a plan of care to meet the resident's needs."
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I know that the section they are in is locked, but not their bedroom doors... I would feel just like you.... I would ask a million questions..... what do they do in an emergency? How can they monitor the person inside.... I personally would not be in agreement with this..... hope Pam finds you some answers...
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Checking for you...
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