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My mother has been taking care of my grandmother for the last 2 years. She is bed ridden, cannot take care of herself and is under Hospice care. My mother cannot physically or mental continue to care for her. My grandmother's social worker has found a very nice hospice facility that has a space for her immediately. The only caveat is that my grandmother refuses to go. Apparently she needs to give her consent and cannot be taken there against her will. But, if she doesn't go there will be no one to care for her. I was wondering what my mother's legal rights are. We were told that if she leaves it would be considered abandonment? My grandmother is dying and needs more care than anyone outside of the medical profession can give her. We do not want to lose the space at the Hospice so time is of the essence. Does anyone have any suggestions? Any help would be greatly appreciated. She lives in California. Thank you!

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It sounds like mom is at end of her rope - what happens if she actually becomes ill? - if mom is in hospital then she can't be charged with abandonment as she is ill - just in case start making a plan because that could happen - ask social workers etc what will happen then/if this come about -

You care for them both & seem in a tough spot - tell granny what your concerns are - quite often very ill people become extremely ego-centric to point of selfishness - they stop seeing beyond themselves plus everyone hides bad news from them to protect them so they are unaware of everything around them - granny may be unaware of how bad off mom is
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You say your mother CAN NOT physically and mentally take care of her mother anymore. Have your mom get that in writing from her own doctor, explicitly stating that it is contraindicated to have your mother remain her caregiver. This exonerates your mother from any responsibility to continue to care for your GM.

I would suggest that you hire caregivers at night and maybe a nurse during the day (to give meds). Once your grandma sees that her daughter (your mom) isn't coming back, she might consent to go to the hospice. If there is not enough money to hire people, call her social worker to see if she can apply for emergency Medi-Cal and sign up for IHSS (In home support services) and see what other paid services would be available to her, so she could remain at home.

Once your mother leaves, your grandmother may realize she would be alone (without family) and want to be cared for at the hospice. Every effort should be given to keep GM at home BUT she may need to adapt to living at hospice if no other solution can be found.
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It seems that the problem is to extricate mom and get grandma to a safe place, or provide care in home, with mom being out of the picture. Clearly since slavery is not legal, mom should be able to walk away BUT needs to go about it the right way, with proper notification. That way you avoid abandonment. So mom needs to gets correct information for her jurisdiction on how to do that. And she needs to make up her mind to go through with process, not hem and haw. To try to provide care when she can no longer do so would set her up for a charge of neglect/abuse. Yes, I know of a case where a young woman went to jail because she was dominated by an elderly woman and didn't know how to handle the situation. Legal authorities completely ignored the fact that theoretically the elder was using her "rights" to make a bad decision to die at home, but the young woman was blamed. So, social workers should be able to advise mom on how to withdraw. Now, as for grandma, Don't Ask, she does have rights, but she is not "empress of the world" and her preferences don't get to injure others. Nor does she have the right to "guilt" anybody. Sometimes we just have to put up with stuff. But there may be options that would allow her to stay at home and these should be investigated, but NOT if it involves enslaving the caregiver. So investigate options and legal requirements, but decide firmly that mom is leaving. Usually, once this decision is clear, then things can fall into place.
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I have heard a lot of words here and all them are relevant to caregiving. These things happen. Often caregivers, I think, take on the role of hospice for terminal patients, and often emergency guardianship is required for non-terminal patients. Even with the best of planning from a documentation standpoint, one cannot foresee the outcome of events in the order they are going to take place. Definitely, need to pursue outside help, but I think this has been a good thread which everyone can learn that all these words: hospice, abandonment, guardianship, neglect, abuse, etc -- insert the other 20 words... these can all be things to consider, when caregiving. Document the times and dates and find outside help that can help. This is overwhelming and it takes more than one person to handle all the ins/outs. Good luck!
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Especially since your mother has provided care for this amount of time, yes, I agree with others here, e.g. she could be charged with abandonment.
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If your mother has documentation from a doctor stating she has her own health issues---I don't know why she would get in trouble for anything. I think it might be wise to contact a lawyer---maybe social services and see what they say.
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To LilyCl, . . Can you pose it to her as a Temporary placement such as going to the Hospital is temporary? Then, once she's there, she may not fear it, she may even like it and agree to stay. Maybe they have Activities you can tell her about, or a great menu, etc. Good Luck.
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To "Don't Ask, . . " Again, you are not addressing the question that was asked. She is asking how to legally get her GM to the Hospice facility so she will get the care she needs as recognized by the family AND the Social Worker. She doesn't say "she is in her last days" as you state; she says she "is dying", which could mean she is terminal, not expected to improve, only expected to decline, could take months, and they are recognizing that they are unable to provide the care she needs. They are understanding that she cannot be "forced" but they know it is best for her, so how to manage this move for her best care. I clearly recognize that not everyone is cut-out to be a Caregiver. After working as a bedside RN in a Major Medical Center for 45 years and being Legal Guardian for my Mom with Alzheimer's for the past 4 years and took care of my Mom 24/7 at my home for 6 months after 3 years of Assisted Living and prior to going to NH, where she is doing well in a good facility. And, yes, I also recognize that abuse can happen if the caregiver is not well suited or is pushed to the breaking point. These people posing the question seem to only have GM and Mom's best interest in mind. And they are not sending her to a place with a "House Parent" that does not have Medical Training but to a Hospice Facility that is regulated and staffed with RNs and CNAs. I don't know the laws in California, but several people here have given them some valid advice.
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Have hospice care come to the home. If they are not working out, take Gramma to hospital & they will then evaluate her for nursing home
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LiliyCl, just reading over the California law on elder abuse and neglect (and not being a lawyer), I'm seeing two major focuses: paid caregivers/institutions, and mandated reporters. It outlines the many circumstances in which institutions, facilities, paid caregivers etc. could be charged with abuse, neglect or abandonment, as well as circumstances in which "mandated reporters" (social or medical workers, but also any professional or unpaid caregiver) should report people or facilities to APS, and the circumstances under which APS needs to contact law enforcement. Other references to unpaid caregivers are very vague.

There is a separate legal definition of abandonment that the State of California lays out and it is also vague. It talks about providing care that any "reasonable person" might provide. However the example that a number of legal websites note is the same one: a case where a facility lost its license and the staff abandoned ship, leaving two men (a janitor and a cook) to care for the 14 residents on their own.

Typically abandonment laws are to protect elders from literal abandonment (e.g. someone depositing a dementia patient off at a hospital/nursing home entrance without advance notice to the facility) or financial abuse.

Who told you your mom could be charged with abandonment? If it was just an acquaintance I would disregard that. If it was the social worker or another "mandated reporter" then your mom can document when and with whom she's spoken about your grandma needing more care. Maybe the Dept. of Aging or Catholic Social Services know of elder law attorneys who will do a reduced-rate consult about how to handle this?

As someone else mentioned, if your grandma is "competent" it's hard to argue that your mom needs to make her decisions for her or even to make arrangements for her care. It's been a few days since you originally posted; maybe your grandma just needed some time to think about things. But your mom sounds like she is already burnt out with caregiving; it's more realistic (and more compassionate) to do what you are doing and try to make sure your grandma is attended, even if it's not at home. I hope you all are doing ok.
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Perhaps your Mom could tell GM that she is taking a long-needed vacation for her own health, as her doc recommended, and that going to the facility while your mother is away and recuperating would give you both a vacation. Perhaps you could also tell her that her roof needs repaired, or the interior painted, etc. and if would be best for her not to be there while people are doing these things
I know it's a white lie -- except for the vacation part -- but once she is established in the facility she will probably like the routine and care there.
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kjcook, what caught my eye is grandma is in her last days, and it looks like someone may be forcing her into a nursing home and I didn't have to see very much of this post including someone who mentioned emergency guardianship to "force the issue" meaning someone can force this poor woman into a nursing home. 

Believe me, grandma will not be abandoned, someone will be there, someone. You may not recognize this, but if you're not cut out for caregiving and you get to your human wits end like the OP mentioned her mom has done, then mom has done grandma a huge favor. You may not realize this, but when people push themselves over the edge, this is where elder abuse happens. I even saw this with a lady who ran a private group home with a few down syndromes in her custody. I don't think she was ever even cut out for the job, she was always physically abusing those girls  during my very short stay at 14 months in that home when I needed emergency placement. What I saw and heard made me think that the house parent was at times going to kill one specific girl and I was scared! I only wish the house parent would've walked away and surrendered the girls. I think what held her back from doing that is she knew she was getting paid by the state to keep them because if you lived under her roof, she got your whole check. Yes, she even got my whole check for the direction of time I was there and all I was allowed by law was 50 bucks each month. I don't know if the mom  was getting paid to care for grandma, but either way money is not worth putting someone else's life at risk if you're not cut out for caregiving, it's just not worth it. Money can easily be replaced but never a human life, ever. The mother is right to walk away because she's actually doing it for the safety of the patient. As long as there's someone there, grandma is not being abandoned. 

Grandma has the right to die at home with dignity surrounded by the comforts of home and those who want to be there, even family. Just because someone is dying doesn't necessarily mean they don't have rights, they tend to have more rights, most people just don't know it. It seems like when you reach a certain age, I've noticed how those rights actually increase from what I've noticed. It seems like our elders are protected even more than one ther. Just because someone is dying doesn't necessarily mean they don't have rights, they tend to have more rights, most people just don't know it. It seems like when you reach a certain age, I've noticed how those rights actually increase from what I've noticed. It seems like our elders are protected even more than one there were younger, and grandmas right to go at home if she doesn't want to be institutionalized should be supported and protected, especially if she is bed-bound
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To "Dontask . . " I think you missed the point of the question.
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It sounds like grandma probably wants to go at home and that's her right. I don't blame her for exercising that right, so would I want to go at home if it were my time, "there's no place like home" as Dorothy said in the wizard of Oz because there's nothing like the comfort of home. If she's in the end of her life, grant her wish and let her stay home if she wants to because it is the end of her life

You know, you can have caregivers come to grandmas home to care for her in her last days, she has the right to die at home as I mentioned before, don't take that right away from her and force her into an institution because it will one day happen to you at the end of your life. I strongly believe in God's word that what goes around comes around. If you take away someone else's rights, yours will be taken. If you take away your grandma's right to die at home and not provide for the support of that right, you yourself will also face your own problem in some way or another. Someone can easily come in and take care of grandma and her last days, especially if she already has in-home hospice care. A dear friend of mine just recently lost her mom and she meaning the mom was able to go at home very peacefully, and that was her right which was supported by people with morals and a heart for supporting the rights of dying people. I'm glad that patient got to live out her last days at home surrounded by family. There's nothing like the comforts of home
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If there is any reason for her to go to the hospital such as a change in her condition or mobility or signs of UTI or any other reason; then, if she is at the Hospital, perhaps they can help manage discharging her to the Hospice Facility instead of to home.
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Is your grandmother able to get home attendant services ? How about 24 hour in home help. I don't know if she is on Medicaid or not, but this is an option if she is. A legal guardian could be assigned and the social worker should be able to guide you on the process. I understand you mother's position and it is grueling. Likewise, I understand your GM's position and it is frightening. If she could know how comforting hospice facilities are, it would be helpful to her. Is she capable of taking a look online at the facility? Could a priest or rabbi come by and speak with her about her choices?
A friend of mine gave me some sage advice on the concept of caring for a loved one and having it be too demanding: She said, " when you get instructions on an airplane on who to use the oxygen, the fight attendant will tell you to put the oxygen on yourself before you put it on your children." The point being, that if your mother can't breathe, your grandmother cannot get what she needs. So see if either of my suggestions is workable.
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There might be a way for social worker to get temporary guardianship (sometimes takes a couple weeks so you'd have to work with hospice to keep a bed open) and then they can move grandmother without her consent in the interest of grandmother needing more skilled care and services than available in her home -- her health and wellbeing being at risk. Doctor should be able to help with signing a letter that your grandmother is risking her health and well being and "has temporarily lost her ability to make good decisions regarding her health".

Then, after 30 days or so, the temporary guardianship would end and responsibility transfer back to your mom. Hopefully, your mom has POA that can be invoked once grandmother is hospitalized.

Have a meeting with your social worker and grandma's dr and see if they can help expedite temporary guardianship (health) for grandma and get her placed.
If that doesn't work; see if doctor or hospice representative can come into the home and convince grandma that hospice outside the home is best for her care and well being and that it isn't advisable to stay in the home, yada yada. -- maybe others will be more persuasive than family.

Good luck.
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This is a very sad situation. Your grandmother is probably scared and is afraid to leave. Maybe hospice could come to the home and care for her? Someone needs to step in.
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I agree that your Mom can be charged with abandonment. Obviously someone has deemed she needs hospice. If this was a Drs order they do offer hospice care in the home. That would give your Mom some help and a break.
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If Grandma is competent she has to agree before there is a move. If she is not competent, the POA can move her as long as there is a doctor's recommendation. If no POA hospice should be able to help with emergency guardianship. Is GM in a facility now? Is the social worker associated with hospice? Social Worker should know the process.

Is GM still in her home and receiving care from mom? Unfortunately mom could be charged with abandonment if she leaves without proper notification to POA. Is there someone threatening your mom?

Get an elder law attorney to advise mom. She can leave but needs to go about it the right way. Tell those in charge that she will not provide the care, and other arrangements must be made.
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All I can think of is emergency guardianship or calling the local area on aging to let them know what the circumstances are and perhaps they have a way to force the issue?
It's a terrible position for your mother and your grandmother. So very sad.
When legal ramifications enter the picture it seems to require an attorney.
Is your GM competent? I assume there are no other family members to take over for your mom. It's such a terrible burden for your mom to be in such a position. I can't imagine. Did your GM just recently go on hospice? Could your mom manage to visit with GM in the hospice facility? To sit with her there while others did the nursing? I'm sorry I'm not more help. Perhaps someone with more direct experience will answer.
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