If my mom leaves my grandmother, will it be considered abandonment?

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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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