My mother has dementia, chronic congestive heart failure, acute congestive heart failure on top of chronic CHF, dem/alz w/personality distur. (She is under my court ordered guardianship) She signed herself out and left with somebody I do not know. Nurse on duty called me two days after the event to say, "your mother pulled a fast one." They placed an elopement bracelet on her, but have since removed it. I spoke to the facility admin who said, "let us do our own internal investigation." Go a call from the unit social worker who seemed to be in lah lah land. She said to me, "your mother doesn't have a copy of the guardianship order." I said WTF? It was delivered directly to her 1.5 years ago and caused a huge explosion of threats etc. Then the social worker said, "oh, well that was done by a different social worker who has since left." WTF!!!!! I said, "in no uncertain terms is my mother to leave the facility unless it is with me." Totally upset by this. Any insight?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Yes, I'd let them conduct their own investigation. But....

I would contact State Ombudsman

I would contact local police in writing to let them know that your mother was abducted. If you are her guardian and she in a facility, it's the same as if a child was taken from a school.

I would make sure gps tracking device is on mom.

I would send certified letter to the faciliity, cc to Ombudsman. Stste attorney general and joint commission outlining the issue and asking what their plan is for remediation of the issue and its prevention.
Helpful Answer (10)

As an accountant type, be sure to obtain a credit report right away.
Anyone could have taken her to the bank, opened an account-even as 'husband and wife' in a different name!

Please, at least do your own investigation.
Helpful Answer (9)

Mistakes happen.

Mom should obviously not have been allowed out, but she was. This was a serious mistake. Someone needs to own up to that, say "our investigation shows this is how the mistake happened" and, more importantly, "these are the steps we are taking to see that it doesn't happen again."

I don't think you'll ever find a place where a mistake absolutely never ever happens. This was a serious one, and the facility needs to take ownership of it. I'd give them a reasonable length of time to report back to you. And if the report is not satisfactory or somehow blames you that they misplaced the guardianship order, etc. I would certainly bring this to the attention of higher authorities, including the police.

A person in a secure memory unit should not be able to sign herself out, whether there are guardianship papers on file or not.
Helpful Answer (9)

Proceed to the Director's Office and demand solid answers. Report the escape to the county health department since they oversee nursing homes.
Helpful Answer (8)

Hugedoof- it can all be so overwhelming it is natural to feel isolated in your fight for proper care for your mother. But a fight is often what it is - seemingly on multiple fronts - the home, your mother, often siblings and doctors. But trust me, you are not alone in the bigger picture as most people wouldn't be on this site if it weren't for our own battles. You'll get all kinds of advice here and it's up to you to pick through what might be helpful and what won't. I was a very apt pupil- in looking back at it all I did pretty well considering I didn't know what I was dealing with - I was clueless regarding dementia. But when I felt myself going under I found this site, asked for advice and I took it. My life is the better for it which isn't to say I'm not still in a battle. The two best pieces of advice I can give is: continue to post here and don't let anyone at your mothers facility give you a bunch of nonsense regarding your mothers care. If you aren't satisfied with what they are telling you, keep working up the chain of command until you get some answers that make sense to you and action plans for better care are implemented.
Helpful Answer (7)

Starting with a detective from the police department, making a police report only, not a criminal complaint should be the first thing to do to document this scenario. It will protect your Mother if they try to discharge her from the SNF, called a (constructive discharge), because she is under memory care, not able to legally leave or discharge herself as she is under a court ordered guardianship with documents given to the facility, they would be legally negligent for allowing a man (a stranger) to take her out. The reason they would want to "constructively discharge" her (making it appear her fault, poor behaviors, uncooperative, etc) is because they were negligent with her care, did not immediately report the incident to you, making light of a serious situation, leaves them liable to a lawsuit.
Please give up the idea that your mother snuck out-behaviors are no longer her fault-and look at this as a reportable offence, and protect her future safety.

You say you hate to call the cops in. You need to document this, and ask for a copy of the "incident report" by the facility. If there is none, that again is just another red red flag. Thankful that perhaps no harm came to your Mom does not protect her from future harm. Sorry you have to be the responsible one for your Mother. Sorry that her illness causes her to say things like, "You are not the boss of me!", but legally she is your charge-don't let her, or anyone, intimidate you!

Maybe you can plan a day off premises with her, see how that goes, if she is allowed. Would you need the docor's permission? Did this "man/stranger" need the doctor's permission? Find out what their policy is to have a patient leave the premises.

Or, you can just ignore the advice. Good luck to you and your Mom.

P.S. If it was my Mom, I would help her escape that place-in my dreams!
Helpful Answer (6)

The police would like to investigate and talk to this 'stranger', the man who kidnapped your mother from the facility, and the nurse who allowed the patient to sign herself out.
A crime may have been committed, and at this point you don't know. Assault on an elderly woman? Kidnapping for identity fraud purposes. Some kind of exploitation? Could be, the nurse's boyfriend, they have a plan?

Just anything could have happened. Go for help.
Helpful Answer (5)

I am a retired long term care administrator and cannot believe the facility's response to your situation! In PA , as in many if not all states, this is a "reportable" event, meaning the incident needs to be fully investigated and fully reported to the entity that oversees the type of facility your mother is in. You may ask for this report but the administration is not required to provide as it is not part of the resident's medical record. If you file a complaint to the entity that oversees the facility, they will perform their own investigation and issue a formal report that will include any deficiencies discovered as a result of the investigation. They can provide you with this report, too. (I suspect that the administrator wants to do their own investigation to avoid any deficiencies and possible fines.) In any event, the administrator should be very forthcoming and contrite in manner by providing a full accounting of the event to you personally. It's inconceivable to me that anyone working in a memory impaired/dementia unit would permit a resident to sign herself out, whether a copy of the guardianship papers are in the chart or not. In reality, however, nurses, being human, are not always quite what they need to be. If you decide to keep your mother at this facility, you will want to be fully informed of what corrective measures will be taken to prevent a similar situation from occurring. The facility should as part of its corrective plan be sure that all nurses are inserviced on what steps need to be taken when a resident wants to sign herself out. I am guessing that this is a personal care home or assisted living facility as a skilled nursing facility would take more precautions when someone signs out "against medical advice".
The local ombudsman can assist you with handling the followup to this as well as accompany you to meet with the facility staff. You do not need to feel alone. Finally, I would encourage you to not succumb to the feeling that all you do is write checks and act as an accountant. You are the PRIMARY advocate for your mother, and no one can do a better job of that than you. Do not let the staff bully, intimidate or discourage you from doing what you know is best for your mother. And based on your description of the staff at this facility, it may be in your mother's best interest to relocate to a facility that can show you the respect and compassion that she and you, as guardian and advocate, have the absolute right to receive.
May God bless.
Helpful Answer (5)

You should be concerned. Whoever this person was may have had her sign some papers - and of course she will have no memory of what happened. Report it to the police immediately. This person could be anyone - you need to find out who and why they did this.

My experiences:

My mother-n-law is 94, has dementia and lives in assisted living. Her eldest son and his new wife, visited her for a few hours (they live in CO - she lives in FL) took her from the facility and she signed several papers. They left that same day, didn't even spend the night. She started crying because she has no idea what she signed. The eldest son told her not to tell anyone he was there visiting. After that her other son, took her to an elder care attorney and her wishes were recorded so these new legal documents supersede whatever she signed.

My mother is 93, has Alzheimer's and lives with me. A few years ago when she lived alone - people from church took her to a lawyer. This man Mike kept telling her that he was going to help her stay in her house as long as possible. I found out that he had rental property. I looked him up on the county website and the deeds from his 3 houses were transferred to him on the death of the owner. My mom's house was going to be house number 4. I filed a police report. She trusted him, more than me.

There are people out there that prey on the elderly - even in nursing homes. When ever I tell people this story, they say it happens all the time.

Demand answers from the nursing home, call the police.
Helpful Answer (4)

Thank you for all of your responses. The solution was to contact the local ombudsman for our county here in Massachusetts. The ombudsman covers a series of nursing homes including the one my mother is in. My conversation with the ombudsman resulted in a) her having an investigative conversation with the nursing home administrator b) a review of the "event" paperwork c) working with me to allow me to escalate the situation however I want. I advised the ombudsman about my discomfort with one individual in particular on the nursing staff as well as the social worker. She confirmed to me that I was not the only person who has experienced this "discomfort". So, I will continue to pursue and see what the outcome is from the ombudsman.
Helpful Answer (4)

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter