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She was sent to the ER in October and the doctor told me how bad she was over the phone. I told him the people she lived with were not responsible people and care only about themselves. I asked him to call the elderly abuse hotline if he thought that they were responsible for her condition. He did.


She was assigned a caseworker, Wendy. Wendy has done nothing with my aunts and uncle. They are still in my grandma's house and never do anything for my grandma. She now is in a nursing home and they are treating her just as poorly as she was being treated at home. My cousin came to visit her later February and she could smell that our grandma had messed herself and asked if someone could change her. They told her it was the person next to her. After several attempts to get that addressed in an hour and a half time span my grandma was still unchanged. If that’s the care she gets with visitors I don’t want to imagine how it is when we aren’t there.


Not a week later she was sent to the ER and they said she had a diaper and a pair of depends on! The situation there scares me.


We found her a place much better and closer to my cousin. She would have visitors almost daily there. We found her a room and had them call the location we are currently dealing with. The current location denied the request to have her transferred. Then Wendy told my brother we can’t transfer her without going through her. She also told the hospital to not let her have family visitors, which she later denied when confronted. My brother had an armed security guard called on him when he tried to check on her though so that’s not true.


Does my my grandma have rights to leave if she wants to? I thought that if she was in the right mind set, and she is, that she had the right to leave if she wanted. She has a g-tube, that’s only used for medication and is not hooked up to anything and COPD. The last ER doctor gave her a diagnosis of dementia. I believed that was because of her pneumonia and flu though. She’s back to remembering who everyone is and where she is. She is not happy and I’m really concerned about her safety. Does Wendy have the right to stop her transfer to another location?


Is there something I can do to get her out of there and into a safer and cleaner location? Would getting a medical POA help or would I need a general POA to deal with legal matters for her? I talked to a lawyer and with her still knowing what she wants and what’s going on he said guardianship would be a bad choice. I just need some help trying to do what’s right.

Wendy almost certainly has a boss, and the boss almost certainly won't like the Ombusdman getting involved. It might be a good first step to write a 'nice' letter to boss along the lines of 'relationship with Wendy seems to have gone wrong, I can't fix it, don't want to cause a lot of trouble by calling Ombudsman as has been suggested to me, can you help sort out this problem?'. Good luck.
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jacobsonbob Apr 1, 2019
Excellent idea!
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If your grandmother does not lack mental capacity she isn't an appropriate subject for guardianship. She can, in theory, create powers of attorney. The lawyer you talked to can arrange to visit her and speak to her about it - but I am not saying I think this is a good idea.

I think you want to revisit your relationship with Wendy, and try to get it back on track. Arranging your grandmother's transfer to a better choice of facility should be childishly simple with Wendy's co-operation but will be the devil's own job without it. What about asking for a conference with Wendy away from your grandmother to see if there's any way forward?
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For some reason, there are social workers or social service personnel that think that they know what is best for the resident or client and go out of their way to get between the resident and their family.

When my Mom was in the nursing home, the Social Service Assistant [SSA] (who is assigned to the other wing of the facility and never had previous contact with my Mom) decided that because Mom was "Alert & Oriented X 3" and could tell the SSA how much she had sold the farm's corn crop for, that Mom could handle her own finances.  The SSA became defensive and took it personal when I challenged her.  She managed to get the LTC administrator to agree that ALL of my visits had to be supervised by staff and that the visits had to be held in public locations like the Main Lobby or the Dining Room.  The SSA also talked Mom into changing her DPOA from me to our elderly family attorney. (Also, the SSA thought that I should have moved out of the house that my Mom and I had lived in together for 9+ years when Mom entered the nursing home and the SSA decided that I was stealing from Mom since I was living in the house.)  I had to hire my own attorney and petition for guardianship and conservatorship of Mom.  Luckily the Attorney Ad Lidem assigned by the Court to represent Mom realized that Mom was cognitive impaired and returned the DPOA to me (after 4 months).  I did contact the State Ombudsman after the DPOA was returned to me and she met with Mom, myself, the Social Services Director, and the Nurse Manager for the nursing unit that Mom resided on in order to get the supervised visits cancelled.  Unfortunately I never trusted that Social Service Assistant again and still visited Mom in the lounge area or dining room where the nursing staff could see us.  But at least the staff didn't have to sit where they could see and hear our conversation and didn't have to write down what Mom and I were saying to each other and how we behaved or reacted to each other.

You have received some good advice.  Apparently you are not the financial or a medical POA for your grandmother?  Do you know who is your grandmother's POA? Do you know who her attorney is and have you talked to him/her about the situation and/or about becoming your grandmother's financial and medical DPOA ? 

Talk with Wendy and her supervisor together regarding your concerns.  Use a calm, unemotional voice (if possible).  Prior to the meeting, prepare a list of concerns and expectations regarding your grandmother's care so that you know what you want to talk about.  Take notes at the meeting.  Let them know that if you do not get satisfaction that you will contact the Ombudsman. At the end of the meeting make a date for a follow-up meeting, if needed.

Good Luck.  Your grandmother is so blessed to have a grandchild who cares so much about her welfare.
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SparkyY Apr 1, 2019
I've had very similar issues with moms social workers. Someone called APS about 8 months ago and the social worker came by once. When mom had to go to the hospital she was really sick and they only kept her two days and sent her home. The Social worker shows up the day after when everything was a messy nightmare. I told her what happened and she left. Mom was back in the hospital the next day considerably worse than when she went the first time. The social worker met me at the hospital and said I was neglecting mom because I should have had her in the hospital sooner. I was floored! She then went on to say that if mom was released to my care she would call the police. It's been so frustrating and I've been seething ever since.
Good luck to OP.
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Nanny Cam...get one ASAP.....You can move her out of that facility with her doc's approval whenever you want; if she's not under the custody of State [via Wendy (APS)]
As mentioned, Did the State (Wendy) place her under Protective Custody?" If true--then State is in control of her and her placement, if not then your grandmother can leave anytime.
As suggested, in writing via email or classic pen/paper:
1. Ask Wendy, "is my grandmother under protective custody?"
2. Ask Wendy , "is the State planning on filing for Guardianship for her?"
3.Ask Wendy , "WHEN/HOW is the State planning on doing the aforementioned?"

Record every phone call I usually place "telephone calls" onto speaker phone and click record on my laptop....Easy Peasy....When it pertains to nursing home care Nanny Cams are priceless... It's amazing how Nursing Homes have been trained to not respond to anything....they are accustomed to a population that cannot fight or that is ignored..

In response If Wendy communicates "No" then tell Wendy that you will move your grandmother to another facility on X date via X methodology. Also, write Wendy each problem experienced thus far,with the facility she is in now.

... Does she need ambulance assistance, to be moved to a different facility??

Hire an "elder law" attorney BTW...

Remember Nursing Homes are driven by making money...So if there isn't someone waiting to move into her current room you'll be discouraged...

YOU must hire an elder law attorney and start making arrangements to move her; logistics involved tend to inconvenience most families, so grandmothers are usually stuck. Good on you, for pro-actively looking out for her well-being.
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A health care proxy and a power of attorney are important to have. This enables the person to make decisions on your grandmother’s behalf. This nursing home should have an ombudsman depending on what state your grandma is in. They receive complaints from families and residents. This sounds like a terrible situation. If you can’t get help, perhaps the Adult Protective Services in your state should be called, the state department of health and/or the state police. I hope you can move her. It is her right. And it is your right to know your loved one is cared for properly and has access to visiting loved ones. Please call a lawyer immediately if you can afford one. There should be a free one through Legal Services depending on the state. God bless you and help you to a speedy resolution to this matter.
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Everyone should be so blessed as to have a loving granddaughter like  you.  I would suggest you see if there is a local Long Term Care Ombudsman's office.  Since APS/Wendy is involved, you will have to work with her, and if she is not doing her job adequately, find out who her supervisor is and raise some hell.  Possibly consider another attorney...not that the advice was wrong..guardianship is tricky and expensive and time consuming, and if the person can speak for themselves even more challenging.  Maybe a statement from the primary MD or whomever knows her best might help.
You are right to feel strongly and to get her out of there.  In fact, the LTCOmbudsman office will probably be able to provide phone numbers for the state agency in charge of licensing and the place she is in could be reported.  Thank you for doing all you can...as someone who may be alone without family or friends as I age, I am glad to know there are people out there like you.  All of us must not settle for the status quo of institutional abuse and neglect.    Don't give up!
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Go ahead and get medical/ financial POA. Your grandmother can remove an existing POA as it's her right to choose. And Wendy was wrong. Your grandmother has the right to leave the NH she's in. If they refuse to transfer her, call the state ombudsman on them and report them to APS. Then move your grandmother to the safer facility. Your aunt's and uncles need to be removed from your grandma's house. Start the paperwork with the courts to have them evicted. Get everything in writing. Good luck and hope this helps.
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gdaughter Apr 1, 2019
I understood it to mean this Wendy did come from APS?
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This is nuts! Get a lawyer!!
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Did the State (Wendy) place her under Protective Custody?" If so the State is controlling her placement, if not then your grandmother can leave anytime she chooses.

I have I many cases where the State comes in and starts telling the hospital, nursing home and family what they can and can not do, but if they are not under "protective custody" they can not do that.

Here's what I would suggest that you do:
1. Ask Wendy is my grandmother under protective custody?
2. Ask Wendy , is the State planning on filing for Guardianship for her?

If she says "no" then tell her that you are planning on moving her to another facility. I would tell her what the problems are with the facility she is in now are.

Another thing I would ask her if she says she has authority to make these decisions is this:
Ask her to put it in writing. I have never had the State willing to put their "proof of authority" in writing. If they won't put it in writing then I think I would question what is going on.

If you need help in doing all this contact your Local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. They are the Federal Mandated Advocates for residents in long-term care facilities. The Ombudsman is a non-for profit and does not charge for their services. They are experts in handling situations like this.

As far as getting guardianship goes, you can not get a guardianship unless the person has been adjudicated (found incompetent) by a court. That being said if you have a good power of attorney for finances and healthcare then in most cases you won't need a guardianship.
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gdaughter Apr 1, 2019
And keep a log, because it may come in handy as the dates/timing will get blurry with all you are doing...date, time, who you called, what you said, they said, results...
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This needs to be reported to the Ombudsman immediately as Wendy is not doing her job. In addition, speak more with your elder law attorney and get Financial and Medical POA - if possible, BUT quite likely won't be since the grandmother has Alzheimer's.
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