Can nursing home get guardianship over patient who is mentally competent?

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My mother has been in a nursing home for seven months. She was admitted for delirium due to UTI. She has had these issues off and on for two years. When I tried to explain my mother's condition, I was told that this doesn't happen. They said people don't get dementia that comes and goes. They told me dementia comes and stays and just gets worse. I have been told repeatedly by healthcare professionals outside this facility about the link between infections and delirium/dementia. I have also found countless online articles about this condition but they seem to be in denial that it is a viable condition.

After she was there for a month, in a Gerry chair, in a diaper, I called and asked to have the doctor perform a urinalysis. They found the infection and then gave her Cipro and within a week, her mental state cleared up and she started acting rationally. This facility did not attempt physical therapy for three weeks until I started begging them to do it. My mother has been in two other facilities previously that acknowledged her being prone to infections and delirium. They both had her treated, rehabilitated and released way under the Medicare 90 day period.

This facility would not allow my mother to sign herself out and labelled her as "mentally incompetent". Three months ago, the social worker there called me and told me their corporation was filing for legal guardianship over her but that she had been in the process of working up my mother's discharge paperwork when she was told. This was three months ago. My mother had reached and passed the requirements for recovery and the facility will not allow her to go home. The company that owns the facility put a stop to her being discharged. Their psychiatrist, who has only done a mini mental exam wrote up and submitted as Exhibit A, a competency evaluation wherein he describes her as "severely impaired" on ALL levels. He describes her as a borderline vegetable. Most of the items on the list are completely false. He has only spoken with my mother for 10-15 minutes in 7 months. There was a hearing date set up (April 28) and my mother's attorney was able to get a continuance because I had made an appointment with a NeuroPsychologist to have her get an impartial competency evaluation which was done and that doctor evaluated her for almost three hours and found her not only competent but said that she currently shows no symptoms or signs of dementia.

Now that my mother has documentation and an evaluation from this doctor saying that she is mentally competent, does the company that owns the nursing home have a case? The only "evidence" they have is the evaluation from their psychiatrist. They are not seeking guardianship over her "person". They "generously" offer that to me and only want guardianship over her income. I want guardianship over her health because I want to be able to get her out of there. I believe they are doing this only to collect money off of her (they currently take all of her social security check) when she goes home. I think they are doing this so they can send her home and keep her money at the same time. I also feel that at this time, her being there is now detrimental to her health.

The results of the evaluation were sent to my mother's attorney a week ago and she told me to have my mother sign a release form so that I could get a copy of it. She also told me that she sent a copy to the attorney who represents the company that owns the nursing home and suggested they withdraw their petition for guardianship. I still have this fear that they are going to try and pull something else to get my mother's social security check. They still will not allow her to go home and are dragging her (and our family) through all of this legal process for her to fight to just get her own life back to normal. She is totally recovered and I think they are forcing her to live there so that they can keep control over her. If she goes home, her income will revert back to her and it may be more difficult for them to wrestle it away from her again. My mother's attorney says she cannot do the P.O.A. now because of this litigation.

Would it be wise to attempt to help her try to sign out A.M.A. using the evaluation results? They haven't let her leave by telling her she is mentally incompetent and cannot make that decision. Would it make things worse for her if she tried to sign out again? If she were truly severely mentally impaired, I wouldn't have much of a problem with what they are doing but it infuriates me the way they have delayed her recover, labelled her "mentally incompetent" when she is not in order to get their talons into her social security check (the only asset and income she has). This is financial abuse of the elderly.

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Astrid, I'm so glad this awful situation has been resolved! I would have been more than pissed, id something like this had ever happened to my Mom! I'm happy that she has you in her corner, fighting for her rights! Good for you!
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Astrid, I'm so glad that was resolved.

Now that your mother is safely elsewhere, I would write to the State Ombudsman, the Joint Commission on NH accreditation and your local elected officials to tell your mother's story.

This is a disgrace and this corporation and its employees should be called out on it!
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I just wanted to say that she was discharged in June of 2015 because when we submitted the outside doctor's competency results, they no longer had a case.
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There's a doctor at the facility that has told my mother that he would be willing to discharge her if he knows that we can take care of her at home. I went to the attorney to try and get a copy of the competency evaluation. I was going to show it to the doctor along with some photos of things we had done to facilitate taking care of her such as photos of the ramp we built and the handicap equipment for the bathroom and her bedroom but when I went to the attorney, she said we should not make any attempts at signing her out because she submitted the evaluation to the opposing attorney and she feels that my mother leaving the facility before this goes through a court hearing will damage her case. The evaluation has to be made "official" by a judge. I'm still worried. Maybe I should wait and see what happens before going to the Aging Office for an ombudsman? We had been in contact with the Aging Office a couple months ago and they told us that guardianship has to be established before they will come and do a home evaluation. I'm pissed off about that because how are we supposed to present something from an authoritative source to a judge showing that we can take care of her at home if we don't have an approval from the Aging Office to back us up in court? I feel like my mother is a sitting duck waiting for these people do to whatever they want to her. All I can think of to do now is to contact the Aging Office next week and talk to them about what is going on but I don't know if they would involve an ombudsman in it. The other nursing homes that my mother had been in previously did not operate this way. They took care of her situation and rehabilitated her within a month and a half (with the same health conditions) and sent her home. This place feels like a scam.
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I think that you need to get the ombudsman and the joint commission on accreditation involved in this asap.
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