Is a physical therapist allowed to stop physical therapy on someone who cannot follow directions because of their dementia?

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My mom is in a Rehab facility recovering from neck surgery. She was getting PT, however the PT therapist contacted my sister, and said they were stopping because she was not able to follow instruction, because of her dementia. Have you ever heard of such?

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There has to be an ability for a patient to follow instructions. You can't force a patient to do stuff while they are screaming and hollering and fighting you, which happens because the family is pushing for it so hard. Sometimes they don't understand what is going on and so cannot participate enough to have any sort of carryover or return to improve functional activities. When this happens they DONT get better. When is enough enough? There is a line healthcare workers shouldn't cross. Even if fam members are desperate for help. If you have never worked with these kinds of patients you don't really understand what it takes to rehab them back to function again. It doesn't mean the facility has something against your loved one.
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When my Dad was sent ti the first rehab they were obviously not equipped to handle his PT needs. He was very weak and could not walk or even hold a spoon to feed himself. After a week or so he was sent to another rehab that was much bigger and better staffed. The difference was night and day. It was at the suggestion of the first place that we decided to transfer him but I know we could have requested it on our own.

Just an aside. My Dad liked the first place better because it was quiet and the staff was more laid back. The second place was crowded and busy and they really made him work hard. It was what he needed, but he did not like it.

Good luck.
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I asked my PT about the rule change that Medicare had brought is as of Jan 2014 about progress. The PT said it didn't pertain to me but just to people with long term problems like Parkinson disease. Just plantar fasiicitis didn't count in the rule. That Medicare does need to see real progress.
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Oh! As leverage for them to continue another week or so, I would be all OVER them for not calling me in advance so I could attend sessions with her and, hopefully, be helpful in her progress. (I did that for mom when she broke her hip.)
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By Medicare rules, they have to show progress or cannot continue treating your mom. You can be sure that the facility is trying their best to SHOW that progress, because, when/if they stop, they no longer get paid. Thus, they're highly motivated to both get mom to participate in her rehab AND to show that she's making progress.

If mom doesn't understand anymore, if she's noncompliant, if she turns down rehab sessions, there's really not much the facility can do about it.

You might be able to beg/borrow/steal a little more time for mom. If that were the case, I would attend the sessions so I could see for myself what was happening.
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One thing that's glaringly missing from these responses is the role of an SLP (speech pathologist) . Within their scope of practice is working with individuals with dementia and using strategies to learn and recall new skills. So...if the PT is working with a patient to do safe transfers for example, the SLP can help teach the recall of the safe transfers.
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Pt's with dementia need cognitive cueing and a very consistent PT/OT program to be successful. The Therapist's need to be confident in their ability to work with Pt's with Dementia. All of the literature speak to the benefits of PT/OT (until end stage dementia). It is clear to me it is not easy work---but--it is critical to support functional status of patient's.
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Glad you did the right thing -my husband was not allowed to go to the NH we were using for rehab-they send recruiters to hospitals-because he was a pain-they said it was because the meds cost too much-the next year they begged for him to be at their place but I found a better NH with a social worker that actually worked with me -so I said no.
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02is01-
I moved dad from one facility to another when he was in 2.5 years ago. The reason was their care was substandard. He was very uncomfortable and frightened of a male nurse that was not kind to him. So, I spent a day shopping for something he would be more comfortable with. Found it, paid deposit to hold until move, then and only then let the facility know I was moving him.

So, just go shopping. Check out ratings of nursing homes on Medicare's website.
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As far as I know bkw is right and yes you should be able to transfer her to another facility -I would visit other facilities and talk to the social worker there -they are in business to make money and having a good censes helps their bottom line. Sometimes you need to make noise to get the benefits you need-keep us posted we help each other by our experiences.
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