Can a professional caregiver force an elderly person to go to a medical hospital? - AgingCare.com

Can a professional caregiver force an elderly person to go to a medical hospital?

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My father cares for my mother at home since she has several long-term physical problems; they live in Florida. The professional caregiver (who worked for the hospital) felt my mother should return to the hospital since she had a small fever and had recently recovered from pneumonia. Because my father has a temper, the caregiver not only called 911 behind his back but called the police. My father said he would have been happy to take my mother back to the hospital, but resented how the caregiver went behind his back and called law enforcement. My mother still has her mental capabilities and can communicate her intentions. What are my father's rights as her husband? Did the caregiver cross the line by calling the police when my mother did not have a mental problem that could require involuntary hospitalization?

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I'm sure the caregiver thought she was doing the right thing, but it seems to me that she overstepped the line. Since your mother has her mental capabilities, she should have had the say.
However, it's possible that the caregiver feared your father's temper and that your mother (or the caregiver) may be a victim and that was her justification. The caregiver, given the circumstances, may have been obligated to react as she did, such as a teacher must report suspected abuse. She may have been protecting herself from accusations, if your father didn't do the right thing for your mother. I do feel she thought she was right. Whether your state laws would stand behind her, I don't know.
If your father was truthful in that he would have been happy to take your mother back to the hospital, why the temper? That would be a question I'd ask.
It's sad that it came to this ugly scene. Personalities can get in the way. Your father needs to govern his temper if he is to be your mother's protector. He likely has legal rights as her husband, but if there is reason to suspect abuse, the law would likely override that.
You've got your hands full. I'm so sorry for you all. I hope the outcome is okay and that everyone has learned something.
Carol
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Thanks, Carol. What triggered my father's temper was the way they handled it (seeming to force his hand with the arrival of a police officer). We've since learned the EMT called the police, not the nurses, for their own safety, which seems very reasonable. Fortunately my father later agreed it got out of hand. We're working with a new home care group now, so hopefully things will go more smoothly. Thanks again
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