Mom is 85 with Alzheimer's and has lived with me 5+ years. Doc categorizes it as "severe" and, although she's had some incontinent episodes lately, she's still capable of self-toileting as long as I check that she's not pulling soiled panties back on. She's having more & more difficulty communicating...calling things by wrong words & some of her sentences are so fractured with starts, stops & word substitutions that I can't always figure out what she's trying to get across. She still calls me by name but has no clue that I'm her daughter...I'm just a nice neighbor or a long-time co-worker.
I have hypothyroidism & MY doc says that my wildly swinging thyroid levels & our inability to gain consistent control with my meds is probably due in large part to the extreme stress that I deal with as a sole 24/7 caregiver & that it's time to place Mom. I haven't had even an hour "off" from caregiving in the past 11 months. Anyway...I'm starting to see the wisdom in my doc's words.
I've toured 3 of the local homes & went back to the one yesterday to ask if I could review their contract packet. OMG! The thing HAS to be as thick as 'War & Peace"!! Knowing there was no way that I could truly read & understand something that big while there, I asked if I could take the packet home to review & then come back with any questions I had. At first, the Social Worker seemed a bit reluctant to allow that. Just as I was about to tell her, fine, I'll go talk with the other facilities, she relented & gave me the packet.
I'm sitting here at the kitchen island this AM reviewing it & I have some concerns. Maybe these are standard legal-speak among all facilities...but I don't know. I'm hoping some of you that have already gone through this process can shed some light on that.
In several places throughout the contract, there's language regarding behavior:
"No behavior will be tolerated that will infringe upon the rights of other residents or staff members."
"The touching of another without his/her consent for the purpose of harassment, abuse, or exploitation is not permitted. Our facility must protect all residents that reside at our facility therefore we reserve the right to request the offending resident, family or responsible party to make other placement if the behavior is not corrected."
Currently, Mom has not gotten physical (slapping, punching, pinching, etc)...but, then again, she's not in an environment with other cognitively impaired & inappropriate individuals, either. I mean, it's Alzheimer's...there's bound to be behaviors and, yes, sometimes it's resident to resident. Does these passages mean that if she starts getting combative with staff or hauls off & slaps another resident that's irritating her, that they can kick her out? I, honestly, would rather just keep going here at home with her than to gain my freedom and then lose it again 4 months from now because she's combative & the home doesn't want her any longer. I know that would finish breaking me.
And then there's this:
"It's hereby acknowledged and agreed that the Resident is being admitted to the Facility on his or her own volition and the Facility, its personnel, and the attending physician are absolved and released of any responsibility if the Resident should leave the Facility for any reason whatsoever without consent of the attending physician and notice to the Facility."
Their Alzheimer's unit has a keypad code to enter or exit. I have seen Alzheimer's patients randomly press those code buttons & just HAPPEN to hit the right one or they follow someone else out that wasn't paying attention. So, is this passage saying that if Mom would get out of the unit/facility somehow & get hurt and/or killed, that I have no legal recourse? Or is it just saying that, let's say, the doc says her heart isn't strong enough for her to leave the facility & won't consent to an LOA pass but I take her out anyway & she has a bad outcome that I can't come back on the home & say "why didn't you stop me?"?.
Also, as much as Mom has declined, the ONE thing she expresses quite clearly is that she doesn't want to be in a nursing home & that she wants to stay with me. Is the home going to say that they can't legally keep her because she can express her desire not to be there (false imprisonment)?
Lastly, I'm in Missouri. MO is not a filial responsibility state. Throughout the contract it states that any charges not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or other insurance are "your" responsibility. If I sign as her Durable Power of Attorney, or as this facility calls it attorney-at-hand, MO's non-filial status means that *I*, personally, am not responsible for any costs not covered by insurance, right? If *I* don't owe, how does that get paid, and could they kick her out, once Mom has used up her private funds?