Can a "short-stay rehab" withhold information in order to force the patient into long-term care?

Asked by

We have been given mixed messages throughout our mother's stay. They refuse to train for any activity that would be helpful when we take her home, have delayed ordering necessary equipment and other aspects of discharge planning. Each person is given different information each time we ask questions.

Every discussion comes down to "you didn't talk to the right person" or "you don't undersand the meaning of the terms we use."

They have NEVER answered a yes or no question. Phone calls are not returned.
We were told that she would be discharged, but that was delayed since they never told us about the need for certain equipment and they did not order it.

I want to just remove her from the facility, but we do need the equipment. I fear they will charge us with elder abuse because they document that we do not show up for training (even though none is scheduled)

They change her care status to "restoritive care" I do not know how they will define that.
What can we do?

Answers 1 to 10 of 25
When my mother was in rehab after a stoke, there was a social worker there who met with us and discussed ordering a walker and also in home physical and occupational therapy. Mom was at the rehab hospital for three weeks and my sister and/or I were with her everyday. If possible I would spend a day or two at the facility with her going to all her therapists and they will show you what and how to assist her. I'd start with her doctor or the social worker on getting the equipment you need, the doctor would have to prescribe it. Good Luck!
Unfortunately, the social worker is one of the best double talker's at the rehab. I must say their people management skills are top of the line. You know you have been "managed" every time you question anything.

Mom's primary care physician is the medical director at the rehab. Her attitude has been that we are expecting mom to do things she doesn't want to do.

Today, the social worker told me the equipment had been ordered for delivery on Friday. All I can do is wait and see.

I have been,and will continue to spend as many hours a day as possible at mom's side. My sister is often there when I am not..

Only the speech therapist has given us any progress reports. She will even call me at home, if she doesn't connect with me at the facility. the rest have a habit of starting their sentences with "I thought you knew..."

I cannot wait until I can take her out the door on Saturday.

the saddest thing about all this is that this is considered the best rehab facility in the area. I don't want to know what the others are like....
It seems to me that if I were in your shoes--I would have your Mom removed from the facility and tranfered to another, Perhaps the employess who work there have been instructed to answer you in a way you do NOT wish. The fact of the matter is you want what is BEST for your Mom-and the 'double talk' you are hearing needs to be eliminated. Some of the facilities that are out there-are very good at doing just that 'doule talk'...Can you check with your local ombudsman - or area council on aging about this situation and see what they advise? By no means are you obligated to keep your Mom where she is--or are you? The bottom line is to look and look today to have your Mom transferred. From what I have witnessed or have heard about-many facilities are in business strictly for the money-and care is perhaps secondary.
Good Luck with your decision making process!
Top Answer
When my 95 year old mother had surgery for a fractured him, tortunately, I found what seemed a pretty good rehab facility close to our home. She was admitted on Thurday afternoon. However, she was not seen by the MD there until Monday morning. While he was in her room the pt let me know they planned to release her on Friday because she was doing so well (rthe hospital orth had ordered short-term rehab (7 days) to dissuade me from taking her directly home from the hospital. However, the rehab MD told her she would be there for weeks and she was upset. The rehab MD wanted to put her on morphine which I nixed.
Mom came home after 7 days and she had pt./visiting nurses for short term. With the exception of cooking she still takes care of her own needs.
I realize having a stroke is different from recovery from a fall. Here's my point...I do believe if I had not been an advocate for Mom she would have been kept in the rehab center for a longer period of time than necessary as she has good insurance. Putting her on morphine would have been detrimental as she has breathing probs. You must, must, must, keep up the important work of staying on top of things. Do not put up with double-speak. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. When she is released make certain she comes home with the correct pills (if there are any leftover) and correct prescriptions.
Of course you are concerned that rehab workers might take out on your Mom what they are feeling toward you. I once visited mom at 2:00 a.m. and I was told by the "manager" that I needed Medical Power to learn when the last time she was given pain meds. My understanding is as long as I'm on the list; I could be given that info. Didn't matter as I had a copy of the Health Care Power of Attorney. She still did not want to give me the information. I will say the PT folks were the best! I have no issures with them.
Perhaps there is another resource where you can get the training you need...that way you will be better able to communicate with the rehab workers.
Good luck.

Have her transferred to a facility where milking that insurance isn't the top priority. So shop around. In the meantime, make a habit of looking at the staff dead in the eyes at all times when they talk with you. It takes years to master the ability to have an answer on tap for everything, and their honey-tongued eloquence is designed to scam people who don't know any better by preying on their fears. I call them the "Ernest Hemingways of Bull ___."

Your love for your mother is pure. If a red flag pops up whenever your speak with those manipulating vultures, challenge them. Ask them to explain it to you in plain English as is you were a 6 y/o who doesn't know anything; and then show to you how it's going to improve the quality of care your mom receives. Chances are they'll give you more verbal pyrotechnics and suggest you make another appointment because "they're very busy" or "pressed for time." What you're feeling tells you something isn't right, so trust your instincts.

-- ED
My! Not good stories. My Mom was in rehab for a month after her broken hip. The place wasn't the greatest but the surgeon said she is going for rehab not for plush furnishings. You need to find the best rehab you can and we did, the PT were great. I had some issues with her getting food she ordered and could eat and some of the supplements they put her on. I asked questions all the time and was never denied an answer, I think they knew I would watch every move they made while I was there.

The social worker was great and she was the one that coordinated her release and obtaining the equipment she needed at home.
Ask for the Director of the facility and the head nursing supervisor if you have problems and I think they would help.

I don't wish anyone to have to go to a rehab facility but as I tried to tell my Mom it was only temporary. Blessings to all.
Thanks to all of you for your responses. I am glad most of you found some employees responsive to yours needs.

My mother had to be transfered to the hospital, due to a GI bleed. She has had an endoscopy and all that was found was a small ulcer in the esophagus. I am relieved that she is out of that place.

We are working with the social worker at the hospital to set up home care for her. After this experience she would have to be impossible to care for at home for us to consider anything other than home care.
tpfzowie, your story is a heart breaker. It may be representative at long-term care and healthcare at its worst, yet, all it takes is one such experience to leave a sour taste in a consumer's mouth. The entire healthcare system is manipulative to one degree, or another, which is why strong family advocacy is required at every fork in the road to avoid our loved ones being railroaded. ED's descriptive of "manipulating vultures" would be funny if it weren't true. ED's also right about the purity of your love for your Mom. Don't put up with it and do let them know that your Mom is not a prisoner, even if you need to file a complaint.

KarenW', your story serves to highlights the weaknesses in a system that professes to care for society's most vulnerable, yet doesn't care enough to require a physician on duty in all nursing homes. What a mess. "Manipulative vultures" bordering on organized criminal thuggish behaviors toward consumers, families and the general public. States' regulatory agencies already have what it takes to ride herd on such unethical practices, yet the shell games continue.

Isn't it ironic that adult protective services and other agencies that are part of the consumer shell game in long-term care might consider it neglectful if a family member were to delay obtaining medical supervision from, say, Thursday to Monday, as was the case in your Mom's situation, yet a federally-funded rehab facility can get by with not having a physician in charge of its residents and can further defer having one of its residents seen by a physician until the start of the following week? God bless resident care in rehab centers and nursing homes. Your story and tpfzowie's are a tribute to family caregivers who are watchful of elder care needs for their loved ones. You are both caring caregivers facing tough circumstances.

tpfzowie, sure hope you are able to advocate on behalf of your Mom's care by getting her far away from the existing facility to one where her needs may be better taken care of and where your voice is respected.
We I had my mom fell and broke her hip I had to put her in rehab. They wanted to keep her for 6 months and after 3 months I took her out. This was suppose to be top of the line NH. Every morning when I got there something was all was wrong. They should have some numbers posted on a board where you can call and tell them your concerns. That is what I did and someone from the office came and meet with me my mother and everbody that had something to do with my mothers care. I told them my concerns and that I was taking her out and they got me everything I was going to need at home to take care of her.

Good Luck
you have to ask this directly to the Staff /R.N./DOCTOR.SOCIAL WORKER/ THERAPISTS/ ETC. of this facility and tell them you wishes. what do you want.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support