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This morning a hospital social worker named "Tara" called my sister and said mom is at baseline and she is ready to be discharged, come pick her up.
My sister said "No. I cannot pick her up. She would be left in her home alone and it is not safe."
Tara said if you don't pick her up it will be abandonment.


I called and talked to hospital social worker named "Amy".


She said mom has been cleared for discharge. "She can make her own decisions, and we cannot hold her or place her in a nursing home against her will."
So I said "She is an unsafe discharge and I cannot come pick her up. Are you going to send her home in an Uber?"
She said "We use Lyft, and yes that is a possibility."
So I said "She is an unsafe discharge and she will be at home alone and she will walk out into the road."
Amy kept talking about how there are 24/7 companies that will come to her home and charge $240 a day.
So I said (for the hundredth time to these people) "I tried the companies. They could not promise 24/7 care and my mother cannot afford it. She would run out of money in a few months. She does not have a power of attorney. She needs an outsider to be her power of attorney."
The social worker said "Have you tried applying to the courts for guardianship?"
I said "NO. AND I AM NOT GOING TO." A lawyer already advised us against that.


I don't know what else to do. If I pick her up, it makes her a "safe discharge".


I need to catch my breath.

I know this is in fact not true, or maybe it is, but I always got the feeling social workers were working for the insurance companies.
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Reply to Karsten
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mstrbill Mar 22, 2021
You are right Karsten, social workers may not be necessarily working for the benefit of the patients and families in need as you may assume a "social worker" would. Social workers employed by nursing homes and other health care facilities are actually working for the interests of those facilities first, sometimes to the detriment of the families' or patients interest.
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In Michigan, we can be charged with abandonment.

Social workers are a special kind of stupid. I dealt with the same thing last week except I was also told since the person's car is broke, I am supposed to trade im my Subaru WRX for a Lincoln Nautalis so the person can go places because that is alienating the elder.

I have spent 2 days in bed depressed with a migraine. I would stop taking calls and have the lawyer contact the SW.
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Reply to Stacy0122
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You say Mom had been in the hospital almost 2 weeks when you posted on the 13th of March. From the 13th to today, is 1 more week.

Is this timeline the same as you understand it? A total of 3 weeks?

You have been threatened, been on pins and needles throughout, just yesterday your Mom required her own nurse to calm her down.

Three weeks is not a very long time to even get adjusted to the correct medications. It is not a long time at all for a psychiatric condition.

Can she be self-admitted to a private psychiatric hospital, or is this one 'private'? Her willingness to seek professional care after going through so much will show she has capacity to make beneficial care decisions for herself.

I don't know how much longer you can afford your health to suffer your Mom's current issue.

Mental Health issues are treated very differently today. There is basically no long term acceptable care.

Can you say what advice you have tried, such as getting her a patient's rights advocate?

I do believe if you can limit contact, back away for just a little while longer, stand strong with your sister, that a viable answer will be achieved. If Mom is at all going to improve, she needs this time in hospital.
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You, and your sister are truly between a rock and a hard place.

So glad that you consulted an attorney.

Can you allow your sister to handle the calls like you agreed? You will buckle if you don't stick with the plan. I understand how you want to make it better, however, you are making it worse for yourself, imo.

Can you try "Doing nothing" for a few more days? Try, two days, revisit on Monday?
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Tell them you'll sue if she is discharged.

Also, maybe she can go to rehab. And then placement

Google, emergency guardianship
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Reply to Lvnsm1826
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Push back:

"Nurse in behavioral unit spoke to my sister yesterday and said mom has been so worked up and angry she's been assigned her own nurse to keep her calm."

24 hrs. later the team is going to release her?

Are they going to send that nurse home with her for 24/7 care?
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If the hospital social worker says to your mother "you have been abandoned"; SO what?

Your mother is in charge of her own life. YOU are not responsible for her.

Please understand that you are not responsible for your mother's poor decisions or happiness.

I am sorry to be so harsh, but you need to stop being afraid of your mother's anger. It can't hurt you.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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AlvaDeer Mar 19, 2021
They are lying to her. They can make no such accusation against her. She is not caring for her mother currently. There is nothing to abandon. She is not even the POA. They should be ashamed of this threat.
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This reminds me of the time when my husband ended up in the hospital 2 weeks after I had my posterior hip replacement, where I wasn't supposed to bend over 90 degrees. At that time he was barely mobile, incontinent, and was falling a lot, and after a week of being there,(where he grew even weaker, as they kept him in bed the entire time) they said that he was able to come home, I told the hospital social worker that he could not come home yet, as I couldn't properly care for him, and yes I was his medical and durable POA. I told them that I wanted him to go to rehab for a while, so I could recover some more and he could get some PT, to hopefully make him a bit stronger as well. I even had picked out and called the rehab place and had everything in place, for him to go there. When the day came for him to go to rehab, because my husband said no, he wasn't going to rehab, the hospital called me early in the afternoon and said that they would be bringing my husband home via ambulance later that afternoon, as they couldn't force him to go if he didn't want to. It didn't make any difference that I couldn't take care of him, they were bringing him anyway. And they did. The EMT's brought him in on a stretcher, and the hospital had sent him home without a diaper on, so he was soaked in pee, and I was left to tend to him. I don't think I was ever so mad in my life as I was that day, so yes the hospitals seem to be able to do whatever they darn well please, without taking in account of what the family members say or want. I hope and pray that you have better luck than I did.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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graygrammie Mar 19, 2021
How terrible! I'm sorry you had to go through that.
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So we have a person here without any diagnosis of being unable to care for herself. You would never get guardianship in this case. This person would be appointed a lawyer, and if at ALL competent in her own behalf would win against any attempt at guardianship.
Also, a POA, while there should be one NOW while she is competent to do one, cannot act against the wishes of the senior who is competent.
So we come down to and either or.
Either she is competent or she is not.
If competent she can go home, or be sent home when there is no longer any need for acute care in hospital.
If not competent you need a diagnosis, a guardianship or conservatorship which most social workers can get from a judge on a temporary basis. Then you can tell the hospital that she needs placement.
You know her. You know whether she is safe home alone or not. So if she is safe, let her go home and don't enable her by being her caretaker. If she is not, you must now have a FULL neuro-psyc diagnosis, and then apply for guardianship. Without that, yes, the hospital can send her home. If you KNOW she is unsafe then report her as an adult at risk with APS in your area.
I hope you will update us.
If a person is incompetent most social workers can get a temporary conservatorship for the family member with a call to a judge; then placement can be done.
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Tell the social worker that she has said that your mom is competent to make her own decisions and that means that nobody can be accused of abandonment, because she, according to the hospital, is of sound mind to make her own choices. That doesn't obligate you or your sister to prop up those choices.

I would tell them to stop threatening you or stop calling, because they are responsible to ensure that she has a safe discharge, that is what they get paid for.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Hang in there Otherwise, DO NOT pick her up. You are not her legal guardian, you cannot be charged with "abandonment". And you are right in not pursuing guardianship. Stay strong.
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Reply to mstrbill
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My daughter has worked NH/Rehabs for 20 years. She says in the two states she has worked, hospitals can discharge unsafely. NHs/rehabs can't if the person has been evaluated for 24/7 care.

Good thing you have a lawyer. Doctor will need to find a reason for her to stay. Remember Medicare and her supplimentals make the decision to discharge her too. Has she been in over 3 days, if yes maybe you can have her sent to rehab. Have her evaluated for 24/7 care. If its found she needs it, then get her into LTC with Medicaid paying if she has no money. This is the time to get her the help she and you need.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Will social workers say to mom "you have been abandoned"?

I am so sick.
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Reply to Otherwise
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I have left voice-mail for doctor and msg with lawyers secretary.
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Reply to Otherwise
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Praying here! Stand your ground. Good for you and your sister for acting in your mother’s best interest.

Let us know how you’re doing.
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Reply to cxmoody
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I’m backing you up too. Do you have confidence in your/her current lawyer? Can you consult as to how you can proceed to protect yourself and your sister?
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Reply to AnnReid
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Hang tough, Otherwise. Just keep saying no.

Tell them to give the information about hiring sitters to your mother, since she is competent and able to be released.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Do not give in and take her back home!
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Reply to CTTN55
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I sympathize with you.  Hospital discharge planners/social workers can be somewhat belligerent and very pushy once a decision has been made to discharge someone.

Congratulations on standing your ground.   In some situations, they really don't grasp the reality of the issues and resort to inappropriate "suggestions" like applying for guardianship, as if that has any relation to the immediate discharge.

Right now I don't have any suggestions for you other than to rely on your own resources, document everything, and if necessary, contact the Administrator to register dissatisfaction, if not a complaint.

W/o defending their action, there also may be a pressing issue for them:  they need the bed for someone else, especially if Covid cases are increasing in their area.
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