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So my aunt has dementia but always lived independently with care of a CNA. Recently, she spent week in hospital psych dept due to a fall injury she had in her apartment. They evaluated her and suggested best if she is placed her in a 24 hr nursing rehab home due to having balancing and memory issues but she isn't a threat at all and never hurt anyone.
I let them take over the documentation and choosing the best place for her. That was a big mistake and when I went to visit her, the nursing home smelled bad, bad environment, unhygienic, nurses on their phones, rude and ignoring patients.
I tried transferring her to a better facility. But the current facility, she is in is giving us false information to scare us in letting her stay there. They are also taking long just to transfer her medical records to the new facility. Now her record looks bad and I was told that no other facility would accept her especially because she is wearing a bracelet monitor, called 9-1-1, and apparently hit a patient (Which I was never informed of). Only reason she called 9-1-1 was because she felt neglected and no nurse would attend to her needs. So her phone was taken away and was told she broke it; when in fact they just removed the battery.
I don't believe it's true because she never in her life has hit a CNA and other family members. This is first time I hear about this. Also she fell twice and was neglected; and no incident report in her record.
The facility I wanted to transfer her to, can't do much due to her record which I know it's the current facility's fault.
Even the doctor and social worker there doesn't want to sign anything to discharge/transfer to different facility.
This facility does have to worst ratings and been told its hard for patient to leave the facility. I regret placing her in a senior home thinking she would get the best care.
Will I have to hire a lawyer ? Has anyone faced similar issue?

Bracelet monitor?
So this was placed for what reason.... like she’s wandered off and flight risk (so alarm goes off if she passes thru an exit) OR was it required by law enforcement (as she hit or attacked staff or resident so police report filed on her).

If it’s reason #2, unless she has serious amount of $ (mid six figures) to private pay for ltc psych facility, the options are imo flat limited. It’s gonna be a rare NH who will take in a resident with documented psych issues and police file. And quite honestly, if she’s really needing LTC psych facility, the current place may be overjoyed to get her moved out and she becomes your problem to deal with. Unless you truly know what her health care situation is and in detail and is likely to be for the future, I’d tread carefully. Cause once she’s discharged from the facility and you get her, she’s yours. She’s kinda toast on any other place unless she has 300-500k for private pay psych facility for a couple of years.

Im assuming your in the US, if you are not her DPOA and there's no other family who has DPOA for Auntie, the route you will have to take is to file for guardianship for her. No DPOA = no legal standing. You’ll need a guardianship or conservatorship to get this & need an atty who does these as its specialty elder law. You’ll have to front the costs too. But should you be appointed by the courts, those costs can be repaid to you from her assets. Based on what others have posted, 8k -10k to do this. I’d guess 5-10k more as psych expertise is going to need to be done & paid for. And you & anyone in your household needs to have a very good background report as well as your own solid source of income. Like no kids in your household with juvee records, nobody with any credit worthiness issues.

The current facility may have already called in APS to have them filed for her to become a emergency ward of the state. If so, there has been a temporary guardian named by the judge. It’s a probate court record. You should be able to access PC, as it’s open records for items filed and orders signed off on. I’d suggest you go online to courthouse to ferret through PC filings to see if her name is attached to anything. You should be able to pay for an online download of each item of the docket file for a relatively small amount. The psych & health records will be redacted but I’d bet the hospital discharge report will be filed in full. If there’s law enforcement report that case # will be in her docket. The PC research is gonna get done, either you try it on your own and get the downloads or your atty will charge you to have their paralegal run the search via the attorneys access portal to the courthouse.

the hospital discharge report will be pretty important. At a minimum, I’d try to get this in some way either from hospital or a copy from her chart at the NH. Discharge report sometimes can be a Grey area for needing a HIPPA on file as it’s not specific details as to daily entries in her medical chart but more Name, ICD-10 codes, date of discharge and where discharged to. Like 1 short page, that she or someone signed off on receiving. If you can get it, look up the various ICD-10 codes. There could be some scary mental health issues you were unaware of...
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Reply to igloo572
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Okay. Can I just check I've got the timeline straight?

Aunt lives at home with support from CNA.
Falls, is hospitalised - why the psych department?
When did this happen?
You agree to leave discharge to the hospital (normally good idea), they place her in a facility.
This facility is not impressive. They have not got a handle on her notes, you are not impressed with attitude, you are anxious about the care standards all round, and now that you are making efforts to transfer your aunt to a better facility they seem to be leaning on you to leave her where she is - at best they are being obstructive, whether intentionally or just through their incompetence.

When you say, you let them - the hospital - take over the documentation, what documentation was that? Do you have any formal status such as health proxy, HIPAA authorisation, POA, anything like that?

Have you talked to your aunt's home care team about how she was doing prior to the fall?

I did once face a similar situation, when my great aunt was on a rehab ward that was like - I just can't tell you. It was a sick joke. I didn't have any formal authorisation, but I did some research, and a lot of fast talking, and luckily for her my aunt had substantial funds, and I did get her out of there. But no one was actively trying to stop me.

I think you may need to retrace your steps a bit.

#1 Accurate history, leading up to the fall. Talk to the CNAs, go back to the hospital team and whoever handled the discharge, get her records together.
#2 Open mind. The facility does sound substandard, I'm not disagreeing. But unfortunately that doesn't mean that *all* of the deterioration in your aunt's condition is their fault - she is getting older, she may be getting frailer, there may be other things going on.
#3 Needs assessment. Once you've got that together, then you can research and enlist the right facility to help you get her out of this one.

If you don't have any formal status, you may need to get it and it wouldn't hurt to have an experienced, responsibly-minded lawyer's advice. Don't like to ask, but do you or your aunt have money to throw at this?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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