The world can feel like a confusing, tangled mess when a loved one has dementia and needs to be discharged from a hospital with a major care plan in place. There are so many options, and hospital staff are in a huge hurry the minute the doctor signs the order clearing the patient for discharge. Staff speak in “shorthand,” using code words or acronyms that the patient’s family may not understand. Staff may try to impose obligations on family members who either aren’t obligated or simply aren’t capable of taking that responsibility. The family member may be expected to make decisions in a vacuum.
Here’s an example. Mother was in the hospital and was cleared for discharge. She was incapacitated and nursing home care was definitely required. A guardianship action needed to be filed because she was incapacitated and had no power of attorney who could act for her. She was apparently broke, and would need to be eligible for Medicaid in order to be admitted to a nursing home, because the facility needs to know how the bill will be paid. The hospital could not make a safe discharge until she was approved for Medicaid. To be eligible for Medicaid, an application has to be filed with a load of documentation. The children didn’t have access to that documentation. The children didn’t understand why the mother couldn’t be discharged, and the hospital was frustrated by its inability to make a discharge. This is a common situation.
If the concerned family member meets with us, we can explain what the issues are and help develop a strategy to solve those problems. We untangle the confusing situation and provide the hands-on assistance and guidance needed at each step of the process.
If your friends or family are contending with issues like this, as them ““Have you Talked to an Elder Law Attorney yet?”
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