Without any disruptive behavior and no warning, she was sent to a psych unit in a hospital for aggression. When she got there, the psychiatrist on duty said she didn’t need psychiatric care or hospitalization. He said she needed to be in a memory care unit, right where she started. He sent her back to the nursing home.
Rosie returned to the nursing facility for a couple of days before they found another way to get rid of her. This time they had their nursing home on-staff doctor admit her to a different hospital instead of sending her to the ER to ensure she wouldn’t be sent back immediately like before. Just a day later, a nursing home administrator called her spouse and said they would not have her back at the nursing home. Her clothes could be picked up at the front desk.
Rosie was left without a place to call home. Rosie is not alone. The psychiatrist at the first hospital told me they were getting more and more people sent to them from nursing facilities because the nursing homes are trying to rid themselves of people who require a lot of supervision.
This is unacceptable. People should be able to return to their residence after treatment; treatment should not be the ticket to discharge. Even if Rosie needed to be treated in the psych unit, presumably she would be treated and her behavior improved. Then she should be able to return to the residence she had been living in, that she had gotten accustomed to.
What did I learn here? Memory care is not the same everywhere. When choosing memory care, look at the residents to understand the scope the facility will care for. Are all of the residents sitting in the activity room watching tv, and none doing other things? Ask how many staff members there are to residents. What is the night staffing? Compare that with other facilities. Are they in it for the long run, or will they dump you when things get tough?