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 Mom's been arrested 
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 7:57 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Capital Region, NY
Post Mom's been arrested
My mom (advanced LBD) was arrested last week because she grabbed the throat of a nurse at her MC facility and gripped hard enough to leave marks. It was one-handed; she did not choke her. (My mom is 5'2" and 105 pounds max.) The facility says policy is to call the police (really??), who then transferred my largely incoherent, wheelchair-bound Mom to the local hospital, escorted by a cop, and then to a respected geriatric psychiatric hospital 40 minutes away. She's been there for three days and not doing well. Barely eating, largely unresponsive, very confused and scared. Commence more messing around with her medication. That's always "the answer" isn't it?

My dad was informed that he has no power of attorney in this matter. Today at 4pm, he received a call from the county, informing him that my mom's first (of two) court appearance is tomorrow at 1pm (astoundingly short notice), the county has assigned an attorney, and they'll be retrieving her to appear in front of a judge. He can attend, but likely won't have an opportunity to speak.

I'm sorry, but WTF?! How can they do this to someone in an advanced stage of dementia?? Why can't someone simply visit her, determine she's incapable of participating and handle it from there? I'm outraged at how this is being handled. This is the State of Wisconsin, BTW.

The MC facility has not specified the conditions under which they'll allow my mom to return. My dad is extremely upset over everything, and concerned they'll kick her out with little advance notice.

Does anyone have experience with such a situation?

_________________
My beloved Mom, Christina, passed away on April 19, 2011. She was my best friend, 64 years young and had LBD. Her beautiful spirit lives on in her first grandchild, our daughter, who was born just two months later.


Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:06 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
What an awful experience for your mom and for all of you! My husband was kicked out of a SNF a little over two years ago and didn't actually assault anyone but exhibited 'aggressive behavior' and made threats. I kept him home for the past two years. He's probably too debilitated now to hurt anyone but I've always wondered if a person or family could be sued by the staff member or the facility in case of assault by a patient. Good grief, these people are, after all, not well! Yes, they are sometimes violent. Sometimes they do have to be kept in a locked environment in order to work out their medications and, yes...medications are always the answer, I'm afraid. Trouble is, they are often given the wrong medications, worsening their condition. Happened to my husband.

What is a 'MC' facility? I think terminology varies from region to region. Is your mother's physician allowed to testify???

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:20 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
I have never heard of such a bad situation. I have heard of people with dementia being arrested but usually this is resolved with a doctor's letter.

Another person several years ago posted here about her parent's death at the hands of a care facility. I think that was in Wisconsin too. (On the border??)

Perhaps your father can find an elder law attorney who can advise him? You can find elder law attorneys at the NAELA directory (naela.org).


Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:23 pm
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 7:57 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Capital Region, NY
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
Thank you for your quick responses. MC = memory care/advanced care. This place supposedly specializes in dementia. The psychiatric unit (another facility) is very well respected, and we considered admitting Mom for an assessment over the summer but they only admit people who have had something serious happen. This apparently qualifies.

This is all happening in Rock County, on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois.

I suggested that my dad speak with an attorney first thing tomorrow, and he balked. He is so afraid of appearing as though he's "going after" the memory care facility (and that they'll kick Mom out as a result). I'm calling him tomorrow to insist he speaks with an attorney before the hearing. Also might call the local Alzheimer's Assn chapter, as they may have heard this scenario playing out locally before.

I'll let you know what happens. I can't tell you how absolutely horrible it is to be a half-country away at times like this.

_________________
My beloved Mom, Christina, passed away on April 19, 2011. She was my best friend, 64 years young and had LBD. Her beautiful spirit lives on in her first grandchild, our daughter, who was born just two months later.


Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:33 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
I share your outrage. I am horrified.

My husband's bipolar son died in prison almost two years ago. He was there because he failed to take his bipolar medicine and had an episode. It was not the first time he had been arrested but it was the most serious. It should never have happened. I know the pain you must be feeling.

My heart goes out to you and your family. I will be thinking of you tomorrow.

_________________
Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Last edited by Leone on Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:35 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
I'd also add that the chances are slim to none that the MC facility will allow her back in. Hope I'm wrong, as placement can be very difficult. A friend of mine had to finally place her husband in a facility 250 miles from home after he was evicted from three other facilities.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:45 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
Yes, I agree that there's no danger of your father's behavior/actions getting your mother kicked out of the facility. That train has left the station.


Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:23 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
As if we didn't have enough heartache, the facility should have another way to handle this, unbelievable.

_________________
Gerry 67, cared for Frank 71, married 49 yrs; dx 2004, passed away October 26, 2011.


Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:20 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
This is certainly not the first time I have heard of this type of situation, but I will say 3 court appearances is a bit much ! Yes an Elder Attorney is in order and most importantly a letter from her Physician, I can't understand how this type of thing goes on as these are people already in a facility, without a doubt she will be going to another facility.

I would have to think what provoked this situation to begin with , I am sure you will never know unless you were standing right there !

Good Luck on this and keep us posted on this situation!

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Irene Selak


Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:30 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:30 pm
Posts: 976
Location: Henderson, Nv.
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
Amazing! This type of situation literally makes my blood boil. I have not been online in some time but dropped in today only to see this horrifying topic...same thing happened to my Mother in Oshkosh, Wi. You must report this to the Dept. on Aging. I wrote a letter to the Atty. Generals Office in Wi. A very nice young woman called back and said I had to initiate the investigation by sending a letter in writing to the above...then they can get involved with an investigation. While this was happening in Wi. I could not leave here as my LO was in the process of his final stage. My sister in Wi. was no help to my mother as she never initiated anything regarding it and Mother eventually passed away in that county home. I believe it...and its only my personal opinion..to be a nursing home farce. They take everything the person has up front...after that runs low they say a nurse has been assaulted...they call the police and they are carted off to the county home. My dear Mother was 90 and after that happened she just gave up on living and died at 93. To this day it haunts me. On top of that, 2 days prior to Mothers death she was found with a black and blue face, broken nose...they said she fell out of the wheel chair. I don't believe that for a minute. The doctor did not state on the death certificate there were "other signs/marks on the body." This is why I am having the facility and the doctor looked into. It haunts me to this day and is one reason I went for therapy in addition to the grief counseling. Please don't be complacent about this...lets not let these things happen to our elderly. My heart goes out to you and your Mother. Best of luck to you.
Dianne

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Dianne C.


Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:17 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
Quote:
I would have to think what provoked this situation to begin with
Alas, with Lewy, there may have been no provocation. Obviously, a dementia facility should be equipped to handle such outbursts but I can testify from my own experience that assaults can and do happen without provocation, especially if the person is delusional. Lewy can be a very unpredictable disease.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:45 am
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: Mom's been arrested - without provocation....
There were a number of times when my mother (died at 104 in Sept.) would tell us that her caregivers hit her. We saw no evidence and when asked 'Where?,' Mother would point to her head.

I have no doubt that what frequently goes on in 'homes' would make most of us horrified. That's one reason I want to keep Dale with me as long as I possibly can. There are times when he infuriates me with his unreasonable behavior ... but I would never hit him. I'm not so sure about the response of others.

If your Mom did grab the thoat of a nurse, she may have been doing it in response to justified provocation. Sadly, we will never know the whole story.

_________________
Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:58 am
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 7:57 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Capital Region, NY
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
Thanks again everyone. To be clear, I am fully confident that Mom's reaction was not provoked. The staff at her facility is wonderful and very caring. Our family is there A LOT, we've gotten to know the staff very well, and seen them handle a variety of circumstances. The nurse involved in this incident is our and Mom's "favorite," and feels horrible about what' happened. So, abuse on the part of the facility is not even an issue in our minds.

I've learned a lot in the past few hours, and soon will learn more (have attorney friends helping research). But, the bottom line is that Wisconsin does not recognize dementia as a state of impairment. Legislation -- as well as tort reform -- is in development to address it. You better believe I'll be sharing our story, Dianne C. I work on policy for a living, and have already actively lobbied on dementia issues.

Do other states recognize dementia as a state of impairment? I'm curious.

The lack of recognition of dementia has become a major legal issue in Wisconsin in recent years. I'm told facilities likely default to calling the police to get the incident on record and help absolve themselves from liability exposure. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel just had a story describing the situation on December 9, 2010 - http://www.jsonline.com/features/health/111504319.html.

It's my understanding that Mom is currently a ward of the state. She's been assigned a State Public Defender. The case is in civil, not criminal, court. But, we have yet to learn if/when her custody will be returned to my dad. I'm told the issue is that she has never been declared legally incompetent, so his power of attorney means nothing in this situation.

I'm told the main thing that will come out of today's hearing is that the court will grant the psychiatric facility the authority to change Mom's medications. I assume this could not be handled with a physician's note, as in other states, because Wisconsin does not recognize dementia as a state of impairment. What a tangled web.

Will keep you all posted. Thank you so much for your care and concern.

_________________
My beloved Mom, Christina, passed away on April 19, 2011. She was my best friend, 64 years young and had LBD. Her beautiful spirit lives on in her first grandchild, our daughter, who was born just two months later.


Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:42 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3317
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
I am so sorry for all of you. What a horrible situation! When we can find the time to do so, we should work with our legislators to get new laws/guidelines passed if this is the situation where we live.
I hope you have a good attorney and good medical people behind you, laws or no laws. You have nothing to lose at this point, and as far as the facility goes, I too would be surprised if they let her come back. Finding a place in another state is probably a good idea, especially if she and your dad are close to another state. Best of luck, Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:44 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Mom's been arrested
freeflowing wrote:
Wisconsin does not recognize dementia as a state of impairment. What a tangled web.
WHAT?! How crazy is that?

I'll admit that I don't know Minnesota's laws. That just seems like such a no-brainer that I've never checked into it.

Perhaps MCI or very early stages of some dementias should not automatically make someone incompetent in the legal sense. But surely someone advanced enough to be in a SNF is impaired!! And if she isn't impaired, how come she is a ward of the state?

Thank you for taking the time to share this with us.

_________________
Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:46 pm
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