Here is an email I sent to my friend’s father-in-law, who works in the elder care industry and who had been offering me some advice.
From: Gagne, David
Subject: Re: Questions for Monday
Sent: March 2, 2012 3:41 AM ET
Thank you so, so much. I cannot possibly describe to you how grateful I am for all of the support your family has given me thus far.
Thank you so much for the contact information. I guess my first question is, “Why do I need to get a lawyer?” As far as I know we are not planning on pursuing legal action against anyone, so is the primary reason simply so that I can get someone to grant me Power of Attorney so I can sign documents on my mother’s behalf? Or is there something that I should be doing (or should have done, or will need to do) beyond that which requires a lawyer?
Unfortunately we still — even after three months of her being continuously under the care of a single physician — do not have any diagnosis except “dementia”. Whether that means she has a mental health diagnosis or a dementia diagnosis is unknown to me.
We also learned unequivocally on Wednesday that my mother does NOT qualify for Medicaid. She has approximately $10,000 in a state of Florida pension fund accrued while she was the north central Florida manager for Clinton’s Americorps program. She can’t access that money (without incurring absurd penalties) for at least another two years, but that’s irrelevant to Medicaid. As far as they’re concerned she has “significant assets” which preclude her from receiving Medicaid.
I am going to have a conference call in five hours (at 8:30AM ET, Friday, March 2, 2012) with the doctor, the social worker assigned to her case, a nurse (for some reason), and my sister. I think it’s pretty inconsiderate that they have scheduled this meeting for what will be 5:30AM for me, but I have yet to experience anything close to compassion from any of them yet, so I shouldn’t be surprised. The alleged purpose of this call is for Dr. Caliendo to officially tell me that it is time for mom to “move out” of Halifax Psychiatric Center.
Just this afternoon (Thursday) one of the social workers there told me that my mother has been considered stable enough to leave that facility for several weeks now, but they (improperly, incorrectly, inconceivably) only casually and unofficially mentioned this to my sister and never informed me of this fact. So apparently they have been anxiously waiting for me or my sister to tell them what our plan is while I have been anxiously waiting for them to let me know that my mother can be moved. It is just another example of how insultingly inefficient everyone there seems to be, and how little regard they seem to have for the fact that I am the court-appointed guardian advocate. They made me complete a written test all about my responsibilities as her guardian advocate and send it to them via postal mail, and yet they continually disregard most of the stated primary tenets of the guardian advocacy program.
My plan is to tell them that I only just learned yesterday that they officially consider my mom a candidate for discharge and that with that knowledge I am now free to find her a suitable facility as quickly as possible.
As always I will take copious notes during the call tomorrow and I will email a summary to everyone as soon as I can. And then immediately following the meeting I will attempt to contact the resources you included in your message.
Thank you again,
Sincerely and from the bottom of my heart,
David Vincent Gagne