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I made a complaint to my father's home care agency because the nurse who comes to care for his wound does not always wear gloves

New York, NY |

I discovered recently that the home care agency started an investigation against my father for his mental state. Their quality assurance division called the different home care workers who worked with my dad and interviewed them at length on whether they thought he might be senile, mentally fragile or both. Now they have closed his case and I think they did it because he and I complained to them about the nurse not being sanitary about how she does her job. It was one of these home care workers who alerted me to what was going on.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

You haven't asked a question, but if the home care workers have improved the quality of care, I would say you won. If not, then push them harder. They do not want to be the subject of an elder abuse investigation. The fact that questions were asked shows that they took your complaint seriously. One of the solutions that they had available would have been to remove your father from his home and place him in a nursing home, but that would only be done if he needed that level of care due to his mental or physical condition. Since he is still at home, looks like you won that one, too.

Asker

Posted

But are these agencies allowed to initiate a mental health investigation without anything warranting it? He is being cared for for his diabetes and bed sores.

Kelly Scott Davis

Kelly Scott Davis

Posted

Your complaint was basically that he was being subjected to elder abuse. The door was opened. Their job is to look inside.

Posted

I would first need to know whether you are private paying for the home care agency, or whether the agency is working for a Managed Long Term Care provider, which is likely the case if your father is currently on Medicaid. If this was an investigation by an MLTC provider, they likely were trying to determine whether your father could safely stay at his home, or whether his mental condition had deteriorated to the point that he no longer could be safely cared for at home. Had they come to the latter conclusion, they would have denied him further home care services. Fortunately for you, your complaint seemed to have ended their inquiry.

The information contained in this email reply does not establish an attorney client relationship between the questioner and the author of this answer.

Asker

Posted

It is a Medicare approved agency.

Steven David Fleischer

Steven David Fleischer

Posted

If it is in fact a Medicare approved agency, and not a Medicaid approved provider, than I'm not sure why they would have initiated the review of your father's ability to manage at home. Has the nurse been wearing gloves since you made the request? Steve Fleischer Steven D. Fleischer Esq. PLLC 7 Penn Plaza - Suite 810 New York, NY 10001 (212) 760-0990

Posted

You haven't asked a question. In any case, a nurse should be sanitary and a nurse referral to adult protective services is not terribly uncommon in borderline cases.

Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

Posted

Remember that you can always switch to a different MLTC plan or agency for the next month. Also, before your dad starts to slip mentally, he should be sure to do a Power of Attorney and a Health Care Proxy. That way even if he has dementia and cannot manage his own care, his designated person can step in and direct the care at home. If a person has someone to direct care on his/her behalf, the home care agency shouldn't have a problem.

I am admitted to practice in New York. This is legal information, not advice.

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