By Jack Halpern, Founder and CEO, My Elder
A horrible situation which, with the help of My Elder’s nursing home crisis intervention service, had a positive ending.
John was admitted to Slippery Rock Nursing Home (Slippery Rock is a name I use to describe the worst of the worst) in the Bronx after he fell in his rent-controlled apartment. Little did John know on that day (11 months ago) that he would never return to that apartment. Little did he know that his son in Sacramento would ultimately conspire with administration officials at Slippery Rock to imprison him at this hellhole facility. Thank God for his nephew who contacted us as soon as he realized what was happening.
Here’s the background to the story. After John’s recuperation at the hospital he was placed on rehabilitation status and sent to Slippery Rock. Slippery Rock loved John. He presented the perfect opportunity to fill a long-term care bed with a resident who should have returned to his apartment after a short stay.
John was confused and disoriented when he arrived at the nursing home. This often happens to elderly who fall and go through a hospital stay. Slippery Rock used this confusion to have him declared a dementia resident and placed him in a dementia unit.
After speaking to John’s son, the facility saw their opportunity to do their dirty deed. John’s son Peter made it clear that he did not wish for his dad to return home. Peter had a plan. Since Slippery Rock had John declared incompetent due to dementia, Peter was able to clear out his dad’s bank account and have his social security and pension check transferred to him. He then changed the locks on John’s rent controlled apartment. He continued paying for the apartment from John’s pension check and illegally sublet the apartment.
Once Peter took all of John’s funds, the facility filed a Medicaid Application for John based upon the fact that John was now indigent. They receive a daily rate of over $300.00 per day for his care for the rest of his life. The facility was able to accomplish this without ever receiving or even seeing a Power of Attorney signed by John (if, indeed, he ever signed one).
Meanwhile, two months after John’s admission and recovery, he regained his full faculties and exhibited no signs of dementia. He had no financial documents, no bank accounts, no social security checks or pension checks, and no home to go to. When he asked his social worker if he could go home, he was told that his facility psychiatrist had declared that he had dementia and, therefore, could not return home. It was too dangerous for him to be home himself. He told her that he had enough money in the bank to afford a home health care attendant. In the meantime, the Director of Social Services stepped in and had John declared dangerous to himself and others.
The good news is that thanks to our intervention, although John will not be able to recover all that he has lost, he will soon be able to return to his home and live independently with as much help as he needs.
But this horrid facility and others like it must ultimately answer for the abuse of their residents. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) is well aware of the above abuses at this facility, and others owned by this nursing home operator. But DOH chooses to acquiesce rather than regulate.