How can I convince my mother's doctor to keep her out of a rehab facility?

4 answers | Last updated: Nov 27, 2016
Rendezvous 04 asked...

What can I do or say to my mother's doctor, who wants to release her from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility? This is the second time around. The first visit was a disaster and Mother came out sicker than when she went in. Mother had a fall and cannot walk or feed herself.

Expert Answers

This is a little hard to answer without having more details, but a few things come to mind. Have you tried an honest and direct talk with your mom's doctor, expressing your observations about her prior experience in rehab? Are there other family members who can join you at this talk, offering their support? Your mom's doctor will need medically viable alternatives to a rehabilitation facility, such as adequate in-home care, or a different facility or nursing home. Maybe you can do some research for places where you think your mom might have a more positive experience, and offer these as options. You should include your mom in these discussions as much as possible. Legally, the decision is hers and the doctor must honor her wishes. If you, your mom (and any other involved family members) present her doctor with a reasonable option to the rehabilitation experience she had before, one that makes medical sense, the doctor should take it seriously. This should include staying at home, with necessary care.

One more thing: You don't say if medical insurance is playing a role in the doctor's decisions, but he may be limited to certain rehabilitation facilities by your mom's medical plan. It's also possible her health coverage won't fund in-home care. It will be helpful for you to know these things as you look for alternatives. If, for example, your mom's medical coverage won't pay for in-home care, can the family pay for this? (In some states, Medicare allows family members to be paid in-home care providers.) As for the choice of rehabilitation facilities, some insurance plans have wiggle room with this, but you may need to push for your preference.

By the way, give yourself a big pat on the back for advocating for your mom during this time of her life.

Community Answers

Kbeech answered...

When you say rehab do you mean acute rehab hospital or skilled nursing facility (insurance code for nursing home)? If you mean nursing home, I don't blame you. They can't do very much rehab and most of the people working there have just general geriatric experience.

I would go with the suggestion that you look into what insurance pays for home care. Some states, like Connecticut, have programs to keep people in their homes and help pay for many different types of care. I have faced situations like this many times but it has been trying to keep my mother in acute rehab hospitals or get her into one rather than having her put in a nursing home. It is all about money. Doctors will only fight to a certain point, they seem to be very skittish about going beyond providing information they include in the medical record. What I have learned is that the hospitals need the cooperation of the insurance companies so they don't want doctors to make too many waves. Getting care for anything long term is so incredibly difficult. It is disgusting actually. If someone doesn't get better at the rate the insurance company thinks they should, they are deemed to be untreatable. Educate yourself about your Mother's insurance and see if that is what is fueling the move to rehab. Good luck!!

My2cents answered...

Not sure how old this discussion is, but stumbled across it today.

I'm no medical professional, just a daughter of parent(s) who have had alot of hospital/rehab experience. First off: don't let a bad experience with a rehab facility scare you away from the idea. There is a world of difference from one to another. Last year, my mother was in and out of the hospital and rehabs for about 5 months. Thankfully she ended up at a wonderful rehab hospital and was able to come home and improve to a point of walking daily and riding exercise bike, etc. (after previous rehab hospitals had obviously written her off as end-stage).

HOWEVER, that being said..along the journey, she/we had first hand experience with just how really BAD it can be in some places. She was in one facility where the staff was obviously overworked/stressed and it affected their effectiveness with their patients. We saw people leave there almost daily to go to their own funerals. A MAJOR screw-up in my mother's meds almost had her heading that way too. Fortunately, we saw what was happening and fought for her. She went back to the hospital, got the meds straightened out, then went to a WONDERFUL rehab hospital where her life and quality of life was saved.

Long story, but this is basically it. It's time consuming and not always easy, but do your research and stay ontop of things (always make sure in a move to anywhere that the med list is consistent). It's worth it when you can get your loved one into a place that actually helps!

Hope things work out for you.

Rendezvous 04 answered...

Thanks for your input. Sounds like you had the same issues I was having with The rehab/nursing homes. Glad your Mother had you to advocate for her. I could write a book on all the horrors Mother and I had to deal with over the last 4 years just from these type of places. Now the doctors are a whole new book. It's all in the past now and Mother is home with me and doing fine, considering all she went through. Since the first of the year, I put into place a new Doctor, new Hospital,new home Health Nurse,and new insurance. Everyone that comes into our home now, are so caring and Mother loves all the attention.