I received this text message earlier this week:
"I want to reassure you that I'm doing everything I can to keep myself healthy. I have asked my sister to come. She will help me with household chores shopping, etc. You also need to know if I get sick I will need to ask you to come get your mom with 24 hours. I don't think this will happen but per state regulations this is the policy. Feel free to stay in touch. And thank you for trusting me to take care of your loved one."
Mom is a resident of an Adult Foster Care home in Michigan - where can I look up information on the 'policy' she refers to?
I live in another state and it would be physically impossible for me to get back to Michigan in 24 hours, much less make arrangements for another place for mom to live in that time frame. I do not have a suitable/safe home for her to live in (stairs up/down and no space). What recourse do I have should this situation develop and she contacts me with this demand????
Since she apparently has no contingency plan for her incapacitation (I have to wonder what she would do if she was incapacitated for any other reason? auto-accident? or fall down the stairs and broke her leg? ) I was not informed of this 'policy' when I moved mom in there two years ago - now with COVID-19 on the horizon and we're all stressed to the max - she announces this 'policy'.
I've reached out to relatives and friends - no one has a clue about what to do or can even offer ideas/suggestions for me. I was told that all respite care in Michigan has officially been closed to newcomers so that's out.
Any ideas/suggestions for me to mentally prepare for the 'what if'?
Mom would be required to quarantine too. Seems like mom would be required by law to stay right where she is.
I would contact whatever agency licenses the facility and ask what the procedures are in this case. I think at this time what is "normally" done is out the window as there are no places for people to go. You do not want to be in the hospital, most facilities that would normally accept someone are on lock down.
Even if I could get back to Michigan within 24 hours and had a home that was suitable to accommodating my mother - then I risk exposing myself and my husband since in the scenario mentioned above the AFC care provider is saying that she's been confirmed as having COVID-19.
I would think the county health department would be the first to be notified if that were the situation as by her being sick, she's already exposed her 5 residents...
I'm 66 and my husband is 74 - so then that would be two more of us at risk by even visiting the home where my mother lives.
What a dire situation... :(
Under more normal times, the residents would likely go to the ER for a break or fall or if place was closing get a needs assessment done by the division of state govt licenses foster care homes. I’d suggest you try to find out what office deals with foster care program or board & care homes ASAP to see what possible help they can be. If its off to ER that ends up happening, family or the discharge planner at the hospital deals with finding new placement. But right now the hospitals are doing whatever they can not to take anyone in and discharging patients ASAP or putting off all nonessential surgery as there is the tsunami of Covid-19 anticipated. Hospitals seem to be planning that US is going to follow the case trajectory of either Italy or Spain and so hospitals will be overwhelmed, just not enough beds
If family doesn’t or cannot come and get an elder from the ER or from a facility that has given notice to vacate, what usually happens is that they become an emergency ward of the state with an interim guardian appointed. The Area Agency on Aging that Glad mentioned should have info on all this. If not, usually this is done in probate court (judges usually have list of vetted guardians at the ready). If AoA not helpful, you might go online to see how emergency guardianships are done & then call the court Monday. The courthouse staff are usually super helpful and good in panic situations.
There's going to be others in this same situation. If moms city actually has local TV station, I’d e-mail one of the reporters ASAP about all this to see if they can do a story next week. Be sure to send couple of fotos of mom attached to the email too.
if mom has the ability to private pay, and her care needs are pretty routine, there will be another facility that will take her. If she’s Medicaid, and you cannot take her in or private pay for her, personally I’d let her become a ward of the state with an appointed guardian as that guardian has lots of legal authority and can get things done you couldn’t do easily even in the best of times. Could be that there’s 3 ladies there all in this situation. Try to reach out to other families to see what they are doing & perhaps all 3 move to the same place in a more remote area of the state. Good luck.