This is an article about some of the ways that some nursing homes and rehab and care centers handle paperwork, contracts, and admission agreements with residents, patients and families:
There are some nursing homes in the state that will have over-lengthy admissions agreements, some of them are thirty and forty pages long. And with some of the unscrupulous ones, they will wait until after the families have left to get the residents alone. And only when they alone, and usually somehow incapacitated or in no condition to read and sign long twenty and thirty page agreement documents, and they will have them sign a few papers. They do not permit nor give time to the resident to read or understand what the resident is signing, and when they finally realize what they signed, it seems to be too late for the resident. You can be in this posiition if you are unaware of how these places operate. There are ways that you can try and protect yourself from this incorrect paperwork and protect yourself from signing papers that you do not understand and even paperwork that you never even had in your hand, or know what the papers say. Some experiences are totally horrible and unbelieveable beyond description. How horrible?Remember The Snake Pit ? You probably can not even imagine how horrible.
Trust your gut instinct and never sign anything without family members present and without your family members reading, ahead of time, those documents that need to be signedProtect yourself to the best of your ability by using these ideas, and also consult with a lawyer for legal advice for all paperwork and procedures:
- Before you or anyone is admitted into hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation and care centers, have all your legal paperwork signed. For example, even before you ever get ill or need hospitalization, you need to have your living wills, wills, power-of-attorneys, health proxies, all taken care of, read, signed, witnessed and processed so that you cannot be pressured by any
nursinghome, or hospital or other facilitiy in to designating the hospital or facility to be in charge of all of your finances. Yes, some facilities have contracts drawn up like that and they call these contracts, admissions forms or addmissions applications. So many residents have no idea of what they are signing. They think they are signing a routine admission application, ie. with name, address and health insurance information on it , and in essence they are really signing all their finances and their financial, health and social power over to these facilities.
- Let all the hospitals, medical centers and especially
nursinghomes and rehabilitation centers know, ahead of time, that the patient, resident, or anyone in charge of signing for anything at that place, will sign ONLY when the other family member be present to witness the signing and to read and or explain any lengthy documents to the resident or patient.
- When dealing with unscrupulous faciliites or with those that have bad reputations and track records, put your wishes and demands in
writing. In other words, issue a letter signed by all necessary parties, stating that the resident, patient or family will not sign any papers, contracts or forms without having another family member present and name that family member in the written document. The patient or resident should sign the document and make sure that the persons at the facility have this document that states clearly that the resident or patient will not sign any forms, documents or appications at all unless the family member is present.
- If you think that you are dealing with an unscrupulous or problematic facility, consider contacting the Administrator and the Ombudsman, and if need be, in more serious cases, the Attorney General of your state.
- By being prepared ahead of time, you can possibly, that is possibly, prevent a medical, social or financial nightmare from happening to your own family. But you must be prepared ahead of time totally, or what happened to hundreds of others, can and might happen to you.
Remember this, that when employees approach you with routine admission documents, they are approaching you with, they are holding documents that are considered legally, binding contracts. So you should not just blindly sign these contracts. When you do that and you have no clue what you are signing, most likely you are signing your own social, medical, financial, and other parts of your life over to them. You are relinquishing your rights to your own pensions, disabilities checks, paychecks, savings and checking accounts and any other assets. Read the small print, and if you are not sure of what you are being asked to sign, then do not sign it. Consult with a lawyer if you feel that you are being taken advantage of by any facility, medical center or
Other means of legal recourse that you have , some not legal, are to contact:
1. Ombudsman, find out the telephone number through the telephone operator.
2. Department of Health, look them up on the net
3. Contact your own lawyer.
4. If you cannot afford a lawyer, look up those announcements for Paid Legal
5. Attorney General, if you feel that you have been forced, pressured or coerced into signing papers that you did not want to sign or that you obviously did not understand, you might have some recourse by contacting the Attorney General of your state. Please pass this information on to everyone that you know. If you honestly feel like any rehabilitation and care center is trying to steer you in the wrong direction or make you sign papers against your will or make you sign papers that you do not agree to or have no knowledge of what is contained within those papers, you might consider contacting the Attorney General in your own state. There is no fee and no charge for contacting the Attorney General. You can send a letter and ask your questions that way or you can contact them online though the state’s website.
BEST way to protect yourself and others, besides the above ways:
Writean article, story, book about your own experiences.
- Spreading the word so that everyone knows what is happening is one of the ways you can help your family. Remember that these
nursinghomes and rehab and care centers will be the same ones that your children, and grandchildren might have to deal with in the future for themselves, so by spreading the word you are educating them and educating everyone who comes behind them.
- Whenever necessary, make proper complaints, in
- Complaining in writing is the best way to make your complaints if you feel that you have been hoodwinked. If you are made to sign papers against your will or if you are made to sign papers and you do not know what is written inside of those papers, you need to tell someone immediately. Do not assume that all of the papers are for your benefit. In fact, the opposite is usually true. When a facility brings a stack of papers to you that is so lengthy that you have no time or ability to read everything in there, most likely, these papers, every single one of them is to protect the facility and to get more money for that facility. So, beware of those stacks of papers. Do not be like friends of ours, who were hoodwinked. You be prepared and you be alert.
- Press the button up there where it says copy this article and legally post the article in as many places, websites and bulletin boards that you can post it in. Please follow the strict guidelines of Ezine. You can copy this and post if for free; there is no fee for the copying IF you do it according to the guidelines. I.E. some of the guidelines state that you cannot change the wording and that you must leave the websites links and author links in the copy when reposting.