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Can the Nursing Home Refuse to Allow Me to Talk to My Grandmother?

  • October 5th, 2020
Q
I was my grandmother’s caregiver until she was admitted to a nursing home. Since she entered the nursing home, I have not been able to visit her in person (understandably). But the nursing home staff have refused to update me on her condition, and they will not allow her to talk on the phone when I call the nurses’ station or the main desk. She has also not answered personal phone calls in weeks, leading me to believe they may have confiscated her phone or lost it. She is extremely chatty and it is very out of character for her to not want to talk daily. Is this legal? Should I seek advice? I miss her dearly.
A

While the coronavirus pandemic has curtailed access to residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, it should not prevent any contact. Legally, your grandmother should have the right to determine who she contacts and communicates with. If she is not competent to make that determination, then it’s up to her agents under her durable power of attorney and health care directive. Either way, if the facility is denying access, you should take action. I’d start by seeing if there’s an ombudsman who might intervene. To locate an ombudsman, go here: https://theconsumervoice.org/get_help. To learn more about ombudsmen, click here.

 

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Last Modified: 10/05/2020

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