Community Services and Long-Term Care: Issues of Negligence and Liability. IV. COMPETENCY, LEGAL INTERVENTIONS, AND CASE EXAMPLES ILLUSTRATING ISSUES


Case managers may have caseloads that include elderly individuals who exhibit varying degrees of mental acuity. Some will have been found to be incompetent and will have a court appointed guardian. Since such individuals have been stripped of most rights and are unable to enter into agreements or contracts, the case manager will have to deal with the individual’s guardian in all matters relating to assessment, care planning and other case management protocols. At the other extreme are clients who are fully cognizant of all around them and in full control of their living situations. There are gradations between these two extremes. For example, an elderly client may be mentally alert one day and the following day not remember the case manager, the care plan, or that a home health aide would be coming into the home to help with personal care. A client who was mentally alert when he or she first became a channeling client may, over the course of time, become mentally impaired.

This section has been included because of the probability that case managers will have to deal with issues of competency in the course of the channeling program. The first half of this section defines and discusses relevant terms. The second half presents case examples and responses illustrating legal issues.

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