Six Years Later Family Care Residents US Mail is still diverted by management of family care homes : Plus ça Change, Plus C'est la Même Chose
There was no resolution of that matter six years ago. Six years ago, I advised DSS Buncombe and Department of Health Service Regulation (DHSR) representatives which oversees family care homes in NC as per the formal face to face meeting at DSS Buncombe that if the manager of that home badgered me during the meeting on March 16, 2009, I would walk out of the room. I was badgered and hollered at by that manager of the family care home six years ago and so I got up and left.
I imagine this will again occur even though this is a NC statute is state law:
10A NCAC 13G .0906 OTHER resident SERVICES
(1) Residents shall receive their mail promptly and it must be unopened unless there is a written, witnessed request authorizing management staff to open and read mail to the resident. This request must be recorded on Form DSS‑1865, the Resident Register or the equivalent;
Here was the letter I received from DSS Buncombe after that first investigation:
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
WNC (Family Care) Homes: DSS Buncombe finds rule violation as re: mental health client re: opening of private mail
Letter from Buncombe County DSS, April 3, 2009:
"Dear Dr. Hammond:
This letter is being written in response to your complaint received on 3.24.09 regarding WNC FCH #7. All of the allegations were thoroughly reviewed at the time of the investigation. Rule violation(s) were found and DSS will be monitoring these areas. Should you have any questions about the investigation, please contact me at 775 2956, Sincerely, Marsha Cox, Adult Homes Specialist."
So, here we go again: I am filing yet another DHSR complaint about exactly the same matter: the lack of privacy associated with sending a US Mail letter (this time it was certified in order to see who would sign on the other end: the manager of the former client's family care home----not the client's guardian----signed the certified return receipt----with it returning to me 5 days later than the US Mail indicated it would). I know: I tracked the letter.
My, how that family care home manager must have sat and wondered what to do. But probably not. They pretty much do whatever they want to do. Family care home residents have no rights. They do not receive appropriate medical care (a complaint I bought up to the client's guardians; they simply stated that the family care home was 'getting an appointment.'). I had already reported drug diversion of narcotics and Vistaril prescribed to the client to Cathy Beatty of DSS Buncombe who advised me that Chase Samaritan is investigated several times/ week.
It is unethical as a psychologist to allow even a former client's rights to be completely obliterated. I say "former" as the manager of the home Chase Samaritan, in Asheville, NC, Annette Jones, the signer of the certified US Mail addressed specifically to the client and the client's room, advised me the last time I saw the client that I could not come back on the property. I did not argue with her. For, client's have no rights as regards family care homes and their own health care.
Ms. Jones had apparently consulted with a Polk County DSS worker who organized the removal of this client's own guardianship. For, that Polk County DSS worker called me a day before I saw the client for the last time---at the request of the client-----angrily and demeaningly speaking to me as to whether I had absconded with the former client's Social Security checks as the former client had opted to have the SSDI checks sent to my residence as I already knew of instances of mail diversion by family care home administrators. I suggested to her that she was welcome to subpoena my banking accounts as the client was exclusively in charge of how the money was spent and where it was.
It was the client's money, a check issued in the client's name, and I knew of a history of diversion of mail by family care home managers. The client indicated that: (1) personal belongings from the farm which was owned by the client in Polk County were at an undisclosed location, a troubling matter as the recently deceased father of the client had been reportedly paying the bill for the storage of antiques, clothes, and jewelry.
The client stated many times to me: "What does the state of NC want from me? They have taken everything." The Polk county DSS worker wanted to know if the client had received any inheritance money, and I advised her that the client and I had attempted to contact the clerk of the court of the client's father without obtaining any information Indeed: the client has no privacy and no rights. Any question can be asked and answers demanded by aggressive and rude people who use their authority to attempt to subjugate others.
SSDI checks coming through the US Mail are clearly marked with the US Treasury return address and would be believed to be checks by any US citizen. I assumed the family care home would take the client's money without the permission of the client and that they would do such was borne out by the taking of the certified return mail by the Chase Samaritan manager, Annette Jones.
The guardians had every right and justification to ask the client about monies received. I, as the psychologist, was not the money manager in any way. There was a signed consent allowing me to speak to the local guardians. I did many times regarding concerns associated with the lack of health care of the client. The guardians never asked me about financial matters. But I felt very strongly and justifiably that family care home managers would readily and easily divert money.
Moreover, when the client offered, as per the client's testimony to me when the client called me on my cell phone upon realizing I had been dismissed from the property, to pay the balance of what was owed to the family care home, the client was advised that the family care home would not accept the money except if the client got into the car of a Buncombe DSS worker, something the client explained as not acceptable, assumably as the client did not trust DSS Buncombe workers. For, you see, the local guardian had already searched the client's belongings---with the client's 'permission', of course.