I've decided that, instead of writing a full book about my experiences (good & bad) in nursing homes, I will start to blog about the bad ones.  I welcome your comments. 

First one will be posted this weekend.  Please note that I'm going to try my hardest to stick to the truth, although I will have to change identifying info in order to ensure I don't get the crap sued out of me.  Unfortunately, we are talking about huge corporations with deep pockets. If only they'd spend more time and money caring for their patients instead of trying to protect themselves, the world would be a better place.  Until this weekend! 
You have every right to discharge from a nursing home when you are ready to leave.  The doctor can't make you stay, your insurance can't make you stay - no one can make you stay there if you don't want to.  It doesn't matter if you have just arrived there or if you've been a resident of the nursing home for months - you have the right to leave.  Ask the social worker to call the Local Contact Agency for assistance.  This is an agency that the nursing home is federally mandated to call if you or your family member asks.

If you or your family member has difficulty becoming discharged, call the Ombudsman, the State Regulatory agency (a full listing is located in the Nursing Home Survival Guide, and the number of the agency is posted in a public area of the nursing home), or even feel free to call an attorney.  The nursing home can't legally block you from leaving nor can they threaten or attempt to intimidate you.

The worst thing that can happen is that the doctor will refuse to help you leave, and you'll have to go to your primary physician for prescriptions or in-home care.  If the nursing home refuses to allow you to leave, call the doctor in charge of your care on your own.  He might not even know you want to leave - and once you explain the situation to him, he'll probably help you with the discharge.