After two months in the Albany County jail, a woman with dementia was placed in the Albany County nursing home earlier this week. I have reported on her situation a number of times, noting that she had been arrested for violating a restraining order sought by a local business that found her disruptive. While in jail it was confirmed she has some dementia. When the nursing home placement was found, charges against her were dropped.
Her release came after a placement was found at the nursing home run by Albany County which initially did not accept her. She was also rejected by at least two other nursing homes including one specializing in memory care.
My own view of this case is that the end result should have been achieved at least six weeks earlier by Albany County officials who ended up leaning on the county nursing home to accept her. They should have done that after her test results showed she had dementia. Someone needed to make a decision rather than let her stay in jail.
Her rights were violated by keeping her in jail. Of course, county officials said they couldn’t find a placement but in the end they came under pressure to release her to their nursing home. We advocates for the woman stepped up the pressure. A contact was made to the Albany County Sheriff’s office and it seems his office pressure on to force a decision and get a resolution so that she wasn’t in jail for Christmas as well as Thanksgiving.
This case was an embarrassment and it is essential that it not happen again. A meeting is going to be called to bring together those involved to discuss how to avoid using the jail as a holding place for persons with dementia.