Help my friend understand assisted living care, in Poland, for his mom
February 24, 2021 11:01 AM   Subscribe

One of my work friends is heading to Poland, this weekend, to try to find a facility that can care for his mother. She just had a brain tumor removed and, currently, the prognosis is grey. Whether she can regain speech or motor skills remain to be seen. He is unsure of many elements regarding how this works but moreover, how this will work in Poland.

My question(s) regarding how this will work in Poland:

Are there any entities, governmental or non-governmental who assist in this?

Are there any legal processes to attain power of attorney, legal guardianship or any other caretaker status?

What kinds of documents will he need to obtain to engage in medical/legal processes?

Are there any type of medical tests regarding her competency that should be done?

Are there any situations, because he lives in the US, and she in Poland that might arise because of dispirit forms of law/understanding of legal processes?

Thanks in advance. If there are questions, I can ask him and get more detail.
posted by zerobyproxy to Human Relations (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This will be very complex and extra complicated by Covid. He should start with the hospital, because I'd be surprised if they kick someone out in that state without a clear destination, especially in current Covid conditions. We do have a national health service, which often complains that when the family won't pick old people from the hospital say, during winter break, their hands are tied.

If the conclusion is that she needs a care home long-term, he should go to the social care unit local to her place of residence (ośrodek pomocy społecznej) - googling that plus town/village name should help. She'll need an official note from her primary care practitioner (lekarz podstawowej opieki zdrowotnej) declaring her in need of 24-7 care, her retirement papers from ZUS, plus official notes from the family and one signed by her or her legal representative. For a subsidised state care home, it can take months. The other option is a private care home placement but I'm not sure if they'll take a patient in need of that much care, assuming she's not capable of movement at all, and I'd be wary of anywhere without a recommendation because he wouldn't be visiting and she can't tell him if she's being abused. Right now, Covid tests are obligatory everywhere, of course.

The legal representation is a whole different problem. Courts are absolutely swamped, and just getting that took 6 months+ before Covid. Plus once you're someone's legal caretaker, you need to fulfill all formalities, including an inventory of her assets for the court, and then annual reports for the court.

I'd actually ask the hospital for hospice care recommendations, because some of the charity hospices can be brilliant, and most of them admit cancer patients based on diagnosis. This would be appropriate for her level of needs, and would require much less in the way of formalities. In my experience as long as the patient obviously needs them, medical professionals agree (same kind of doctor's note) and there isn't any protest from the patient or family, their job is to care for the patient as best as possible. If she recovers, this could be a good stop-gap while waiting for care home and legal representation to be settled.

Our system is absolutely unlike the US, to the very bones of the legal system - Napoleonic, not common law, and terrifyingly bureaucratic. He'll need at minimum a Polish civil lawyer to help navigate it, even if he goes with the hospice option. Not to mention a legal interpreter if his Polish is poor or not up to date.

Also do note there's a semi-lockdown going on. All restaurants are takeout-only, hotels are at 50% capacity (and that can change at any moment, today Warmińsko-Mazurskie region went to full lockdown), and most offices like the ośrodek pomocy społecznej are phone / online / appointment-only. Two-layer or medical masks are obligatory everywhere, face shields are banned, generally we're taking this thing seriously.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 2:48 PM on February 24, 2021 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: @I claim sanctuary--- THANK YOU! I showed your reply to my colleague. He is still forming the realization of what he needs to do and is overwhelmed by the scope. He was very, very appreciative of your counsel. I am going to try to write out an outline of steps for him that incorporate your wisdom. You've lit a path where there was only darkness. Cannot appreciate you enough!!
posted by zerobyproxy at 7:10 AM on February 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

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