Can I use the Baker Act to treat someone with Alzheimer’s?
Hello, everyone! It’s Mark, and welcome to another edition of our video newsletter. In this video, I want to talk to you about the Baker Act and using it as a tool to help somebody with Alzheimer’s.
I had a grandmother who passed away with Alzheimer’s. It’s a terrible disease, and it’s horrible to watch somebody going through it. Last week, I had a call from somebody who said, “My significant other has Alzheimer’s, and I want to Baker Act him.” I asked her why she wanted him baker-acted. She told me that it was because he needed help. This is what I told her, “I’m very familiar with Alzheimer’s, I’ve seen it firsthand, and I know what it can do to a person. I’m sorry that you’re going through this. Watching your loved one go through this is horrible, but the baker act is not a treatment statute. It is designed only for emergency stabilization.”
If you’re in a crisis situation and your loved one needs emergency help, you should definitely call 911 and ask for help. But if you’re going to use the Baker Act statute to get somebody treatment, especially somebody with Alzheimer’s, they are very likely to become a ward of the state.
As I’ve said in prior videos, when somebody is baker-acted, they are at that point in the care, custody, and control of the state, and the state is either going to let them go or make them stay. But either way, you don’t have the ability anymore to make decisions for that individual. If you want to get your loved one help and they have Alzheimer’s, probably the appropriate form of relief is Guardianship. A Guardianship will allow you to take control of the situation, not the state. You can start making medical decisions, potentially financial decisions, and other decisions for your loved one that result from Alzheimer’s they can’t make for themselves.
If you have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s, don’t use the Baker Act to get the treatment because it’s not designed for that unless they are experiencing an emergency, in which case you should call 911 and not law enforcement. You can also call an emergency room doctor to decide on the appropriateness of a Baker Act. If they need to be in treatment, then the appropriate form of relief is Guardianship, which we can help you with.
With that said, take care, call us if you need to chat, and be well.