Hopeless

Ma's still at home.

She can no longer get to the bathroom so we have a potty chair pushed up to the edge of her bed. I'm not able to get her in and out of the shower by myself anymore.

But she's still at home.

Her doctor signed papers stating she needed to be in a nursing facility, at least on a short term basis for physical therapy. The county social worker and the one from the home health group have called and sent applications to different facilities..

But she's still at home.

Apparently nursing homes have had their hands slapped by Medicaid for housing mental health patients, when they don't really provide mental health services. So now, if you have a history of mental illness and need nursing home care, it's like you've got leprosy. Nursing homes are afraid to take you because they might not get paid.

She has a nurse that comes to the house once a week, checks her vitals and asks if she's eating. There is a team member from her mental health provider who stops by twice a week to ask her if she's taking her meds.

Medicare won't pay for a home health aide to come in and help with personal hygiene and she can't get Medicaid as long as she's at home because she gets too much in social security benefits.

I don't even know what to do anymore.

It's not about my not wanting to do what she needs. It's about coming home from the grocery store to find her in the floor and not knowing how long she's been laying there. It's about going to give her meds before I go to work in the morning, discovering her bed is a nasty mess and having to leave it until I can run home at lunch and take care of business.

I can't be late for work.

She's not hard to take care of. She doesn't ask for anything. She's in constant pain. She agrees she would be more comfortable in a nursing facility.

Ma worked all her life, paid into the system. This isn't fair to her.

I've even had a social worker from the E.R. call me to ask what the deal was, why she keeps falling and what am I doing to fix things. I told her my hands were tied. She called the county worker and gave him an ear full. Next thing I know, he's calling me saying he's found a place for her.. at the place they put people with developmental disabilities. He said they'd make sure she had Depends and took her medicine.

It made my chest hurt to even think about it. That's not what she needs.

I don't know what to do.

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12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hate that so bad for you. You would think it wouldn't be so hard to find help for her and get her into a place where they can take care of her. It's not fair to either of you. Can't offer much but words, wish I had more for you.

Muffy's Marks said...

I feel so bad, I wish I had a magical answer,but I don't! I guess at mental institution she would be safe, but certainly not what she needs. I wish I had a wand to wave and make it all better. All I can do is pray that it all works out for you. You're in a tough spot, Hang in there!

Muffy's Marks said...

I feel so bad, I wish I had a magical answer,but I don't! I guess at mental institution she would be safe, but certainly not what she needs. I wish I had a wand to wave and make it all better. All I can do is pray that it all works out for you. You're in a tough spot, Hang in there!

Fat Bottom Farm said...

My heart hurts for you. It seems like just yesterday I was going through this with my dad and my grandparents. It amazes me how a system that is supposed to be geared towards caring for a group of people can fail so miserably. How can this happen and why aren't more people outraged about it? I found that most of the doctors didn't even care, and the only people who did care were the Hospice people and by that time we were at the end of the road.
I wish there was something I could say or at the very least buy you a box of wine and help you drink it.

Judy (kenju) said...

I sure do wish I could give you some advice and ideas, but I no nothing about bucking the system. Maybe you could appeal to the President? I'd write him a letter and include this post.

tiff said...

I like Judy's idea. Go straight to the freaking top.

It's got to feel like chasing your own tail down a deep hole, and I can't image that's a good feeling. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. Where are the other family members at this time? Can't Aunt Moses or someone help out?

Ickaboo said...

I don't have any words of wisdom, but I have love to send you.

We went through this with my grandmother, and I'm sorry that anyone has to go through it. This country does not give a shit about the elderly citizens, no matter what you hear on the radio or see on television. Leftover doctors, benefits, and ideas. That's it.

grasswidow said...

Does your county have Hospice care? They may be able to help or guide you to someone who can.

Aarin said...

I'm glad the ER social worker called to give an earful but i am not glad your regular social worker felt a home for developmentally challenged was a good fit. yes, it might be the closest to home but if she's not going to get the right care, location is meaningless. since i talk to TA i get a bit of behind the scenes info and from what she said, the mental issues are getting better! but the goodness of that has been offset by her deteriorating physically.

bad as it sounds, i hope someone in the good nursing home leaves this realm(peacefully of course) so you an get her where she needs to be. you're right, she worked all her life and deserves better than what she's getting from the system. all the red tape is ridiculous. "oh she gets too much ss for medicaid and home health." yea? well that doesn't negate the fact that she still needs care you can't afford.

Teressa Welch said...

I can barely type for crying.

I am so ashamed. Here I've been pissing and moaning about having to take care of my mama, who broke her femur on May 2, while you have it so much worse than me.

1. mama is mobile, with a walker.
2 She has the majority of her marbles (I think)
3. She can take care of most of her own hygiene needs, except for back- and foot washing.


I wish I knew/had slept with some North Carolina politician back in the day; maybe then I could help you get some real relief for your ma. You both deserve better than this.

bronsont said...

You are both in my prayers.

BetteJo said...

Wish I had advice. Sometimes I think it was better that my mom passed away just as she was getting ready to apply for Medicaid. Up till then she was private pay and of course was accepted at a really nice facility. But at 12 grand a month, her money didn't last long. It's such a hard, hard thing to deal with. There is no getting away from the emotions of it all - even when you're away from the house. Thank God you at least have your girl cave for a few moments on your own. I hope some social worker comes through for you soon. They're letting your ma fall through way too many cracks! Praying for you!