Thursday, October 7, 2010

Helping Mom

Wanted to share with all you faithful friends that are caring and praying, that this has been the most difficult week for Mom since Dad's ordeal began. She was summoned to meet with the facility's social worker to discuss Dad's progress and plans for future care.

One thing Mom learned distressed her greatly. I wish I had told her sooner, because I knew it from my Medicare training. It is this: Medicare will cover Dad's nursing home care for up to 100 days, but ONLY as long as he continues to make progress with his therapy. When his therapists feel he has come as far as is possible, Medicare coverage will cease. Thankfully, that point has not yet been reached. Dad has made good progress in his walking over the past couple of weeks. But whether he will gain enough strength to go home is still very doubtful.

If Dad has to go from "Skilled Nursing" (therapy) to "custodial care" in the nursing home, Mom will start having to pay about $5,000 a month. Their savings will be gone within a year. So the social worker gave Mom a Medicaid application, the size and scope of which was completely overwhelming to her. It also requires financial documentation back to 2008, which will take considerable effort to locate, due to Mom being "organizationally challenged."

So . . . I am planning to go to Maine soon, for about a week, to help Mom. I'm looking at the week of Oct. 17. Would appreciate prayer that God would help me find the cheapest flights! :-) Mom insisted on sending a check for the ticket. She doesn't want to be a burden. But she seems greatly relieved just to know that I'm coming.

There is another possibility that I hope to discuss with Dad's doctor when I am up there. When Dad's Medicare Skilled Nursing coverage ends, if his doctor certifies that he is considered terminally ill with less than six months expected to live, he would qualify for Medicare's Hospice benefit. If so, that would pay for his care. The care must be given at home, because it doesn't cover room and board; but all the caregivers needed to help Mom would be covered.

Quick update on Dad's physical condition: (if you're still reading--this is a long one!) The Ledgeview doctor, who visits the patients once a month, saw Dad today for the first time, and was concerned that the nutritional liquid being delivered through the feeding tube doesn't seem to be moving to the small intestine as it should. A drainage tube is still present (that caused nausea when it was shut off a couple of days ago), and more liquid is still draining than should be.

Another obstacle is that a pressure sore has re-opened, making it very painful for Dad to sit up. He was only able to sit up for an hour at a time today.

So . . . we continue to commit my parents to our heavenly Father and trust Him to work everything out. We appreciate your thoughts, and ask for your prayers for wisdom and guidance and strength!


Anonymous said...

Praying for the flights to come together quickly for you. It really is quite intimidating when you look at all the paperwork involved for our seniors and I'm glad you can do this. Lori Z

'Chelle said...

Praying for your family! Try I just had an emergency flight to Utah a couple of weeks ago to be with my favorite college roomie and her husband during a severe illness. The ticket was "last minute" but it only cost $296 round trip from Chicago to Salt Lake City! ~'Chelle Zubler

claussfamily said...

For all things work together for good to those that are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28. Please tell your mom and dad that they are being held up in prayer and that God is in control.

Anonymous said...

We definitely will pray for all of you during this trial. I do understand your mom's organizational challenge cause I would have the same problem. Thank you for being such a loving daughter. That means so much.