Tag Archives: mydad

a welfare worker and a saint

The woman who is working on my Dad’s medical assistance case felt bad about what I’ve been going through with Dad’s landlord and the bizarre regulations imposed by the state on the children of parents in nursing homes.
So, she pleaded my case to their in-house legal council and they came up with a plan that protects me from the landlord and complies with the state’s regulations to approve Dad for Medicaid.

This woman went way above and beyond all expectations. She should be canonized.

I am so relieved!

*happy happy dance*

unfuckinbelievable…and be forewarned

So today I get a call from the social worker at Dad’s nursing home. She wants to talk about the “balance.”

I ask, “What balance? I thought Medicare and his secondary insurance were still paying, plus I haven’t received a bill from you.”

She sez, “You have to spend down his money.”

I sez, “At this time, the lawyer is negotiating with the landlord about the $11k that the landlord is demanding as the full amount of his year’s lease, so I’m waiting on that.”

She sez, “Rent is not spend down, only medical bills.”

I sez, “I’ve paid all bills that have come in from doctors and hospitals. The PA Medicaid lady said that I could use his money for the rent.”

She sez, “I’ve never heard of that being allowed.”

I sez, “She told you that last month and I told you that and you asked me to call her for clarification, which I did and she said, “Pay the rent.”

She sez, “Pennsylvania holds the children financially responsible for the parents.”

I sez, “What? That’s insane!”

but it is true…

Apparently, Pennsylvania is one of 30 states in our fair Union that hold adult children responsible for their indigent parents. Now, from the word “indigent” we might think, “Well, my parents have a pension so they are not indigent.”

it ain’t necessarily so….

Indigent, in this context means that the income is less than the expenses. So my dad gets just under $2k a month from his pension and Social Security combined, but the nursing home charges $7k a month, therefore, he’s indigent and I, as his adult child can be held responsible for the balance. And in PA, the nursing homes will sue the children for payment when Medicaid refuses to pay. For example, Medicaid will refuse to pay in instances where the parent may have gifted the child money. So if the parent gave the kid $10k, according to Medicaid (in PA, your state may vary), the child owes 3 months worth of care to the nursing home before Medicaid will pay.

And if the child refuses?
Up to 6 months in prison.

fuckin A

nota bene: i know the 3 months thing doesn’t compute, but somehow, the complicated formula that is used seems to hold children responsible for more than what is due. This may be incorrect on my part, but, you all get the drift. They want not only your money, but your hide.

ETA: the welfare lady changed her mind and said i can’t use the money for rent. i have to fill out a “hardship” form to be sent to harrisburg to beg request that they allow me to pay the rent out of his money so that the landlord doesn’t come after me to pay his rent. sigh.

landlords, lawyers and welfare workers

Landlords, lawyers and welfare workers are all conspiring to bring me to tears. I find them all despicable and I hate everyone.

I had forgotten how thoroughly awful the welfare system is. They exist through intimidation and are structured to make people feel like dirtbags and thieves. Their premise is that everything you think is yours, everything you’ve worked for, really belongs to them and that when you request help from the medicare/medicaid system (you know — the one we have all paid into for all our working lives) you are nothing but a dirty beggar looking for a free lunch.

For those of you faced with looking for care for yourself or a loved one, remember–medicaid IS part of the welfare system and you will have to justify your very existence, with verifiable proof before they will give you any help at all. Most importantly, make sure that you give all your stuff away at least 3 to 5 years before you decide to become ill or infirm. If you don’t, your children will suffer. And if you are the caretaker? Set things up so that you get paid for your trouble, so that keeping what is yours doesn’t look like a “gift” for which you will have to give every dime back.


from hospital to home

The hospital discharged Dad today. They told me transport would pick him up at 2:30 to take him to the nursing home. Early this morning I went and bought him some underwear, socks, sweatpants, shirts, shorts and toiletries. I arrived at the hospital at 2 to ease the transition. And I waited. And waited and waited. Transport finally arrived a bit past 5pm. It was the last straw for me. I was so totally and thoroughly done in I simply couldn’t follow them out to the home during Friday rush hour traffic.

So I went home. Brni got pizza and I made a salad and then Brni drove us out there to give Dad his clothes and check in on him. He was ok. Tired and quiet. We left after 15-20 minutes since he was struggling not to nod off.

And now I’m home….collapsed in my chair with plans to take the day off tomorrow.
no dad
no dad’s apartment
no nothing

old folks con’t.

Dad has MRSA. And the hospital staff didn’t tell me. What they did was put up a sign on his door that said something like, “Visitors, please read…” with a whole lot of bulleted points, none of which said “caution” or “infection” or “MRSA.” The sign looked like all the other signs they have hanging all over that everyone ignores because well, if you read all their little laminated signs, you’d never get to see your sick relative. *sigh*

So there I am, fussing with him, touching him, straightening his bedding, helping him with food, helping him in and out of bed, AND NOBODY TELLS ME ANYTHING. That is until his tech walks by and sees me sitting on the edge of his bed, and she freaks, “You’re supposed to be gowned and gloved! He’s on restricted contact because he has MRSA.” I say, “What?” and do a little freak of my own. I asked her why his nurse didn’t tell me when I went up to her and asked how he was doing? She didn’t know, but just points to the pretty laminated sign that apparently the staff thinks everybody reads. I point out that it looks just like the other signs next to it about patients rights and check out procedures. She looks baffled and shows me where the gowns are and the antibacterial hand wash is, etc.

I am so pissed. As soon as I got home, I went to the basement, stripped and threw my clothes in the wash on HOT water, showered, and then took a big dose of echinacea and poke tinctures. I’ll be taking prophylactic doses plus vit C until this ordeal is over. I’ll also be carrying alcohol based hand sanitizer and latex gloves whenever I go see him.

And ya know, I’d been having this visceral reaction of revulsion every time I got near him. I had to force myself to get close, to let him touch my hand, to kiss his forehead every time he asked me to….and the whole time I berated myself for being a bad daughter for feeling repulsed by him.

When will I learn to trust my gut?

in other news…

We have a place for him. It’s not very close by, it’s small and smells of urine but it’s the only facility that would accept him because he smokes. He was rejected by all the nursing/rehab places within an hour drive in two counties. I guess I should consider this a small blessing.

old folks – home alone

I just don’t seem to want to write about this. Or about anything.

So, Dad is in the hospital. He won’t be coming home as it was undoubtedly evident that he simply is not capable of living on his own anymore. According to the nurses, this is the best way to get into a nursing-care facility as old folks coming from hospitals have a shorter wait than those coming from home. I have no idea how this will all work out and my mind is reeling with all the peripheral stuff of what to do with his car, how to get out of the lease on his apartment (which I had to co-sign and am now financially responsible for), disposing of his junk, furniture, etc., and how to safeguard a small portion of his meager money so that I don’t go broke.

I can’t even think about the tangled mess that is his mind. Watching him busily working the wires and tubes, folding and refolding the edges of his blanket, pulling on the seams of his hospital gown…asking me to help him get up so that he can go to his room…yelling at me for always taking “their” side over his. He’s in pain from his back, but is also hyper-sensitive to touch, sound and light. He has diverticulitis, an aortic aneurism, is experiencing frequent mini-strokes to the frontal lobe, alzheimer’s (or some sort of dementia) and is just so very weak from not eating.

Which should I call for — a long and unremarkable convalescence or the quick mercy of his aortic aneurysm?

Update: It appears that the assurances that they won’t send my father home are not a sure thing at all. The social worker was less than confident that we would find a placement for him and there is the caveat that if Dad says no, they can’t do a thing for him. So, it is now entirely possible that they will send this old, demented man home alone whether or not he’s capable of taking care of himself. They may offer limited visiting nursing care, but of course, there’s no guarantee that even that will come about. Unfuckin’ believable.

So, plan B (if I ever had a plan A) is to clear out the trash and garbage from his place, locate and secure anything of value, throw out his old, too big and filthy clothes, bedding and drapes and then hire a professional service to clean and fumigate his apartment. We’ll buy him new clothes and if he ends up going home, bedding and new drapes.

We live in a horrible society.

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