Working all week and running interference for my mother-in-law’s care is exhausting! She is now in full-blown leukemia and in a skilled nursing facility.
We brought in hospice three weeks ago to add an additional layer of care and staff watching over her.
I’ve been networking the past five years or more in the senior arena with home health, assisted living and memory care communities, hospice workers and nurses. All of that has not prepared me for actually being “IN” the middle of navigating the health care system. Oh my!!
If you are the child or family member (I’m the daughter-in-law) helping a loved one get the care they need, get ready to learn A LOT about working through the process and in the system.
My mother-in-law went from the hospital to skilled nursing in January. Since then we have been learning what we can do, what needs to be done, what isn’t being done and figuring out the financial side of things!
Even though Medicare covered the first 20 days, it was up in the air how the ongoing care was to be paid for. Her medical supplement was to cover the next 80 days IF she remained in therapy and was “rehabbing.” The Medicaid Pending process was started.
We didn’t know how long this would take with delays from people working from home, finding the documents we needed and getting everything submitted. Fortunately we were referred to a wonderful person who helped my sister-in-law get what was required and get the Medicaid approved.
It took a conference call to figure out when the medical supplement stopped paying (when she went on hospice in early March), how much was owed and how the payments should be handled going forward.
In the middle of all this it was necessary to clear out my mother-in-law’s one bedroom apartment. Who knew so much stuff could be in a one bedroom? Going through the paperwork was stressful. Finding family treasures in between random things was heartbreaking.
I say all this to beseech you to PLAN for your future care. Someone is going to have to handle things if (when) you can’t. It is stressful enough for family members who are struggling with watching a loved one battle a disease and be on the path to end of life.
Also consider what the person who is actually ill may be going through. Pack your patience. If it’s a parent, remember it’s the only parent you’ll ever have and consider their side of things. They may not be thinking clearly or remembering things well.
And take care of you. You can’t take care of someone else unless you are taking care of yourself.
If I can be a resource or a friendly ear don’t hesitate to call. You don’t have to go through this alone.
Edwena Potter, Certified Senior Housing Professional, Keller Williams Realty, 469-616-0561