Friday, November 6, 2009

Long Term 'Care' Rantfest

Yes, Fronds, I'm ranting.

Mom's still in the nursing home, getting rehab.

"Everyone" thinks that Mom now needs care 24/7. She has limited eyesight & hearing. She is paranoid and somewhat delusional (she thinks that people come into her condo thru' the walls and steal things). She doesn't feel that folks come in when others are staying with her - I assume because she gets stimulation with companionship so her brain doesn't fill in new things to see and hear. She has muscle weakness which along with her limited eyesight contributes to her falling. She has some level of dementia. This, to them, equals incompetence. This, to me, equals disabilities.

Mom would like companionship after the cousin that has been staying with her goes back to Florida.

The same cousin who wouldn't get her husband the lawyer to help Mom give me Power Of Attorney (either medical or financial) now wants me to make all medical and financial decisions for my mother. Which I can't legally do, because I don't have the bloody POAs. And which is hard for me to do since I am in DC and Mom in is Chicago. And NOW can Mom legally give me POA if she is 'incompetent', or do I have to bloody go to court and PROVE that she is 'incompetent'?

Let me guess - I'm supposed to hide the fact that she's 'incompetent' to get the POAs and then use the 'fact' that she's 'incompetent' to USE the POAs.

But let's add to that issues with Mom's Long Term Health insurance. Which I can't talk to, because I don't have the financial POA - and let's not pretend that insurance is about her medical issues, health, or safety. I need a FINANCIAL POA to get information from them.

The insurer that she has been sending thousands of dollars to for years and years and years is, shall we say, severely financially unsound. So, rather than saving that coverage for when she gets really frail and vulnerable and care is even more expensive, the cousins think we should use it now. The company may die, and, 'let's face it, she's 94, she's not going to live that much longer. In their 90's they go quickly'. This from a cousin whose father lived to 99.

But it IS true that our family members die soon after they go into nursing homes. Is it because they are old, because they are frail, or because they give up (or because of some combination of the above)? They last a month or two, then die of pneumonia.

Anyway, the Long Term Care insurer doesn't accept what any silly doctor, nursing home, social workers, therapists, etc, say a person needs. First, Mom needs a date when she'll be released from the nursing home. Then Mom will need to call them and ask for care, they will set up a phone evaluation of her, then they will send paperwork to the doctor, then a nurse will evaluate her, then they will decide what THEY think she needs. A 30 day process. They can't even tell me what her policy covers, since I don't have a financial POA. Never mind that I'm asking what MEDICAL/CARE coverage that is. So even if I had a medical POA I'd be screwed.

At the end of 30 days, of course, what THEY decide to cover is not guaranteed to be 'what the doctor ordered'.

And the policy only runs 3 years. Not to worry, says cousins, both she and insurer will be dead by then. Let's hear it for the Death Panels!

Frustratedly, Fern

1 comment:

  1. My dad passed away in January and I exactly where you are about a year and a half ago. I only had to contend with my mother who's all the crazy and denial all mixed together.
    In Illinois (Wheaton). Your mom's doctor or hospital can help you. E-mail me, I can share my experience with my dad.

    In some ways all the insurance and legal stuff is easier than it seems.