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Reality sets in

Today, I am SOOOOO stressed. I'm at the end of my rope.

The home health nurse went to see my mom today around noon. She called me soon thereafter with some distressing news - She was concerned about my mom's dementia, as well as her blood pressure and diabetes being out of control, but the most distressing was that my mom couldn't tell her what medicines she was taking. The nurse called my mom's pharmacy and they gave the list of meds, but the last time she had anything filled was in OCTOBER!!!! She's not been taking her meds, or if she has, very sporadically. She says my mom can no longer stay alone, and can no longer drive. She needs immediate care to evaluate her, get her on the right meds, and back stable. Then she should go into assisted living.

There are problems here! It's Friday afternoon! Needless to say, I packed up mom to bring her over here for the weekend. She JUST moved into a new apartment (at least that means we don't have to repack). I don't know what's going on with her! She's falling, she gets lost, she can't remember, and I don't know what to do.

We went to tour the assisted living place the nurse recommended, and it was really nice. It's one of the more affordable ones, actually. Problem is, it isn't affordable for her. Let's see, to be eligible for VA benefits, she would have to make less than $2000 a month. She makes $2100. The smallest room in the place is $1850 a month. That does include three meals a day, housekeeping, laundry, etc. We could also have meds given to her for a small daily fee. That leaves less than $200. Her insurance payment is $100 a month, and she spends $195 on meds. That puts her in the hole, and she hasn't yet looked at any other expenses.

I don't fucking know what to do. I love my mom, but we don't get along. I think we would all be miserable with her living here, but we'll do it if we have to. I've got to find SOME WAY to afford an assisted living place for her.

On the brighter side (although, REALLY, how much brighter is this?) we did complete the Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, and Living will for her today. Notorized, witnessed, and only lacking them to be filed with the courthouse. At least I can now make some of these decisions for her since she won't make them for herself.



( 6 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )
Mar. 4th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC)
I can totally sympathize with your predicament. I watched/helped where I could my mom when she had to go through this with my grandmother before she passed away December 2004. Trying to find the right place at the right price, etc. Also, hubbies parents took care of his grandma (hubbies dads mom) until they could no longer safely take care of her and then they found a place for her too. The one they found here in AZ was more of a home setting rather than an institutional setting. I think it was actually a bit cheaper too. The best thing is that you have the POA for her so you can make the best decisions for her now.
I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Mar. 4th, 2006 01:00 am (UTC)
I wish we had talked about this when I was there! My mom just went through this with her mom and then her dad. She went through the same exact problems you're going through now. It made her crazy too.

She should be here within the next hour. Once she's settled in I'll show her your post and see if she had any advice for you.

Hang in there. I know it's no consolation, but you are not alone in this nightmare.
Mar. 4th, 2006 05:36 am (UTC)
I'm trying to find a way to qualify her for VA benefits. Dad was discharged with 40% disability after WWII (Yes, dating my parents now, aren't I?), but mom initially didn't qualify because between Social Security and the Pension, she made 'too much money'. Mom told us earlier today she made $2100 a month. I looked in her bank account tonight and she actually only gets $1500 a month. She just might qualify!!!! We'll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, she's on the couch (because she can't get upstairs) and is bitching about it. She wants to live by herself, but we're all giving her grief. The doc called tonight and gave me all of the meds she should be taking (12!!!!!), how much to take, and when. Tomorrow, we'll go to the drug store and spend a couple of hundred getting them all filled, and if I have to force them down her throat each day myself, I will.

One good thing. I guess as a sign of support, genebob came by and spent the evening. Quite pleasant. He brought some sort of Asian coconut bread that was yummy. Unfortunately, he also brought some sort of green bean bread that was absolutely disgusting! :)
Mar. 4th, 2006 03:50 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry the news was worse than you had thought. At least you KNOW now, although I'm sure you would have found out sooner than later.

I always wondered how that assisted living thing works and what do people do that can't pay the money?

I really don't know how you are doing all of it. Work, Mom, Wife, etc. You are an amazing person. Really, I mean it.

Mar. 4th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
Medication. LOTS of medication :)

Yeah, the assisted living thing is great if you can afford it. As I told GS in the previous comment, I'm GOING to get her VA benefits if it kills me. Then she can afford it.

The nurse I talked to tonight (not the one we dealt with all day) was rather snippy and unsympathetic. When I told her that mom really couldn't afford the assisted living, she said 'Yeah, some people can't. Then you have the option of a nursing home or her living with you'. Bite me, witch. You make it sound like I don't care.
Mar. 4th, 2006 09:27 am (UTC)
I wish there was a way I could help. I can't believe she can't get any assistance because she has $100 more than the limit.

( 6 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )