So my girlfriend and I go out for lunch. I ask my friend how her elderly parents are doing, on the other side of the state, and she relates how they are in the midst of considering assisted living. So we go back and forth for a few minutes talking about the possibilities, and what I know both in my experience with caregiving and with Elder Law. The waitress stops by to take our order and says,
“Hi ladies! I don’t mean to intrude but I heard your conversation and wanted to tell you about my dad.”
“Sure, I said. What’s going on with him?”
“Well, he’s in a rehab center now, but we just moved him from the county home to a private facility for which he is paying $6500.00 a month. He doesn’t know that but we decided to put him there because he is getting excellent care.”
“Why did he leave the county home?” , I asked her.
“Well, his insurance and the medical team there said that he has reached a point, medically where he was good enough to go home. And basically, we moved him directly from the county home to hospice care.”
” Wait, WHAT? I’m sorry. What is your name?” I asked her.
“Donna, I am so happy to meet you. I know how hard it is to be a caregiver. So let me get this straight. Your Dad is allegedly so healthy, that he no longer needs to be in the county nursing facility. But the minute you moved him to the new facility, that facility put him in the hospice program, which means your Dad is seriously ill. ”
“And”, said this hard working, generous soul of a woman, “my Dad is a veteran and served during the war. But he is not entitled to veteran’s benefits because he has too much in assets. So, we will blow through his money, if we have to. We will make sure he gets the absolute best of care, until the money runs out, or gets as close as we need to get him veteran’s benefits.”
I happen to be going to a seminar this week that addresses this exact problem. So if I find out anything to help her, I will seek her out and tell her. But even though the veteran’s issue may be true. The thing that really frosts me…the thing that can’t possibly make any sense…is that how can the county home and the insurance company look at this sick elderly man, a veteran for crying out loud, and say: “Sure, he’s ready to go home!” And so the family, who KNOW their Dad and know that he needs a truly high level of good care, place him in an excellent facility, and are instantly told to put him in hospice care. Do these people not know what the word, hospice, means. It means this person is really, really, really sick….and NEEDS care.
Not really a laughing matter, but absurdity abounds in this caregiving world. Thanks, Donna, for allowing me to post your story! I’m still looking for anything that might help you.