Monday "Memories" With My Mom

     Well, there has been some progress going on behind the scenes that I have been hesitant to write about for fear of putting some kind of jinx on  things.  In the almost six months that my mom has been living with us, I think I have been quite open and willing to admit that taking care of my mom, in addition to my three kids, big friendly dog, and my husband, is just too much.  I knew early on that the "honeymoon phase" of having my mom and my kids' grandma living with us would not last.  I was right.  My mom deserves more privacy, quiet time, senior recreation and the little independence she can still manage.  It is not safe for her to be left alone in our house.  With my mom having Alzheimer's Disease, she is not just living with us.  That would be one thing.  We are looking out for and caring for her around the clock.  Not just me, but my kids too.  We have to be sure she does not go near the basement stairs, eats properly, we give her medication, change bedding daily, give shower assistance, remind and direct on a number of things.  In addition, someone needs to stay home with her or we need to bring her everywhere we go.  Actually, I knew a lot of this before she moved in.  I having been wanting to place my mom in some kind of senior/assisted living situation for a few years now.  The problem always came down to finances.  These facilities are expensive to say the least.  You can't touch much around here for under $3,000/month, many are much more than that!  Unfortunately, my mom did not manage to save that kind of money over the years...not many people do. 
     I have had to have my kids stay home and watch out for grandma on many occasions this summer so that I could "pound the pavement" and try to find a suitable living situation for my mom.  There are many places out there.  In fact, there is an assisted living facility located practically in my backyard.  However, their monthly cost is well over the $3,000/month and not within our reach.  After networking with many people, going to a Caregiver Expo, contacting the Area Agency on Aging and working for awhile with A Place for Mom, I rather quickly narrowed my search to two nearby facilities.  After delving a little further, I learned that one of the two actually had a few "low income" apartments.  It is hard to think that she is now in a "low income" situation...but she is.  Through a long series of life events, not to mention the extra hard economic times, a divorce, her AD diagnosis and some poor financial decisions made along the way, we find that she is just about out of financial resources. 

     One particular senior living facility has an incredible Executive Director who has been sooo compassionate, resourceful and knowledgeable, helped me get things in motion to see what we could come up with in terms of financial assistance.  She put me in touch with the Area Agency on Aging who promptly set up an evaluation meeting with me and my mom.  About a month ago, a nurse and social worker came to my house and we thoroughly went over finances, medical information and they did some cognitive evaluations on my mom as well as listened to my concerns and input.  They were here for about three hours.  At the same time, we applied for Medicaid assistance. 
     Since then, I have been anxiously waiting for a determination from the Department of Human Services with regard to her Medicaid status.  I received a letter from them this past Friday.  Today I will again be touch with Area Agency on Aging and the senior living facility to help me interpret exactly what the letter means in terms of my mom's Medicaid status.  From what I can understand, she has been approved to receive Medicaid and I am hopeful that this will be the beginning of getting my mom in an appropriate living situation.  Things are finally moving in the right direction!
     I hope to have more specific and positive news next week!!


Sarah said...

I know just where you are, getting the Medicaid is the biggest hurdle! And looks like you've crossed it!
I do what the nurse who came out to your house does. Only we come alone, not with social workers. Every state does it a bit different.
Glad to hear she may be getting into an ALF!

The Pawlak Family said...

Keep us updated. These posts are very helpful. xoxoxo