How to break the news

scyankeeFebruary 26, 2010

I have been living with my mom for the last 10 months, due to her declining health. Up until last Thursday, she could walk

to the bathroom and dress herself. She called me at work, and said she didn't feel good. Since then, she has gone totally downhill, and has been hospitalized since last Monday. She has congestive heart failure and is 81. The social worker at the hospital has recommended (strongly) that I look for a skilled nursing facility. Mom watched Dad( who died in 1992) be in a nursing home for most of the last 12 years of his life. She is firmly convinced that she won't go into a nursing home, but the hospital will not release her to go home, because she can't walk up the three steps into her house. She can't come home with me, I have 11 steps up. The Medicare will run out, and neither one of us has a ton of money. Any ideas?


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Are the 3 steps truly the only barrier? If so, she can't be forced into a nursing home. You can always hire the medical transport service to get her into the house the first time (and out to MD appts) and have the hospital social services guide you toward any needed extra home assistance. Medicare won't pay for home care, but many states do have senior assistance programs that will, and it is less expensive than a nursing home.

If however, she needs substantial assistance (like 24 hour supervision, help with all activities etc) so that her home or yours is really not workable, then you will have to discuss that with her -- that she can't be cared for at home, and needs to go to rehab until she is able. Let her hope that she will be able.

I feel for you--my Mom always said, no nursing home for her too--but she had her strokes and there was no choice. She doesn't like it either but at least she mostly recognises that there is no other way. I would rather have her in her own place with help, but the money isn't there, and I am 10 years away from retirement myself.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 8:58PM
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People can be forced into a care home if there is no one willing to care for them. I have a friend who's daughter is mentally handicapped, she hates her mom and tries to hurt her. My friend knows she should tell her daughter's advocate that she is almost 80 years old herself and cannot do any more for her daughter. One of these days the daughter may kill her and she still tries to take care of her.

I have read two threads in this site that money is an issue. My Mom was on medicaid, we weren't responsible for her bills. You are not responsible for any debts except yours and your spouses. You need to speak to a lawyer about that if her care falls on your shoulders.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 8:05PM
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Mom passed away on 2/28 at 1:08 PM. I have just returned home from her funeral in Ohio. She will be happy to be reunited with her husband, oldest son, and youngest daughter. Thank you for your thoughts.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 9:48PM
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Beth, I know that your best memories will keep your Mother in your heart. My deepest condolences on your loss.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 11:14PM
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My heart goes out to you and your family for the loss of your mother. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 10:50AM
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My sincere condolences, Beth. I hope that you are able to find comfort as you grieve.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 4:07PM
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