Need Advice on Assisted Living for mother in law

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by jal, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. jal

    jal Member

    This is just such a sad situation. My mother in law is in a wheelchair and cannot care for herself at all. Her husband has been in the hospital since last Sunday. I won't go into the nightmarish details, but she usually can find someone to stay with her throughout the day and now husband has been going and staying nights. We just had the blizzard to getting around and people in has been tough so husband is doing the bulk of it, but tomorrow is Monday and work begins again. She has no savings, has income from a rental building and gets disability. Her husband had to retired a year ago due to a brain bleed which is why he is back in the hospital. I just don't know where to start for this. She needs 24 hour care. She sits in this wheelchair and has for almost 3 years since her back surgery and does nothing to help or improve her situation. Her back is fine, now her knees are not. She has ballooned up being in this chair and she fell again this morning and my husband cannot pick her up. He is 5"11, 165lbs and hurt his back with the shoveling yesterday.

    Luckily, she just got Lifecall, so local personnel came and got her up, but this is just constant...She has fallen 3 times in 1 week. She needs a full time attendant or a facility for assistance. Anyone know where to start for someone who doesn't have a lot of money to completely pay for their own care?

  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You are going to have to talk to the people at the dept of human services and social security to see what has to happen before you can get her into a nursing home. The rental property will likely have to be sold before she can get into a facility, and she will possibly have to spend down to a certain amount of assets. I would start talking to people at nursing homes and/or assisted living facilities. I would also call her insurance company if she has insurance. They usually can help you with the process.

    I am very sorry she is this disabled and her husband/your husband's dad is in the hospital and so ill. I will keep them in my prayers.

    You can likely get meals on wheels for her, and possibly some in home help depending on the doctors, insurance, etc....
  3. jal

    jal Member

    Thank you Susie. I plan to contact social services in our town tomorrow. I should clarify her husband is not husband's dad, not even really "stepdad" as this was a late in life marriage. None the less, his situation is terrible too and I thank you for the prayes and direction.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TIA, I'm sorry for your situation. Were either your mother in law or father in law in the service? If so, there is a stipend given to Vets which is actually substantial and helps with the costs at certain Assisted Living facilities. If you need more info, there is an org. that assists Vets in obtaining benefits, if this pertains to them PM me and I'll give you the information, this org cuts through the bureaucratic red tape for you. Also, if the time is near where either one will require the care of Hospice, Hospice, at least here where I am, has administrative people who can act on your behalf to coordinate the care with not only the hospital but nursing homes and how that works out with the income level your in-laws are at. I knew a woman who became incapacitated like your mother in law, owned a home and although she was not in the 'legal' requirement to have Hospice, (where Dr's believe the patient has 6 months to live) she was clearly on her way to dying, so her Dr. worked with Hospice to allow her the opportunity to get all the care they provide which included the expertise to work quickly through the system to get her into a nursing home. And, her house did not have to be sold, it was not impacted, in fact, it was left to her relatives after her eventual death. There are ways to get through all of that, where you may not have to sell the property, but you have to find someone who will assist you. There may also be senior organizations where you live which will help you walk through the process, we have those here in CA. which are specifically to help walk you through this. You can begin by asking your father in law's Dr's, nurses etc. as well, it may require some digging on your part, but if you do your research, you'll find answers.
  5. jal

    jal Member

    Thank you. Actually, mother in law was married to a vet when she was very young. She did receive medical and a monthly pension for a long time and then she married this man who was not a vet. She lost those things, but they divorced and she got them back. A few years ago these two remarried and I believe she lost them again. Neither one would qualify for hospice at the moment. mother in law is bipolar and on heavy medications. She had a back surgery over two years ago, but never has walked again.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't know if NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) can assist you, but you can go on their website and call, they may either have programs to help, or be able to direct you somewhere. Since your mother in law is bipolar, I believe she may fall into the 'mental illness' category, which may help you find her assistance through that avenue. It's a tough situation, I hope you find your way through easily.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Jal you can call directly to ALF's and talk to their social worker or admission staff. They will know all the ins and outs.
    Sorry you're having so much stress. DDD
  8. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    We just went thru this with SO's mom who had moved in with us about two years ago and went from being able to at least get up and take a few steps to her wheelchair to her knees just not being able to support her due to her weight. The doctor was able to arrange for nurses to come in and help her with showers, and to do PT a few times a week which really wasn't enough.

    We checked into Assisted Living (there are lots of places who get paid by the AL or Medi-care/medi-care to do the placements) but because she could not walk or really take care of herself on her own, she didn't qualify. Our doctor was the one who had her placed in a convalescent home because neither SO or myself could take care of her when it came to lifting, etc. At first it was a temporary stay with intensive Physical Therapy in hopes they could get her strong enough to walk again, but her knees are pretty much shot and she at 80 wouldn't be able to have knee replacements (she should have had those years ago) so it turned into a permanent placement.

    Its awful when they fall, especially when they are obese. SO hurt his back trying to lift her, and he is 6'3 and 235 - thankfully the few times she fell, the boys were here to help us with her.

  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great ideas here.

    This is similar to what I went through a few yrs ago with-P, but she did not own property.
    I placed her in a nursing facility that accepted Medicare and Medicaid.
    After a few mo's of detective work, I was able to determine that she actually had assets, and she "graduated" to assisted living.

    You're going to have to depend upon in-home care temporarily, but surely, you can see where this is going. She will need to be placed somewhere. If she has a very hard fall and breaks her hip, it could be all over. :( However, if it's something "fixable" then moving her directly from the hospital to assisted living is the way to go. Hospitals have social wkrs that are skilled in this.
  10. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Just an FYI. A few years ago I had an elderly Aunt go on hospice. While we didn't think she was on her deathbed nor had she been given 6 months or less to live, she DID qualify for hospice. She received all of her medical care thru them. It was explained to us, that hospice no longer meant you were dying at that moment. What it meant was that no life saving procedures would be taken on your behalf. They supplied all of her medications and comfort of care. Hospice was wonderful for her. I don't think it has the same implications it once did.
  11. jal

    jal Member

    Thank youo everyone for all of your wonderful input. This is definately going to be a process.