Catching Up on Paperwork


It is snowing again up North. I am, thankfully, in the south. However, dad and my family are all up north. In a few weeks I will have to go there myself, and I sure hope the snow is gone by then!

In the meantime, dad’s companion of the day called this morning to say she couldn’t visit him because of road conditions. I told her that was fine, and I should have called her last night when I saw the forecast. I don’t want anyone to endanger themselves just to visit dad. He is doing OK though I do usually look forward to the daily updates.

It is depressing to me to just see the weather predictions up there for the next few weeks and even months, because I feel so bad for my friends, and I will soon be joining them. This has been a difficult winter for all of them. Even the south has had cooler than usual temperatures and more frequent rain. They need the rain, but it rained out many of our activities this year.

Earlier this week, dad’s companion emailed me a picture of dad holding a guinea pig. Dad had a huge smile on his face. He enjoys playing with small animals a lot more now than he ever did when I was young. I am glad they have the pet people bring around animals for the residents to play with. I think it helps many residents to have something to hold and touch.

I finally reached dad by telephone yesterday after a week of trying. He spends so much time in the lounge that he is never in his room when I call. I tried throughout the day but didn’t get through till yesterday. And then, of course, I woke him up. He was dozing in his chair. I tried to get a conversation going, but dad had trouble hearing me, and I think he was still half asleep.

I asked dad about the guinea pig he held in the picture from the day before. He didn’t seem to remember it at all, or else he didn’t understand what I was saying! After a few minutes, I told him I would call again next week and it won’t be too long until I see him again. He is anxious to have me home, but otherwise he is happy with his many companions and with the activities in the lounge and elsewhere that keep him occupied.

This week when I received my mail I realized that dad’s doctor didn’t have his updated insurance information. I hate when his employer benefits office changes policies and insurance companies because it seems to take so long to get all the doctors updated. I had given copies of dad’s new insurance cards to his ALF in early January, before I left for my vacation. However, they don’t seem to have done anything with them!

I called the physicians billing office to update the information on the medical insurance. I then emailed a copy of the card to dad’s ALF and called them. The director was on the phone, so I left a message with the front desk that they are to update his records and his doctor, and reminding them I had given them this information once before.

An hour later I got an email from the nurse, and she had just sent the information to the pharmacy, rather than to the doctor’s office. I emailed back that this was his medical insurance, not his prescription insurance, though I will have to keep an eye on that also. I think he has kept the same provider and policy for prescriptions.

All this paperwork and phone calling makes me stressed out! I spent one day just catching up with the bills and then calling about insurance. I don’t think it would be any easier if I were at home, but I hate to spend time doing that while we had such beautiful weather here. Today, on the other hand, is a rainy day, so I don’t mind being inside on the computer.

I haven’t been posting as often lately, and you can blame that on the beautiful weather we had.  I like to get out and play when I can because I know it will still be cold when I get home!

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About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and the primary caregiver for my father. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with others who are also trying to care for a family member and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues around the care of my father and the relationship with other family members.
This entry was posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living Facility, Caregiving, Companion, Dementia, Elder Care, Eldercare, Health Insurance and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Catching Up on Paperwork

  1. boomer98053 says:

    The life of a long distance caregiver – that’s you while you’re away. I was a long distance caregiver for my dad (and made numerous visits each year to see him, traveling by plane). It always seemed to take so long to get my ducks in order from my location – actually, my ducks were fine, it was the ducks of his doctor and my dad’s ALF that didn’t always know what order to be in. Then when I prepared to visit him, I made appointments with all the pertinent people in his life so that I could personally sit down with them and go over matters. The more I was “in their face” and minds, the better the communication once I returned to the Seattle area.
    I hope the snow is gone by the time you return as well. Ugh – all that white stuff.

  2. Kathy says:

    Guinea pigs are great. I’ve had numerous ones as pets, even as an adult. I’m glad the guinea pig makes him happy.

  3. Terry says:

    I always believe in animals in facilities. It is comforting and they feel love from petting them. I am glad he had this opportunity!

  4. Joy Johnston says:

    I’m glad your dad is enjoying the pet visits. It’s reassuring to know more and more facilities are understanding the positive effects animals can have. And good weather is always a good reason to step away from the computer!

  5. Sheryl says:

    This post reminds me of how my father, even as his health declined, always liked to compare the weather where he was living with the weather where I was living. It didn’t matter whether it was sunny, cloudy, warm, cold, rainy, or snowy–we always could discuss the similarities and differences between the two locations.

    • That is funny because dad rarely notices the weather at all. It is always fine to him, even when extremely cold and snowy because he stays inside 😀

      • Sheryl says:

        My dad was a farmer. Weather has such an important impact on farming and when various farm chores can be done. So my dad was always really interested in the weather–and that interest lasted his entire life.

      • Dad was a mechanic and didn’t like cold weather. But now with his Alzheimer’s, he doesn’t pay much attention to thw world outside his Assisted Living Facility. It is as if the rest of the world doesn’t exist to him. It shouldn’t surprise me, but somehow it still does.

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