Monthly Archives: February 2012

Dementia and Physical Therapy: Medicare Requirements

Three days after dad entered the nursing home, I was given written notice that Medicare would not be paying for his nursing home care. I requested clarification as he had come directly from the hospital and I expected he would go back to his assisted living facility after a short term rehabilitation period. It seemed the nursing home had different ideas.

Since dad was able to privately pay for his stay, they planned for him to get long-term custodial care at the nursing home. They did not expect him to be discharged – EVER! …. they said, (1) dad refused physical therapy and (2) the physical therapists determined that “He would NOT BENEFIT from physical therapy”. And Medicare will only pay if the patient is improving from the therapy. So, without even trying, they made the decision at he wouldn’t get physical therapy. Continue reading

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living Facility, Dementia, Eldercare, nursing home | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who is my Father’s Doctor? How Can I Get Information about his Condition?

An emergency room visit led to hospitalization for my father. It took me several days to determine who my father’s doctor was. I had a hard time tracking him down. His attending physician seemed to be around only in the very early morning or late evening hours. I needed to talk to his physician in order to obtain any information including the diagnosis, prognosis, planned tests or procedures and what would be the circumstances of his discharge. Continue reading

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia, Eldercare, Health Care, HIPAA | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Trip to the Emergency Room Leads to a Discussion of End-of-Life Decisions

I have written about dad’s hospitalization before, in a sort of summarized version of 2 months worth of events. Today I am going to focus on the discussions about end of life care with dad’s physician that resulted from this emergency…..

I asked her how dad’s medical wishes would be followed according to the forms he had completed with the lawyer. I said I was afraid things would move too fast in this hospital the way they did for mom in the southern hospital. She said dad needed to complete a standard state DNR form to put in his medical record. She then filled out the paperwork and gave it to me to bring to the hospital so they would have the forms in his file….

There are legal differences between an “admission” and an “observation patient”. If he were admitted, he would have certain rights under Medicare that he did not get as an observation patient. Continue reading

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living Facility, death and dying, Dementia, Eldercare | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Moving My Father to a Smaller Assisted Living Facility Closer to my House

Dad experienced several major life changes in less than a year. First he moved into his first assisted living facility (ALF) at the Gardens with mom. Then after just 4 months there, mom passed away. …

He had never lived before in the community where I live. However, there was a nice assisted living facility near my home and he felt comfortable about that. …

I am glad that I chose this smaller ALF for dad for many reasons. In some ways, the advantages of a smaller facility made it easier for him to learn his way around, to get to know the staff and for the staff to get to know him. ….

The disadvantage of a smaller facility to me might also be a consideration in making a decision. The biggest disadvantage that I have seen is that there are so few medical staff. At the Gardens there was a 24 hour nursing staff with multiple nurses available all the time…. Continue reading

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia, Elder Care, Eldercare, Health Care | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flying with a Parent with Alzheimer’s Disease

Now that mom had passed away, how would I bring dad home by myself? Before flying, I wanted to be totally prepared for anything that might go wrong….

Read how I prepared for this flight and learn how you can too.

All that preparation paid off for us. Dad didn’t wear Depends, but did wear his US Marine’s hat. That and the fact that he was in his mid-90’s got him lots of special thanks and attention. As we went through the security line, we were directed to a special line for those with special needs. All the uniformed screeners shook dad’s hand and thanked him for his service to his country. They asked if he could walk through the scanner and he did. Otherwise he stayed in his wheelchair and the three of us got through security in record time. I was amazed. And thankful! Continue reading

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia, Elder Care, Eldercare, Transportation | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Living in an Assisted Living Facility

For several months, I stayed in the same long term facility as my father after mom passed away. This gave me the opportunity to observe the daily life in an assisted living facility. I learned that the staff really cared about the residents and gave the type of care I wanted him to have. I saw residents participate in optional activities such as trips to malls, grocery stores and restaurants. Even with dad’s Alzheimer’s disease he was happy and functioned well in this environment.

I felt that dad adjusted very well to assisted living right from the start, and I credited the well trained staff for much of that. I was very thankful that dad was already in an assisted living facility when mom fell. I don’t know how I would have taken care of his needs while simultaneously tending to mom’s needs and all the medical decisions that came along with her steep decline. Even mom repeatedly stated how glad she was that dad was taken care of. “God was watching over us”, she said. Continue reading

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How to Move Your Parents into an Assisted Living Facility

Moving your parents into an assisted living facility takes advance planning. You can begin at any time to prepare yourself to choose a facility and be ready to move your parents when the time is right. The more planning you do before the crisis, the easier it will be to follow through with a move that will meet your parents’ needs. Mom may be ready before you expect her to agree or maybe something will happen to mom or dad that will cause a crisis leading to the need for an immediate move to assisted living. Either way, you can be prepared. Continue reading

Posted in Assisted Living Facility, Caregiving, Elder Care, Eldercare, Family | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment