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Confession: March 24th was going to be the end for me. Months with no car, pain, painful treatments, meds screwed up, isolated, low on cash...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Family Feud: The Nursing Home Problem

"What do we do about Mother?" No, that's not the question. In my family it's "What are YOU gonna do about YOUR mother?" In other words, I'm on my own.
My family has always been the type that said, "Call us if you need us---we won't do anything to help, we'll just wait 'til everything is over and then tell you what all you did wrong." Does that sound familiar to anybody out in "Bloggerland"?
Now that the nursing part of Mom's nursing home stay is settled, the business part is raising it's head. Though Mom has been "approved" to stay at the facility until July 2, 2014, her insurance had not, meaning the care and residence will now have to come out-of-pocket. Just a couple hours ago, I got a call from the administrator to "let me know" I owed $318.00. "It's been generously pro-rated" the woman said, "so we'll have to have that money today or your mother will be 'released' on the 16th." Apparently, Mom isn't physically eligible for 'skilled care' anymore BUT her mental condition prevents her from living in the apartment she'd had for years. Unfortunately, if they 'have to keep her' they'll need that $318 by Sunday. "By the way," the administrator said, "we aren't in the office after 5p.m. today and won't be until Monday morning the 17th so when will you arrive today?"
I guess I should be honored that the woman thought I had an extra three hundred plus to just give to her at the drop of a hat but the lady also called the next in line, Mom's sister Lily. Aunt Lily then called me to let me know that she "couldn't take the stress and strain of your mother's situation." I guess the administrator called asking for money, too.  Then Aunt Lily's second son called to let me know that "Mom can't be bothered with things like this."
What are "things like this"?
The nursing home wants me to sign over Mom's social security check to them "just in case your mother has to stay here the rest of her life."  Okay, I have no problem with that. What I didn't know was that Mom's apartment requires tenants to pay two month's rent if they are placed in a long-term care facility. Still not exactly sure why.
My problem is if Mom's released after 07/02/14, where is she going to go? Should I just let the apartment go and 'decide' that Mom will be in a nursing home the rest of her life? I was told that "Mom's case" would be re-evaluated after July 2--possibly released. They just can't tell.
I'm just facing what millions of people are facing but it seems to have happened all at once and my family is mounting a rapid retreat.
I'm screwed either way. "They" will be mad if I leave Mom in the nursing home--where she'll be well cared for (because they'll have her $708 a month SSI check) OR if I spend the money to maintain her apartment so she'll have somewhere to come home to. The FEAR is that one of them will be asked to take Mom into their home. But there's no danger of any of them "stepping up" they feel that's my job...and they want to be there to comment on the lousy job they think I'm doing.
I guess I hoped that I could go to people in my family to 'discuss' Mom's alternatives but in my heart I knew better. You can see it in their faces the defensiveness they feel--like they'll be asked for something or other like money. Tightly clutching their pocketbooks and readily passing judgment is all my family does. They are even more insulted if you DON'T ask for money. Why? Because they can't complained that you asked!
The way I feel about it--they can kiss my butt! Even though biology is the only connection between my mother and I, I'll take care of it. I'll stop thinking that 'family' is the group of people that love you know matter what. Mine never has--what made me think they ever would? I guess I always 'hoped' they would but to paraphrase a line from Morgan Freeman's character from The Shawshank Redemption--"HOPE is a dangerous thing."
But reflecting on the situation I'm in reminds me of another line, "If there is a problem YO, I'll solve it..." I'll succeed all by myself!
Thanks for letting me gripe!
Keep me in your prayers.

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