When Mom was admitted to the nursing home, it was as her aftercare rehab from a fall, heart attack and renal failure. As her condition improved, she was no longer covered by insurance because dementia does not qualify for "skilled nursing care." This meant her social security benefit of $708.00 a month would go directly to the facility for her 'extended care.' Basically, she is residing there because she can no longer live independently and has no family able to give her 24hr care.
The nursing staff have been great caring for Mom and even used the fact that she used to be a certified nursing assistant in their nursing care plan. For example, Mom "made rounds" and was given "charts" to fill out. This gave her a sense of purpose and a feeling of usefulness.
Mom fell one Monday morning on the way to the bathroom. Her injuries were nothing more than a scraped knee and a little embarrassment. The following Wednesday, she fell again breaking her right hip. She was hospitalized and required a right hemiarthroplasty. The procedure was simple and basic so Mom was able to return to the nursing home that next Monday. Unfortunately, she has fallen out of bed three times since she returned despite every precaution the facility and staff implements. At least she hasn't fractured or re-fractured anything.
Meanwhile, Mom's bill collectors are circling. While I have cancelled her phone, electricity, rent and mail, one group of bill collectors remain. Payday loan reps.
Mom fell for the payday loan folks who send elderly people checks through the mail. Living alone and slowly losing brain function enabled her to cash these checks then either keep it secret and/or forget the transactions altogether. Her total with interest comes to approximately $3500.00. But now that it's 'time to pay up,' I get about 25 calls a day from these companies.
I understand that there are probably people who take out this type of loan with no intention of paying back the money but to 'decide' that EVERYONE who gets a loan like this is trying to get out of paying is horrible. Calling me every day is also horrible. To be honest, sending these types of checks to a specific population like the elderly is also horrible. But she DID cash those checks...as their representatives remind me.
When this month is over, finances will be a lot easier. Mom's insurance has resumed covering her care and her monthly check will go directly to her bank account and can be used to take care of some of her outstanding bills. Even though she has credit card bills and payday loans none of us knew about AND no one but she is legally responsible for them, I have been trying to repay them--with little to no success.
It just adds another level of sadness to realize that there are businesses that send our elderly offers that are 'too good to be true.' I also wonder about my concept of responsibility and tendency to lean towards martyrdom when it comes to my mother. Why would I try so hard to take care of her bills when she never took care of me? Why should I try to do anything for the woman who tried so hard to forget all about me when she was younger and is finally accomplishing that through dementia and old age? All I can come up with right now is--why not?