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Why can't patients at home get what they need from Medicare?

Friday, April 19, 2013

I know other spark friends are in even worse situations! My heart goes out to you. I feel ridiculous complaining when I hear of your stories! Bless you! I know many caregivers die before the patient! I say prayers for each of you that I know.

Home seems the best place for my DH after his stroke. He does not need a skilled nursing facility at this time. And I'd like him to be home. Of course he wants to be at home.

I know I need maybe 3 (not paid by me) visits from a health aide each week to help me care for my husband. I don't think that is too much to ask for.

I, myself, pay an aide 6 times a week to bathe him, dress him, transfer him into a motorized wheelchair, give him breakfast, and throw in a wash load. And I just added paying an aide one night a week to do the reverse. (not a meal of course) He has become BM incontinent recently.

Recently he did get some paid help from Medicare. But it ends after 3 weeks. emoticon They in fact sent way too much help!

a nurse @$180/visit.--once a week for 3 weeks (DH has a couple of minor medical problems)

a social worker-once- @$190/visit--nothing resulted from this because my assets are to high. I knew that before the Social Worker came.

OT @ $150.00 /visit once a week for 3 weeks probably

PT @ $150/visit once a week for 3 weeks probably

health aide $57/hr. 3X a week for 3 weeks probably (but once she was very late and once she was a no show)

The PT told me today he does not need a PT continuing.The reason is because anyone can do the exercises with him. I agree with her. But..... I am here alone. It is impossible for me to do this and all the other responsibilities I have.

IF.... he continues PT or the nurse, we can have the aide for more weeks.

Duh! Right, he doesn't need the higher paid people but he does need lots and lots of daily care! I am the only one to do it or to pay people. My huge pile of assets will be gone quickly if I have to pay for all the help he needs.

This makes no sense to me. I will pay for some of the aides myself but I need someone to kick in and add money for more aides. The very expensive nurse, social worker, PT and OT aren't needed continually! It is quite obvious all those professionals with high fees aren't needed right now.

It is very frustrating. Oh--and the above 3 or so weeks happened because he turned 65. For the past 6 years there was almost no help at all. (They did, of course, help when DH first came home after his stroke seven years ago. ) His stroke happened when he was 59.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Chris, since you've had a couple of bad experiences with the health aide (late or no show), you need to contact who (s)he works for and talk with them. Maybe you could persuade them to refund money. Then, find a new place.

    I'm going to look up something in a book about such things as this, and I'll write you tomorrow afternoon. There has to be something you can access to get some relief.

    1830 days ago
  • FROSTY99
    I agree with so many on here-common sense has totally left our "leaders". Hopefully things will come to a head soon because so many of us boomers are getting to a certain age and maybe, just maybe we can force this issue. It is cheaper to stay home than in a nursing home but at what cost to the caregiver.
    Hugs to you and prayers for both of you.

    1830 days ago
    Now they won't cover cancer treatments, per the headlines. It comes down to people are expensive to care for. It's less expensive to deny treatment and medication. We are expendable. It's a shame. I mean medicare doesn't cover thyroid medication, my eye drops, or a power chair for me. I press on living without things I need. My MS medication is not covered. I pay for one month and I make it last 3 months by reusing patches, doing without, skipping days of rx. I heard they won't cover PT for patients with MS as they say we won't improve. Be grateful for what he is able to receive. Make choices as to how much help you really need from them and explore putting a notice in the paper for a home health aid. Usually they make a little bit over minimum wage which is less expensive than paying through medicare.

    As to his strength improving my PT had my MD order a muscle stimulator. Over time it helps to rebuild the nerve impulses and muscle strength. Insurance covered most of the cost. Just an idea. It also helps to move the blood a bit.

    1830 days ago
    my hubby had am issue like that onec. they would not give call a prescription medicine that was $10-15 so i could pick it up for him so he could stay home and sleep. instead they wanted him to drive to the office during office hours to get a shot of a medication. the medicine cost $150 and another $50 for the office visit. Great insurance is helpful but when no one seems to be interested in finding less expesive common sense options it does not help. Regardless of politics it would be nicer to have health care more affordable so insurance copays would not be such a struggle.
    1831 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/20/2013 1:18:46 PM
    Where I live we have Consumer Directed Services which you your Medicaid/Medicare to provide a home health care person 3.5 hours a day up to 5 days a week along with transportation needs. It's not a nurse but you hire them yourself. It was a huge help for me when my husband had his mitral valve replaced last year and I almost went batty trying to manage everything alone.
    1831 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Obamacare is suppose to be making a lot more cuts (things that they will not cover) as time goes on. I get my information from the Doctors on Fox News. Many Doctors aren't taking Medicare Patients anymore. Can't afford to treat them. A lot of Doctors is going out of business. Can't afford to stay open. We have a severe Doctor and Nurse shortage in this country. I could go no and on. Things are only going to get worse not better. What they charge for things is out of sight. Highway Robbery. Sorry to have to tell everyone this. We need all new Leadership in Washington. God Blessings to Everyone. Have a Super Nice Day. Chris, I hope that you can get and find the help you need in caring for Your Husband. My thoughts and Prayers goes out to You ane everyone in the same situation that You are in. Take Care. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1831 days ago
    Chris if you are paying for all those high cost people and just need a health aide, maybe you could look into going thru one of those help at home agencies and just pay for the aide you need at a much lower price level than what you posted. Isn't Medi paying for any of this? My husband's Medi pays for help at home on an ongoing basis. But he only needs a home nurse and a PT. When my DH and I moved out of the nursing home I had to be in we were put in a program in a community support agency and thru them we got a help at home program called Preferred Home Care and thus the nurse and PT. We are going to check into it to see if we can get a home help aid to help with the bigger house chores as I can't do them and DH is already busy caregiving on more important things. His life is too precious to wear him to collapse and a shorter life, with his health conditions. Even if we end up paying someone to come in just a couple of days a week. emoticon
    IKacey co-leader of the Chair Exercise Team
    1831 days ago
  • FRAN0426
    Keeping you frustrted and using up all you money seems to be the norm these days. When you only asking for an aide they send out all other types of expensive people( who you didn't need or want in the firat place). Goverment regulations and laws have this all messed up. Good luck with getting just the aides you need, they should send someone to help, you need a break.
    1831 days ago
  • MISSG180
    It's so difficult. My thoughts are with you.
    1831 days ago
  • ELSCO55
    I wonder how ObamaCare will change this?
    1831 days ago
    OK we are going to spend about 10B for the mapping the brain but cut SS. That makes allot of sense. I say cut the crap and help the people that are in need and not the ones that are saying " I need SS because I can't read or even disability because they can't read or don't want to work". This country has it priority in the wrong place..
    1831 days ago
  • RAMONA1954
    I know it's flustrating because my 85 year old Aunt went through all that with her late husband. She couldn't handle him and it was awful how they treated them. I truly feel for your situation. It's a sad shame that you can't get any help when you so desperately need it. My youngest brother is going through it now with our Dad and our other brother doesn't understand why he can't get any help. Some people just don't understand. Where I live they've cut so many of the programs there's nothing left. There's no where to turn to. I keep you in my prayers. I hope you can find what you need soon before you totally destroy your health too. emoticon
    1831 days ago
    This country seems to have lost its common sense (let alone regard for people of a certain age demograpnic)! We are definitely losing our "mojo", for want of a better term......

    I hope you can find some kind of real-life support system somehow......nobody should have to take on what feels like the burden of the entire world - especially at certain times in life where there is a certain presumption that life's stresses *should* *ease up* somewhat.......

    Please know (as I'm sure you probably do) that your fellow Sparkers care!

    1831 days ago
    How frustrating. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1831 days ago
    I find a lot of things about Medicare frustrating, confusing and rarely makes sense in a practical situation. You are in my thoughts.
    1831 days ago
    Chris --my heart goes out to you. I watched my savings go from "We are in really good shape" to "one step from being a bag lady" As a "bag lady" I would have been eligible for all kinds of help. I don't understand the system--why does having some money ahead so we are not a drain on society keep us from being given some aid. Guess you can tell I'm still bitter at my loss of retirement funds--now live day to day on small pension and need to plan every trip not to run out of gas before the next cheque deposit. Absolutely hate it. Not the way we had our lives planned out. Sorry I, didn't mean to vent!

    1831 days ago
    I now whot you mean lothar is 79 and I am 70 It is getting to hard for me put that is our lot Who says life is fair I have been a care giver one way or a other Put some how I find the strength to make it God is with use
    1831 days ago
    I want to HUG you and give you a break - I will continue to keep you and DH in my prayers and hope that you will find a reasonable solution.
    1831 days ago
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