Reply
Periodic Contributor

Mom is in post-acute care, all by herself, looking for help to find nursing home

My 75-year-old mother lives by herself in Central NJ.  She recently fell at home and called an ambulance.  The ER could not diagnose her, and she is now at the post-acute care wing of a nearby nursing home.  She is suffering from multiple medical issues, including dizziness, blacking out, blurred vision, and trouble emptying her bladder and bowels.  She is very distressed, and believes (probably correctly) that she will not be cured, and not be able to manage on her own at her 2-story townhouse.  She asked me to help her get information about finding a nursing home, or possibly an assisted-living center.

I live near Portland, OR with my minor son.  I want to help and do not want her to suffer.  But I'm unwilling to drop everything in my life to go to NJ to help her.  I have tried for over 20 years, since my dad died, to foster a better relationship with her - trying to convince her to move to the West Coast with everyone else in her family, bought her a computer (which she never used), and offered a free cell phone with free service - but she has turned down every offer.  If she lived near me, I would visit her at the hospital or care center, advocate for her in person, and do what I could to help her with her home.  But from across the country, I'm limited to what I can do on the phone or online.  She has never shared her financial information with me, and I'm not even certain that she has an up-to-date accounting of her assets.

 

I'm hoping to find local resources (government and/or private) that we can reach out to, who can help her with:

  • applying for Medicaid
  • cleaning and selling her home (and other assets, if needed)
  • finding an assisted-living or nursing home
  • getting access to medical care

All suggestions are greatly appreciated.  I will pass along phone numbers to her, and do what I can online or on the phone from here.

 

Thank you,

Eric

 

 

0
Kudos
2586
Views
0
Replies
Honored Social Butterfly

Your mom needs to seek legal counsel so that she can pick someone to handle her affairs that she trust to do so - this would include a Healthcare POA or Health Directive - different states do it different ways.

Could be someone whom she trust to be given her financial (durable) POA to do all the financial stuff like becoming her SS Representative Payee, apply for that Medicaid - IF SHE QUALIFIES - and those other things you mentioned.

 

This appointment could be a person or an institution who would charge her for their services.

 

Does she have a lawyer?  Preferably one that is well versed in elder care.  A trusted friend that can take over these responsibilities - both financial and health wise.  

 

Think she would be up to moving out to where you are now that things have changed?  Tell her that is what you are willing to do - move her out there and then you can take care of these things.  In fact, you could learn more about her matters as the move progresses.

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
0
Kudos
3674
Views
Periodic Contributor

Hi, Gail,

Thank you very much for your reply.  I did some research online, and found the Burlington County Senior Citizen Legal Services Program.  I will try to get in touch with them on Tuesday.

 

Unfortunately, my mom has created a bad situation for herself.  She has no friends.  When she called an ambulance, she did not notify me that she was going to the hospital.  I called her house 3 times in 2 days, and nobody answered.  I called the police to request a safety check.  They called back and informed me about the ambulance.  I got in touch with her... I don't know for sure if she would have eventually contacted me.  I asked her for the name & phone number of a neighbor whom I could call & ask to ring her bell in case this ever happened again.  She told me that she didn't trust a single neighbor, so I would just have to call the police.

 

Her only other family are her older 81-year-old sister (my aunt), and her daughter (my younger sister).  I think that she talks to my aunt every once in a while, but I haven't spoken with my aunt in about 15 years.  My aunt had her own issues, and is probably is no condition to go to NJ (from Sacramento) to help her, even if she wanted to.  And my Mom used to have a relationship with my sister, but suddenly cut it off a few years ago with no explanation.  My sister (a divorced mom with full custody of 2 girls) was very hurt, and wants nothing more to do with her.  So... there is only me.

 

When my wife (who passed 8 years ago) and I did our estate planning, we wanted to leave something for my mom.  But we had asked her many times to PLEASE create a will and power of attorney, and despite her promises to do so (and our offers to pay for legal services), she never did.  So we instead left extra money to my sister for my mom's care.

 

I'm pretty sure that she does not have or know an attorney.  According to her, she doesn't even have a primary doctor.  She has no computer or cell phone, and does not follow the news.  She only heard about COVID because her grocery store & library changed.  When vaccines became available, I pleaded with her to get vaccinated, and she finally got her initial 2 shots.  At least that's what she told me.  I found out a few days ago that she lied about it, and was never vaccinated.  She apologized for lying - she said "I just didn't want to argue with you."  Yesterday, she tested positive for COVID.

 

Like I said, I don't want her to suffer.  But based on our history, there's only so much that I'm willing to do.  I'm hoping that this Senior Citizen Legal Help will be able to provide her with the services that she needs.  I doubt that she would be willing to move to Oregon, even now.

 

Thanks again,

Eric

 

Honored Social Butterfly

You might add this NJ government service to your list of possible resources 

NJ HHS Division of Aging Services (DoAS)

 

Follow any of the links on the Home page which you think could apply.

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
0 Kudos
656 Views
2
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

If she is bad off physically and/or mentally, and unable to make choices for herself - there is always the legal process of filing for Guardianship.

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
0 Kudos
641 Views
1
Report
Periodic Contributor

Hi, Gail,

 

Thank you again.  I checked out the NJ DoAS web site - thanks for the link.  It states that they provide oversight of "ADRC" (Aging and Disability Resource Connection) programs provided by 21 county offices.  It says "For access to aging services in your county, call 877-222-3737".  This is the same phone number that I found on the Burlington County ADRC web page.  I sent a detailed email to Burlington County ADRC; hopefully they can reply this week and offer help.

 

I also searched for non-profit agencies that might be able to help.  Many of them are faith-based, and I'm not sure how my mom would feel about that.  I will let her know what's available, and if she's open to it, help her contact them.  Sometimes you accept whatever help you can get.

 

My mom is definitely not doing well physically or emotionally.  It's hard for me to gauge her mental state.  She definitely doesn't seem as sharp as she did a few weeks ago.  For example, it was harder than it should have been for her to write down a phone number or hear a name.  But that could be due to physical problems - bad hearing (related to dizziness), blurred vision, or shaky hands.  The nurse at her facility told me, and my mom confirmed, that she would speak with a psychologist or psychiatrist.  I think there was 1 session so far, but I don't know how it went.  I suspect that my mom would resist anyone taking guardianship of her, so I'm guessing that it would require the confirmation from a psychiatrist that she needs it.

 

Thanks again!

-Eric

 

0 Kudos
603 Views
0
Report
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Need to Know

"I downloaded AARP Perks to assist in staying connected and never missing out on a discount!" -LeeshaD341679

AARP Perks

More From AARP