Nancy C. - So Few Resources
Two years before Mom died, my sister, brother, and I began noticing changes in her. Her long-time family doctor would not make a diagnosis, nor would he refer her to a specialist who would. He led us to believe that these changes were a "normal" part of aging. Mom lived alone in the home we grew up in, with my brother and sister nearby. I live 90 miles away. The changes were more pronounced to me, since I didn't see her every day as they did. After Mom fell and was hospitalized, her doctor recommended she move to an assisted living facility, which, we discovered, he held a financial interest in. He stated she couldn't live alone any longer. We knew she would decline rapidly if we removed her from home so the three of us took turns staying with her around the clock. Since we also worked full time, that was no longer feasible after a few months and we hired full-time in-home care for her. They were wonderful! Mom received one-on-one care, rather than being ignored for hours, as we sometimes observed while she was in rehab facilities after hospitalizations. Since Mom had some savings, there was no financial assistance for the in-home aides. We depleted her savings and added our own resources in order for her to stay home. Although she had a long-term care insurance policy for years, it offered no help because it excluded in-home care and would pay only if we institutionalized her, which we would not do as long as she was able to maintain at home. Mom died with hospice services in her home in December 2013. We are forever grateful to the wonderful caregivers who helped her and our family and allowed her to stay safely at home. Had she lived longer, we would have done whatever was necessary to continue paying for the excellent care she received. It wasn't until we were in this situation that we realized how little knowledge and concern some doctors have in the elderly and their issues. Further, it is shameful that Mom paid into an insurance policy for years that, in the end, refused to help her when she needed it. Keeping her home, rather than institutionalizing her, would have cost them less, however they encouraged us to remove her from her home so that they could pay for her care.