Senior Life Since 2005
No-regret decisions at home, assisted living, hospitals and nursing homes
2425 Clover Street, Rochester, NY 14618
585-424-2424


ARTICLES & ANSWERS

Senior Life and Jennifer Meagher RN are featured on the WHEC News 10 website: www.WHEC.com. Jennifer answers questions from people like you and writes an article as well. She’s been writing for News 10 since 2007.

The most common questions asked of Senior Life are about life planning; options, costs and decisions. These letters and articles outline some of the considerations. Need more information? Book a consultation for complete information for your situation.

DEMENTIA

  DEMENTIA: DIGNITY and SECONDARY CONCERNS
  DEMENTIA: A FRIEND’S DENIAL and WHY DIAGNOSIS IS IMPORTANT
  WHEN DAYS AND NIGHTS ARE CONFUSED
  DRIVING WITH DEMENTIA
 

LIFE PLANNNING

  DECISIONS and FINANCES
  STAYING HOME
  MOVING
  MEDICAID
     

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

  PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE MOM AND GUILT ARTICLE
  CRITICAL MOTHERS AND LAZY SIBLINGS
  PERSONALITY DISORDER AND BAD PARENT VENGEANCE
  CRITICAL BROTHERS AND LONG DISTANCE FAMILIES
  SPLITTING UP PARENT’S VALUABLES
   

STAYING HOME

Dear Jennifer,

My aunt is on an anti-fungal medication that is about a hundred dollars a pill! She has to take 4 a day. The pill isn’t covered by insurance which I think is awful. She is in the hospital because she had a heart attack. She wasn’t getting well like she should and the tests came up with a fungal problem in her blood. If that isn’t terrible enough, the hospital doesn’t want to keep her and no nursing homes want her either because she is too expensive for them.

We are scrambling to make arrangements to bring her home and cover the cost of the medicine. Her insurance is going to cover 4 hours of aide service three times a week. That’s it! She’s a widow. She never had any kids of her own. She’s always been good to me and my brother so we will do what we can, but we both work and have spouses and kids to attend to.

This just doesn’t seem right!!! How can the system desert her like this? Can we appeal this? We called the insurance company and they said there is nothing we can do.

Sincerely,

Jennie



Dear Jennie,

These situations are uncommon, but they do occur. It is unfortunate, but some medications are just not covered. And an appeal will be a waste of time. You might try contacting the manufacturer of the medication: they may be able to offer a reduced fee. Also call Lifespan. They will review your situation and link you up with any other assistance programs that might help with this or other bills. Also if your aunt or her husband were in the military during wartime, she might be in line for the Veteran’s Aide and Attendance program. Again, Lifespan will guide you for a sliding scale fee.

I have also known families to run fundraisers, either as a function (spaghetti dinner or music event etc.) or online. See www.carepages.com or consider creating a Facebook account for your aunt. Don’t be shy asking for donations. If I may get on a soap box for a moment: we are at a tragic point where we need to have bake sales to pay for our health care. (I recall some years ago when Rochester was the model city for health care/ insurance.) We should not stop healthcare reform, we should encourage more. See today’s article.

Good luck. Your aunt is lucky to have you.

Warmly,

Jennifer

LIFE PLANNING- PART TWO of a four part series: WHAT IT TAKES TO STAY HOME AND STAY WELL.

Benefits include:

Last week we looked at finances. This week we are taking a hard look at living well at home. The following do not apply to every situation, but are considerations for many.

1. Home modifications - possibilities include:
  A. Grab bars at every door and everywhere there is a step/s.
  B. Emergency response buttons – there are new versions that claim to detect falls. I am hearing mixed reviews about that feature at present – the standard button is a must-have when family is concerned. Don’t forget to put a key box outside the door for emergency personnel to use rather than breaking in the door.
  C. Medication dispensing and alert systems. There are a wide variety; they have a reminder alarm and can be locked. (They dispense meds at each time they are taken.) And some call family to advise them that the medications were not taken. Some pharmacies deliver filled medication boxes- a family member still needs to oversee this.
  D. Move the laundry to the first floor (or send the laundry out – some services pick it up.)
  E. Move the bedroom to the first floor.
  F. Move the bathroom to the first floor – or use a commode.
  G. Or put in a stair lift – the chair elevator that carries you up/down the stairs.
  H. Purchase a lift chair.
  I. Turn off stoves if there is a risk of a stove fire. NOTE WELL: If you have to turn off a stove out of worry of a fire, your loved one needs 24/7 supervision.


2. Socialization - lack of socialization can lead to depression and cognitive decline.
  A. Who, how, where? Who is going to visit, or will you get your loved one out, and where will you go?
  B. How often? If your loved one has an active mind, enjoys hobbies, and has friends who call or stop in, this is a big help. If not, weekly visits are in order. (Can’t do a weekly visit? Then consider this in your discussion with your parents.)
  C. Consider senior centers and adult day programs for those who are primarily home bound.


3. Miscellaneous
  A. Transportation to doctor appointments – it is wise to have someone go along to ask questions, share observations / concerns, and follow through on instructions.


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2425 Clover Street Rochester NY 14618
info@seniorlifegcm.com
585.424.2424