Nursing Home Information

United States
September 2, 2011 1:18pm CST
My sister has MS. She is just 59 but is in a wheelchair most of the time now. Her condition worsens. She lives in another state and has no family to turn to. She has a few close friends but they have their own lives and there is just so much that they can do. She receives SSI Disability, Medicare and Medicaid. And receives other social services. She has to have caregivers. She lives in HUD housing. Her condition worsens and she is beset with health problems. She is beginning to fall down. She is fearful that there may be an attempt to involuntarily place her in a nursing home by managed care caseworkers. She tells me that if she is placed in a nursing home, they will take her entire social security check leaving he only $35 a month. She will have no phone or access to the internet which is very important to her because that is her only contact with the outside world. I live in another state and so does her daughter. I know there are some mylotters who have probably had to deal with nursing homes and may have information about nursing homes. Is it correct that they can take your entire social security check giving you only $35 a month? Her health is poor but she still can take care of herself in her own apartment with the help of caregivers. Her mind is really fine. Could a caseworker try to involuntarily commit her to a nursing home because she fell down?
1 person likes this
7 responses
• United States
2 Sep 11
I really dont know all of the laws pertaining to nursing homes and payments and such. I do know that they will often work with someone who doesnt have much money - taking the social security and using that as 'payment in full' for the care so that loved ones arent burdened with the cost. It is difficult for me to believe she wouldnt have any phone or internet access. She may not be able to make long distance calls, but I am sure something could be set up for you or her daughter to call at certain times to talk to her. (So that she will be by the phone) Im sorry that I really dont have any help to offer. I mostly just wanted to say good luck. And that your sister is very blessed to have someone like you who cares so much to do what you can even though you live so far away!
• United States
2 Sep 11
I do care. We have not seen each other since the 1970's. We have both had very challenging lives. She lives in Key West, Florida. I can afford to go to Key West but I can not stay with her. Her place is too small. I have checked the hotel room rates in Key West and even off season, they are outrageous. We have so many people going into their elderly years. There is going to have to be some improvement in how we treat the elderly in The United States.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Sep 11
Yes they do take your entire check but $35 a month. When my mother decided to stay in a nursing home because she kept falling and not taking her meds ect that's what happened. They also don't get a phone in their room unless they/you pay for it, otherwise my Mom was able to use the phone at the nurse station. So clearly if you have to pay for the phone, you'd also have to pay for her internet service. Oh also they may or maynot get tv in the home so you may have to pay an additional amount for cable tv in their room. At the time she paid $12/mo (=$23 for spending a month) And with her being on all the programs she's on she will have a room mate, no private rooms. Now the home my Mother was in she could get a private room BUT that was if we could fork another $500 s month. However, she did have her room to herself quite a bit because most of her room mates were waiting to move to hospice or she grew angry with them. And that's another thing your sister will not like is that you can't choose your room mate. Several of the ones she had were up moaning and dilusional when it was time to sleep. So part of her being upset or in a foul mood was because she was not getting enough sleep. Also they were very very slow to get her to the bathroom. Let me know if I can be of any further help to you.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Sep 11
Oh, it sounds so bleak. I had no idea how bleak the situation is. Why would your mother not take her meds? If she had, could she have stayed in her home?
• United States
2 Sep 11
She did not want to take them because she'd been depressed for years and years.... I remember her talking about wanting to die when I was a kid. Only her method was being a diabetic and eating all the carbs and sweets she could afford to buy... and eventually not taking her meds as she was told to do. She also would wake up in the middle of the night needing to use the toilet and refused to wear or put on a diaper and would fall on the way to the toilet. Basically she wanted to be treated either you could say like royalty or like an infant. She could not do much walking w/o her walker and resting. She could not cook for herself anymore as she'd leave the burners on or put something in the oven and go take a nap. She had services come in and do her cleaning for her, meals on wheels and meals at the senior meal site in her building, and some errands besides what she would ask of me. Before she moved she basically did nothing for herself but eat, sleep, watch tv and go to the toilet. Not too far off from my childhood except she could drive back then
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Sep 11
So, your mother had very serious problems and engaged in behaviors that caused her to be put in a nursing home. If she had taken a different route, she might have been able to stay in her own apartment.
@GardenGerty (104004)
• United States
2 Sep 11
She cannot be put in a nursing home against her will unless she is mentally incompetent. Needs to get ahold of someone from the department of aging in her state. Yes, if she is on Medicare and Medicaid ans SSI the nursing home will receive all of her benefits except for $35, it used to be thirty. If she has any savings that has to be gone through first, as well. She is only allowed something like $2000 in assets. Phone access would be dependent on the facility. She would have to pay for a private line, but there is supposed to be a pay phone or desk phone available at all times. Many nursing homes provide internet access as part of their activities, but it would not be unlimited for her. If she is still caring for herself her next step would possibly be assisted living, but it is still the same thing about the benefits. She could be like our friend Hatley. Hatley earns her money for the internet by doing MyLot. If your sister has a computer she would have the option to do that.
• United States
2 Sep 11
Thanks for all the good info. I will pass it on to her. She has a computer and spends hours on line. She is mostly a shut in at this point in her life. I have sent her invitations to mylot as well as work at home sites that I think that she would enjoy like swagbucks and fusion cash. Right now, she has no interest. She is someone who would really benefit from these sites. She would make both friends and money. But no go. Question: What happens if someone is sound of mind but can no longer care for themselves personally. Then, they would have to be put in a nursing home, right?
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (104004)
• United States
2 Sep 11
I believe a doctor would have to order it. Generally they try for the least restrictive environment. If she has no other place to live, that might happen. If, for instance, there were rules where she lives about being able to do certain things. Is Hatley on your friend list? You could send your sister some of those discussions. Generally speaking, senior adults have all the same rights as other citizens, so just as no one can put me in a care facility, they should not be able to make her go either. Does she have a lap top or desk top?
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Sep 11
I think a desk top computer. She is in HUD housing now and has been for years. Her mind is fine and she can take care of all her personal needs. She receives social services and has care givers come n five days a week to clean, do laundry, run errands etc etc. But she has one health issue after another due to M.S. She is afraid to tell anyone that she has taken a fall for fear that there will be an attempt made to put her in a nursing home. I have assured her that if she is of sound mind and can take care of herself, no one can put her in a nursing home. And I am encouraging her to call her doctor about the fall.
@vycess (1590)
• Saudi Arabia
2 Sep 11
I'm sorry about your sister's condition. I think she has the right to decide and her family too. An individual with the sound mind has the right to his/her own body. She is fine right? Her reasoning? So I don't think she will be at a nursing home unless she decided it or her family? I don't know about the Social Security checks in the nursing home. Be strong and always pray.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Sep 11
Her mind is fine. She loves the computer. She can still take care of herself. She has caregivers but they do things like cleaning, laundry, errands etc. She does not need help with personal care. She loves her computer and is on line a great deal. She is afraid to tell anyone that she fell down for fear that a case worker might start an involuntary commitment to a nursing home. I live in HUD housing for seniors and I think that if management believes that you can no longer take care of yourself, they can try to get you sent to a nursing home. I am not certain if I am correct.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (104004)
• United States
2 Sep 11
I do not believe they can put her in a nursing home for a fall. I have an acquaintance with MS that is about the same age, etc. She falls. I think her doctor would have to order her to a nursing home. It is still cheaper for the state for her to remain in her own home, and that is usually the desired solution. She should ask her doctor about the falling issue, as that would be confidential between them. As long as she has her mental capacities she cannot be involuntarily committed. Perhaps her doctor can order some physical therapy, which Medicare would cover. My friend here had the falling issue and was sent to PT and gained back some mobility. She does need to set up or get paperwork for a durable power of attorney for health care and the same for financial care. In addition she needs to think about and sign a paper that talks about whether she wants a DNR in her records, and any other final wishes like that. You should too, while you are not being forced. Have a lawyer do this for you.
1 person likes this
@TrvlArrngr (4057)
• United States
3 Sep 11
That is very sad. Can the daughter not take in her mother or at least find a facility near her so she can provide the internet and phone? Families need to stick together and help each other out as best as they can. When families are not involved with nursing home patients they are often taken advantage of and that is truly sad. I hope it works out for your sister.
• United States
3 Sep 11
Unfortunately, there is some strain between my sister and daughter. I do not know all the problems. And the daughter has a teenage son with multiple problems. The daughter has her hands full as is.
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
2 Sep 11
well, nursing homes are pretty expensive (my father in law has altzheimers) but you need to do some looking into them to see the costs. each one is different.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Sep 11
I think that I thought the cost was covered by medicare / medicaid and the patient did not need to pay anymore. I did not realize that they take the social security check.
@ebuscat (5949)
• Philippines
3 Sep 11
For me yes she has the care so why don't ask for her assistant a caregiver.
• United States
3 Sep 11
She has a caregiver five days a week. I think that she was afraid that she could be placed in a nursing home against her will just because she fell down. That alone would not cause her to be put in a nursing home but if she fell and very seriously and permanently injured herself, then she would be forced into a nursing home. She needs to be more careful when walking.