Monday, July 27, 2009

Does He...?

Does he remember the Korean War, from which he received a Purple Heart? Does he remember their wedding day, which was over 50 years ago? Does he remember the day any of his three children were born? Does he remember... anything at all... ?

We went to Virginia this past weekend to visit my in-laws. My Father-in-law has dementia and brain atrophy (his brain is shrinking). I talked a bit about it in a previous post.

I really don't know if he remembers anything at all because he really doesn't talk now. If we ask him a question, he pauses, thinks, sometimes moves his lips just the slllightest bit, and then either nods or shakes his head. If he replies at all. I don't think he even spoke ten words the entire weekend! I think a small part of it may be because when my Mom-in-law asks him something, she doesn't wait for him to work things out in his head first. She asks, he starts to ponder, and then she asks again...
I don't know...

But do not interpret that as me being accusing or anything! 'Cause I am not accusing anyone of anything!

All I know for certain is:

this sucks!!!

And if you already read my very first post, you also know that my Mom has Alzheimer's... so I have a bunch more of similar/different crap to look forward to!

I apologize!!! I did not start this out to be some depressing diatribe or something!

I started it just to let you know that Boyfriend and I went to Virginia on Saturday morning and got back yesterday evening. We had a good visit. Boyfriend's Mom is doing well. His sister lives next door to them, and she's having a good summer (she's a teacher). She helps her parents out on a daily/mostly daily basis.

But now they at least have someone from the V.A. (Veteran's Administration) coming out for a few hours most-every-weekday to help out. Someone comes and Mom-in-law can get out of the house to get her hair fixed (a weekly ritual with her sister), or to go grocery shopping, or for whatever reason. It gives the two of them a much-needed break. And we are all thankful for it!

If it weren't for the V.A. I'm not sure what we'd do.

I'm not sure what the Medicaid rules are in your state, but in NC and VA, it's really bleak for anyone who's in the middle bracket of financial stability (or whatever you call it ... middle-class?).
Someone like my Mom's husband, who's a millionaire, will never have to worry about Medicaid, and someone who is poor and depends on the State already, has nothing to lose either.
It's all the people in the middle of those two extremes who have the most to lose.

For instance: If my Father-in-law falls or has a stroke or whatever and needs to go to a Nursing Home (or round-the-clock in-home care), Medicaid will kick in (if she chooses). Then my Mom-in-law will have to give half of everything (except the house) to Medicaid before they'll pay anything to the Nursing Home. 401K? Has to be cashed and half goes to the state. Bonds, stocks, savings? Half of it has to go to the State.
And if her husband dies the next day or the next week or the next month? Medicaid does not pro-rate anything, and they don't give her back any of her money! It's just gone!

I understand that Medicaid has to get its money from somewhere, but, DAMN!!!
This man has worked hard all his life to make sure that his wife is well taken care of in her old age, whether he's there or not! He didn't do it just to give half of everything to the State!

So maybe you think you'll just give half of your money to your children first, before Medicaid kicks in? Think again! You have to give your children whatever-it-is (the house, money, whatever) at least SIX YEARS before you start using Medicaid - or else the kids'll have to give it back! (Time varies by State. For NC & VA it used to be three, then five, and now it's six years. Who knows when they'll change it again?!)

And if it's just you? Guess what the State gets? Yep. EVERYTHING.
For instance, Kitty's boyfriend's Dad died two years ago (cancer), so now it's just B and his Mom. If she has a stroke today and needs to go into a home (or round-the-clock care), she can't afford to pay for all of that by herself, so Medicaid would need to kick in... Well, guess where that would leave B?
Medicaid (i.e. the State) would take everything, cash in everything, so his Mom could be taken care of by the State/Medicaid.

I know. Sad.
He's 19 and nowhere near ready to take care of himself. He doesn't have a job, savings or anything. He still lives at home. I could go on, but I think you have the picture.

Check out the Medicaid laws in your state. It's really heartbreaking! And we have more information than the "average joe" because we've hired an attorney who specializes in Medicaid!

Okay, okay...
I'll stop ranting and raving now.

I'm going to go work on Bunny's quilt!
It's coming along nicely, thank you! =-)

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