Tuesday, January 31, 2012

will it ever stop???

Paper work keeps coming: VA, DFAS, Medicaid, Medicare, TriCare, The Nursing Home! UGH!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


This picture was taken September of 2009. That is me (as a blond) behind Mommy and Heather. There were moments before the disease ate her brain up and we had Norman Rockwell moments.It didn't last long.
I suppose the part of being an optimist is just that no matter how bad/sad or mad I am about the whole Alzheimer's thing, deep inside I still have hope.
I was enjoying some quiet time reading Friday afternoon, the phone rang, caller ID is a wonderful thing. IT was the nursing home. I have 2 ways of feeling panic or hopeful. For a moment I thought just maybe she is having a great day and they want me to rush down and see her!
But alas; it was her case working giving me a shopping list of what my mother needs: 2 pairs of slippers no elastic size 8 1/2, 2 new nightgowns, some slacks and tops, new undies. My mother has always been a size 8-10 always weighed between 124-132 lbs. Now she is 168 lbs. Her once beautiful smile is missing most of her teeth; she refuses to see a dentist. And really at 87 with this disease being so advanced would she or does she even remember how to take care of her teeth.
Today is one of those days. I miss the dream, I miss the "Supposed to b's, " I miss my Mommy and Daddy, I miss the calls, the emails I miss my parents. I really really hate ALZHEIMER"S!
Do you think the tears ever stop??? Do you think your heart ever heals? Please, Lord God make my heart and soul quiet. It is the only prayer that ever helps.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

the paperwork continues

PS I find it amazing how much paperwork is involved getting my mother her money. Also how true the saying, "the right hand doesn't know what the left has is doing" is the understatement with the VA and DFAS. I faxed and snail mailed more forms yesterday. I won't hold my breathe as to how long or if what I sent was even right. Social security is much easier than the military. OF course Mom has no clue about any of this her world is simple and safe. I do take comfort in knowing that she is wrapped in a world that has no concerns. I am attempting to be comforted knowing I am keeping my promise to take care of her that I made Daddy.Hope you in Blogland are having a good 2012 so far.God Bless.

Friday, January 6, 2012

VA and money

Before I ramble on let me tell all of you in blogland this little known fact. When your relative develops dementia /Alzheimer's it is not just about keeping them home or placing them elsewhere. IT is about MONEY TOO. In NY state Medicaid has a form to fill out that includes 24 different items that need to be presented upon the time of application for services. Those 24 items totalled 150 pages of paperwork.
Not everyone will accept your POA, family caregivers are NOT legally responsible for your loved ones debt. IF you foolishly do what I did which was to notify the creditors ( and sadly there were many) those creditors will call you and drive you crazy. I can't tell you the number of hours I have spent since Daddy died taking care of their finances.
That being said let me tell you about the VA pension which is different than Daddy's retirement pension from DFAS. The amount is $90 bucks a month and it originally came from the Railroad widows fund. It is supposed to be used for the extras of old age.
My mother's medicaid rep told me about this when I met with her for the first time 2 years ago.I applied for the pension in Feb of 2010, it has taken me 23 months to get this taken care of for Mom. At last and after who knows how many phone calls I met with the VA rep. at the nursing home yesterday. He had to meet with Mom's Social Worker then the 2 of them went to the floor she is on looked at her chart to make sure she was really there.
Rachel came with me just because I was nervous. We did not go see Mom we stayed in the lobby. When the rep. returned he had me sign a pile of papers. The most bizarre part of the whole thing is this; I have to open another bank account with me as her fiduciary agent. Why? You ask. I already have one as her POA that the other pensions go to. This is just plan stupid. The VA funds can NOT be commingled ( his term not mine) with DFAS and other funds.
There is retro funds which will help pay off her debts including her funeral expenses which I want to cover before she passes.
WE have had a few other friends whose parents have passed over the holidays . A few who have joined the ranks of caregivers whether tending their family member at home or placing them elsewhere. I am the one who passes all this not so great information to them. They are shocked because no matter how you cut it this is not what any of us wanted. All of this is just plain HORRID!