An angel

I visited Mom Thursday, timing my arrival just after her lunch. I got there at about 12:50. Mom was sacked out on the lobby couch, holding onto dog/cat. I pulled up a chair next to her and sat for a little while. And then I touched her leg, and she woke up. She seemed to be glad to see me. I told her she could continue her nap if she wanted to, but she preferred to stay awake. We sat for a little while until she seemed more alert. One aide came by and told me how sweet she thinks Mom is. She also said she thought Mom would enjoy having a room on the other end of the facility, where the large program area is. That remains the plan, I think, when a bed opens on that end of the building. Penny the nurse came by and I asked how Mom had been doing since the fight a few days before. “That wasn’t her fault,” Penny said. “She is an angel.” These two assessments were great news to me.

We went to the program area and I did her nails. I actually filed them down a bit. They are getting long and a little ragged. And I painted them pink. The activities director was leading a small art project. Residents were painting little ceramic magnets. Mom said she wanted to join the activity so she pulled up a chair at the table. I sat behind her at another table. She didn’t seem to really understand the painting concept. One of the staffers kept trying to encourage Mom to paint the entire surface of the magnet, which was a unicorn shape. Mom just didn’t seem to understand the concept of dipping her brush in the paint and then transferring that paint to the magnet surface. It’s interesting – other residents, perhaps more advanced than Mom, could still perform this task. One man just painted a picture on a piece of paper instead. Mom seemed to be getting grumpy. I finished painting her unicorn. I suggested she might want to finish her nap. She seemed to think that was a good idea, so I settled her into her bed and left.

I went back today, arriving at 2 p.m. Mom wasn’t in her room. I found her in the program area with a small group watching “Ice Age,” an animated movie. I pulled a chair up next to her. She turned and saw me and gave me a nice greeting. I had noticed dog/cat on her bed. Her yellow purse was with her. She had lipstick on. She pulled out a lipstick and applied some more. She chatted with me off and on. “Did you just happen to come here today?” she asked. “I came to see you,” I said. She seemed to like that. “I’ll probably sleep here tonight,” she said. Later, she said, “Whose apartment will I use?” I told her she had a room here, and all of her clothes and other belongings. She asked about “him” and I assumed she meant Patrick. “Is his mouth more comfortable?” she asked. And I realized she was asking about my dog, who recently had eight teeth removed because of chronic swelling in his gums. She remembered something about that story from my previous visit. She started going through her purse. She found the lipstick, and applied a little bit more. She found a sock and chuckled. We sat for a little while and just watched the movie, which I had never seen. After a half-hour, I said I should hit the road to go to the grocery store. She decided she was ready to leave, too. “What I’d really like to do is go to sleep,” she said. Perfect, I thought. I walked her to her room and, once again, tucked her into her bed for a nap. I don’t think the rest will do any harm. She still has a stuffy nose after all this time.

Meanwhile, Whetstone called our house on Friday. Patrick had come home early from work so he answered the call. This time it was Becky, someone in accounts receivable. She was informing us that Mom had what is called a “patient liability” amount due for the amount of time she spent in the nursing home. Apparently she owes the full monthly amount even though she spent only 15 days there. Patrick said to her, “You know Bonnie was kicked out, don’t you?” And Becky replied, “I’m just the person who makes the calls.” I think he enjoyed giving this unfortunate representative of Whetstone a difficult time. He asked for the amount owed. He also asked for a supervisor’s name. I had just told the business manager the day before to use Mom’s credit from assisted living and apply it to her patient liability. So I don’t know why this call was made. I called Becky and left a voice mail indicating I wanted Mom’s credit to be used to pay her liability. And in fact, there will be about $600 still left as a credit. I wonder what will happen to that. It’s frankly not in Mom’s best interest to have a windfall at this point in the Medicaid application process. Maybe I can advance pay Mom’s liability at the Alz center, or add to her prepaid funeral account. It’s just something else to have to do.

4 comments so far

  1. Jeff on

    I would have LOVED to be there when Patrick talked to the woman from Whetstone. They just keep digging themselves deeper into our collective disgust. I’m glad he asked for the supervisor – maybe in this one matter he can get involved in a way that, as a health care professional, makes a difference to them. Billing for a month when she was asked to leave seems illegal…
    I don’t know the rules and laws about that.
    Hang in there.

  2. momsbrain on

    Hey, Jeff! Unfortunately, they are entitled to payment for the 15 nights she occupied a bed. That’s just the way it is. My personal opinion, however, is that Mom should be liable for only a prorated amount rather than the full monthly amount, but I’m not sure that’s how it works with Medicaid. Meanwhile, my Medicaid case worker isn’t responsive to my questions, either. So I’m winging it!

  3. Sherri on

    I’m so glad Penny thinks your Mom is an angel…

  4. momsbrain on

    Sherri, I know. It was such a comfort. And the nice thing about this place is I think staff members consider most of these residents angels. They are very caring, patient and supportive of the patients.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: