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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:31 AM

We're taking care of a relative who just had major surgery and I'm wondering.

What about people without money or relatives/friends who are able to take care of them? Does the hospital just put them in a cab and say goodbye? Or what? My relative has a complicated set of pain and other medications and I don't know how he'd be managing this alone.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:35 AM

1. They probably use temp nursing home care or visiting nurses.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:47 AM

2. I had thought of that as well

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I had the experience as a former Nursing Assistant. I handled the post op care at home.

I used to work home health. But the classes they would demand costs money, you were paid slightly better than minimum wage. It wasn't worth me keeping up my certification.

I loved my job, I loved interacting with people. But I couldn't afford the classes.

Country has their priorities screwed up. CEOs paid millions to sit on their ass, playing the stock market numbers game. Minimum Wage for those taking care of human beings....

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 10:49 AM

3. It can be a major problem

Before my first knee replacement I attended a 'class' that the hospital gave about joint replacement. One woman who was there had a long talk at the end with the patient advocate/case manager about what she could do after the surgery once she was released from the hospital. I did not mean to listen in but it was not a big room and the two women were not trying to keep their conversation private.

The woman who was going in for knee replacement had learned that her insurance company would not cover time in a rehabilitation facility or cover home health care. Her apartment was up two flights of stairs. She had no friends or relatives who she could stay with or who could help her after she was released from the hospital. She was basically SOL - she would not be able to get in and out of her regular living quarters, would not have any help at all unless she could pay for it out of pocket, would not have any way of getting assistance.

When I left, the patient advocate/case manager was discussing with the woman various agencies that might be able to help, but she was not holding out much hope. The best she could come up with was that the woman should move into ground floor living quarters before her surgery - for someone who has a knee bad enough to need replacement, that in itself would be nearly impossible!

I don't know what happened with that woman, but I hope she was able to get some help.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:02 AM

4. My friends father had a stroke but had no insurance. He went on to work and said he hit his head so

 

that he could get medical help. The called paramedics who said that he appeared to have a concusion and took him to the hospital. He stayed there 2 days and was sent home.

He lived alone and my friend was checking on him daily but he worked and they did not know how serious his ailment was. Thinking that he would recover after the hospital had released him.

But on the second day my friend found him in bad shape. So much so he was incapacitated, disoriented and unable to call or use a phone.

He was rushed back to the hospital and had surgery because he had a ruptured blood vessel on his brain. He was put on life support after surgery and was found to be brain dead. Of course since he had no insurance, it was reccomended that he be taken off life support and he expired afterward.

He was early 40's.

His son had to put the burial costs on his credit card before the funeral home would accept his father's body for burial.

America - the greatest country on Earth

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Response to Jumping John (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:56 PM

7. What a sad, sad story. How could the hospital have missed the ruptured blood vessel?

Since he was thought to have been injured at work, wouldn't that have been covered by workers comp? Or was he considered to have no insurance? I don't know how that works.

By law, whether or not he had insurance, wherever the stroke occurred, he should have been able to go to any emergency room and get treated. But the system has major cracks.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 11:16 AM

5. I wonder about this too..........

there's this expectation by the hospital that whoever you live with, will be the one(s) to care for you. My mom is 82 and has a slew of medications she takes daily. Within the past 2 years she has had 2 heart surgeries. They were for repairs to her defibrillator. I picked her up to take her home. The discharge nurse is giving me instructions on meds. I looked at the nurse & told her to explain this to my mom. When my mom was out of the room for a short walk, I told the nurse to make the decision if my mom understands her meds. Don't expect me to be that person that hands meds out to mom daily, as if she was in a nursing home.

Mom does understand most of her meds, she takes them accordingly. But I have no medical background, so don't expect me to becme the care giver. If mom lived by herself, would they expect me to care for her? Probably, unless I was forceful enough with them to get her insurance to pay for someone to come into the home.

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Response to mrmpa (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 01:50 PM

6. Since she's 82, she might be able to get Medicare to pay for nursing home care for a few weeks.

That's something available to Medicare patients who have been hospitalized for several days. Unfortunately, it's not available to anyone else.

Regardless of age, if someone is on painkillers, it would seem that there would be a risk for them handling their own medication, especially when they have to take half a dozen different meds on different time schedules. I gave him pills at 2 am, and then left him instructions for when he could take the next ones, but my fingers were crossed.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:44 PM

8. Isn't there a max number of days Medicare will cover for rehab?

Sticks in my mind that there's some kind of cap on how many days Medicare will cover for a rehab stay, and that they might even have a lifetime cap. Not sure, but I think I remember that from two years ago when my mom had open heart surgery after a heart attack. Mom was only in rehab for 30 days and a cap was no issue for her at that point. I have wondered about what might have happened had she not bounced back as quickly as she did.




Laura

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Response to davsand (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 03:39 PM

10. Yes, there is. Whatever it is, it won't work for someone who needs long term nursing care. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:22 PM

11. Since Mom is home............

nursing home would not be authorized by her Medicare Advantage Plan. Funny you mention painkillers, mom has a script for Vicodin 7.5/750 mgs. She takes up to 4 a day as needed for arthritic pain. She often begins to complain about the pain, I ask her "when was the last time you took the vicodin", answer "this morning". It's now 6 p.m. & 12 hours since her last pill. duh.

What I am going to look into, is Respite Care. This allows the patient to go to a nursing home for a short time, so that the caregiver can have a break from caring for him/her.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:59 PM

9. When there is NO money is not the problem. The hospital would refer them to the welfare department

and get them Medicaid. The problem is when you have just a bit too much money. They will keep you in as long as it lasts and THEN refer you to welfare. Many states are using home health to keep people in their homes and that can sometimes mean that you are released from the hospital too early but usually it works.

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