Thursday, January 6, 2011

Collapsing Community

I am too tired to string my thoughts on this matter into coherent paragraphs; please forgive the series of standalone statements.

My mother has been the primary caregiver for my father over the past few years while his health as declined.

We knew that eventually Dad would need to transition to a nursing home but it was always just that- an “eventually” thing.

My parents are in the Medicaid gap. They make too much for medicaid qualification but not enough to pay the costs of long term care on their own.

My mother went into the ICU on Tues, near death, from a sugar overdose (blood sugar = 750. 750!), leaving my father helpless.

My mother will not be released for the hospital for several days and even when she is she can no longer care for Dad; she is too weak physically. He is incontinent, cannot bathe, dress, or feed himself any longer.

A home healthcare agency is providing 24x7 custodial support in the home for Dad and has been since Tues. At $18/hr.

My parents cash on hand to pay for this service will run out by Saturday.

I found two ways to qualify my father for Medicaid despite his income (1.Miller trust [google it] 2.VA has more generous Medicaid requirements if you know the right forms to fill out). However it takes 45 days to process the Medicaid eligibility.

During the 45 days of Medicaid processing there is no help available. From any corner. No federal, no state assistance. I called social services and the Medicaid lady said it’s my responsibility as the adult child to pay for it. I told her even on my income we can’t afford 24x7 care for more than a few days. Her answer (paraphrased): *shrug* dem der da breaks.  I called churches; multiple churches. Their answer: yeah, nothing we as a church can really do, did you try social services and the government? Really? REALLY? I always was told the church would be there as first line of defense in times of need. They have been before in easier ways; with rent money one month when we were poor; with food from the pantry when we were hungry. But taking care of the elderly: yeah, no. What is wrong with the church? Why the hell is the church turning people away and trying to shift responsibility to the government? Jesus, no wonder the democrats and socialists want the federal govt to make everyone contribute to the care of the poor and elderly: apparently left to their own devices the church will just sit on their damn hands while offering little more than a sympathetic ear. We tithe year after year after year to the church for God purposes; what they hell are they doing with the money if they can’t help the elderly? Are there no nurses in the church who can volunteer their time in shifts?  I am so angry. There is no one. No one. I talked with work today about a leave of absence if I have to take care of Dad, but given my income it would cost more than if we just went into debt to pay for this 24x7 care and in addition the nurses have told me it needs to be a qualified nurse with him, not just a family member.

We are facing deep debt if we have to pay an agency at $18/hr x 24hrsx45days. I have no idea what to do and I am lost. So lost. And my parents have driven the rest of my siblings away; they will not assist in any way.

What happened to community? What happened to the church? And what is to become of my republican limited govt philosophy when it’s put in the ring up in the real world against the very real chance of death and suffering without a massive federal government  to force people to help shoulder this burden?

Post a Comment