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Cupid
08-06-2010, 04:10 AM
My mom hopefully will be discharged from the hospital within a week or so. She's been extremely ill for a couple of months, in and out of the hospital and nursing homes, brought back to the hospital because of nursing home infections, etc.

I'm thinking maybe I should look into home nursing care. Not sure how that works. Medicare will pay for a few days a week of in-home physical therapy, nursing, but other than that, we would have to pay out of pocket.

How do I find a good, competent person to come to her home and help her with bathing, getting dressed, meal prep? Can't afford much as she is on social security. She has a boyfriend who may be able to help her somewhat, but he's her age, 70, and supposedly he can't cook or prepare meals of any sort, but he could take her out to dinner/lunch a couple time a week. She also is wearing some kind of "tube" that needs flushing a few times a day and emptying of some kind of "bile" baggy thing. She's very weak and frail, somewhat incontinent, but I'm hoping this gets better as she's regaining her strength in her own home.

What would it cost approximately for someone to come in on days when Medicare isnt there to help her out? I work full time so I'm pretty useless during the week. Other children pretty much have done the fade.

altai_rose
08-06-2010, 04:11 AM
Have you tried asking to speak with a social worker in the hospital who can help you on this?

Cupid
08-06-2010, 04:14 AM
Have you tried asking to speak with a social worker in the hospital who can help you on this?

No, I suppose I could ask that next time I'm there. Do they normally have references and things like that? I would absolutely hate having to post an ad on the web or paper and have to screen some total stranger's credentials.

PrincessLeppard
08-06-2010, 04:19 AM
There's a group called Visiting Angels (or similar) that you can hire to come in and sit with her. I don't believe they can do medical care, though I believe they cook meals.

I also know there are other companies out there who can do the things you require. Not sure of the price, but they are there.

altai_rose
08-06-2010, 04:30 AM
No, I suppose I could ask that next time I'm there. Do they normally have references and things like that? I would absolutely hate having to post an ad on the web or paper and have to screen some total stranger's credentials.
yes, I believe so. You can also try asking the advice of the nursing staff.

redonthehead
08-06-2010, 04:58 AM
One place we found help for my grandfather was at the local hospice. Our's had/have a list of people that do private nursing that they'll give you (or at least here they will) and that they recommend. We had 2 that helped my grandmother and they were great. Also do ya'll have a local home health that you could get her dr to help sign her up with? They'd help her bath and dress and be sure she's taking her meds.

I think we paid our sitters $10.50 an hour. Medicare didn't help us pay for anything.

Debbie S
08-06-2010, 05:44 AM
Have you tried asking to speak with a social worker in the hospital who can help you on this?I would recommend that, too. It sounds like she needs medical care, in which case the standard agency people (certified nursing assistants) won't legally be able to do that, so you may need an actual RN. The hospital social worker can help figure out what's needed. If you do need an RN, the cost will be $$$$.


I think we paid our sitters $10.50 an hour. Medicare didn't help us pay for anything.Yes, Medicare does not cover home care. They may pay for a home visit or two following a hospital discharge, but that's it. And the cost for 'sitters' probably varies depending on where you live. My grandmother's caregivers (provided by an agency) earn (I think) $18/hour. And it ends up being more, b/c the agency requires a 'cut' that is above and beyond the money paid to the caregivers. And holidays (4th of July, Labor Day, etc, are time and a half). And these are low-level assistant-types. They help with bathing, dressing, and cook meals, and can administer pills as long as they are parceled out (pill box). But you have to be vigilant about what they do, and make sure that they are fixing the right foods and doing what else they are supposed to do. (one of the people didn't know how to use a microwave - and even after my mom showed her and wrote down instructions, the woman still claimed she couldn't understand how to use it - she also didn't even know her own cell number :eek:)

sk9tingfan
08-06-2010, 12:27 PM
Another resource might be your Area Agency on Aging which often finds such resources for the elderly. They are also experts on Medicare payment policy.

brina
08-06-2010, 03:11 PM
I took a class recently to be a certified nursing assistant and several in-home care companies visited to give us applications. CNAs essentially do the things you list; They help with taking care of residents in a nursing home, hospital, or home setting. RNs don't do these daily living tasks usually and tend to deal with medications and overseeing the CNAs. I'm not sure what the cost would be for the family for an in-home care deal but CNAs usually make around 8-9 an hour doing this.

Stacie78
08-06-2010, 07:22 PM
I am a CNA and go to people's home and care for them. The tasks you list are a part of it but cnas can also keep an eye on vital signs like blood pressure/pulse. I work through a company called Maxim Healthcare that sends us out there to help with a care plan for the particular patient. They also have a rn available 24/7 if there's anything about a patient's condition that has changed or makes you (the cna) uncomfortable and advise you what you need to do. I started 3 weeks ago making 8 an hour but that does increase after 3 months. I'm not sure what the patient cost is for this service but something like that may work well for you.

Rex
08-06-2010, 07:27 PM
Another resource might be your Area Agency on Aging which often finds such resources for the elderly. They are also experts on Medicare payment policy.
I asked Phila. Corp on Aging for help, and they provided my mother with a social worker. She gets Meals on Wheels and the social worker visits her once a week. The rest is on my brother, his gf and me.

When my grandma had her strokes, my mom and uncles hired a Jamaican woman to live with her and take care of her immediate needs (bathing, toilet, medicine, etc). I think they pooled their resources and it was $300 per week. This was from 1994 to 1999. They fired her after four years b/c she lied and stole. The last year they hired a mother and daughter until Grandma died. None of these women were trained, mind you. Depending on how ill your Mom is, you may want a professional.

Aceon6
08-06-2010, 07:39 PM
Agree that the local Council on Aging is the best source for low cost options.

The hospital should have a care manager, social worker, or discharge planner who can work with you or the agency you designate to design a care plan. Don't let them discharge her without one!

Some VNA agencies have adjunct staff who provide this kind of care. Going through VNA may be slightly more expensive, but you won't have to worry about licenses, insurance, and taxes. Also, your home care person will have someone at VNA to advise should any unexpected medical issues come up.

Debbie S
08-06-2010, 08:24 PM
They fired her after four years b/c she lied and stole.Yes, I forgot to mention this: if you have a CNA or anyone working for an elderly relative in their home, make sure you get all of the jewelry and any other valuables out of the house. That includes cash. I'd say keep no more than $30-40 or so at any time. And check the phone bill regularly online, if you can - I've heard of some help running up huge bills calling family and friends in foreign countries.

Before anyone jumps on me, I'm not saying all CNA's or other home care workers are thieves. But I've heard some unbelievable stories. Better to be safe. And if your relative lives in a building, talk to the front desk people and make sure they know who the people are and not to let anyone in who is not a regular, unless you call them (the agency should tell you if you'll have a new person). If your relative lives alone in a house, teach them not to open the door if it's someone they don't know. I've heard of people pulling stunts ("the agency sent me today instead of X") - presumably they either know the help or work for or used to work for the agency and have their client list - to get themselves into someone's house and either steal money or other valuables, or try to find something with the person's bank account or SS# on it and steal a lot more.

I was wrong about the hourly amount I posted earlier. It's $15/hour, including the agency commission. A previous, non-agency person (that my grandmother liked but developed some medical problems and couldn't work any more) earned $17.

Cupid
08-06-2010, 09:21 PM
Thanks for all the helpful advice. I will keep these in mind for her discharge planning. The last time she was discharged from the hospital, the discharge planners set her up for a nursing care facility of our choosing if a bed was available. The one we chose turned out to not be so great. That facility even said to my mother's boyfriend the last time she wsa there and had to be transported back to the hospital, "is it really worth it to keep going back and forth, back and forth." What's the alternative, right? What an insult.

But will ask about the other advice given here as well. Thanks much.

skatesindreams
08-06-2010, 09:32 PM
Try Googling "Elder Care Assistance" for the county where you live.
Many areas have telephone "hotlines" available to offer assistance, or further information about what is available in these situations.