So, my favorite veteran is currently sitting in a skilled nursing facility in Hurst, Texas and his daughter, (me) is trying hard not to lose her mind.
It’s been a nightmare from start to finish, and the fat lady hasn’t even sung yet. I was there today with my husband to witness his first morning and what we walked in on set me off on the wrong foot immediately. He was naked-save for an undergarment- and wanting to get up and go to the bathroom. It’s a miracle we walked in at that moment, because the aide was not aware he was even there! She helped us from that point on, and later, I found out the nurse had given him his breakfast, made ready to strip his bed I guess, and was gone when we got there around 10am. Needless to say, i went on a tear, and the next thing you know, he was showered, shaved, and sitting in a chair to wait on lunch. Dave stayed with him while I went to pay the bill, and start asking questions about his physical therapy, medication, and when was he going to get a wheelchair in his room.
Then, I found out that therapy isn’t covered, so they will check on his benefits for that. He asked for the COVID vaccine, so that was also given and last night when he was admitted, they gave him a TB test. Everything took an eternity as far as Dad was concerned. He is not used to sitting up on a regular chair for hours at a time, so the aide put him to bed after lunch finally came and he got all if his meds. I was upset when the nurse told me we would have to hire someone to sit with him if he is a fall risk, so the ADON came to his room to talk with me. After that, I was pretty hysterical. I told her that at Glenview, his bed was automatic and could lower all the way to the floor, and that when he tried to get up (after waiting on aides that took too long to come help) they put him in a gerichair by the nurses station. She informed me that they don’t provide a ”sitting service” and it is their “right to fall” in Texas. Here in the Lone Star State, there are no restraints allowed, and that includes bed rails or alarms. They only do that in a hospital. I really came unwound then, because Marco, the guy that showed us around the place, assured us Dad would be safe there and we could sleep at night. Yeah, if I’m on Valium, which I am now!! This place is like going from a five-star restaurant to the ”no frills grill”. The bed is manual, and the facility is old and antiquated. You don’t really notice that when touring a place, you just like that it’s homey, reasonable, and staff was buzzing around like bees, as were the residents. Well, Dad is in isolation for two weeks ”because he is a new patient”. So he can’t roam around the facility until 1) he is stronger, and 2) he is out of isolation. He has to take meals in his room, no activities, nothing for two weeks.
We had to private pay for this first month while we figure out VA benefits, and whether we should switch him from Care n Care to regular Medicare. Of course, the advice from the elder lawyer was to go Medicaid but I don’t want to. We want to use the assets he worked all his life for and the benefits the VA owes him to pay for his care. He did tell us to put Dad’s house into a trust BEFORE we sell it. So theres all that to do too. Now I’m wondering how to keep Dad safe without having to also hire a sitter, so I guess my brother and I will have to take shifts going up there to make sure he doesn’t fall. Hopefully he gets therapy, gets stronger, and soon will be able to wheel himself around and become more social.
I wish we had known three years ago that we needed to start applying for his benefit from the VA and we wouldn’t be in this horrible shape right now. God bless my dad for hanging in there through all this, he doesn’t seem as scared or phased by it all as me. God bless the nurses and aides who have to put up with hysterical family members when they don’t know how the system works. Please keep those prayers coming that we somehow get through all this and Dad can live there and be safe and happy. I pray we don’t have to move him again, but it might come to that. We will give it the month. Oh and God bless my husband for putting up with my crazy ass for the last two months because I am a nutcase!!