My Long-Term Care Story: Part 4
My mother moved into our home on September 15, 2020, and life settled into our new normal. Her long-term care insurance policy allowed us to make the necessary home modifications to keep her safe. The home modifications were part of the “alternate plan of care” that was discussed with the insurer’s care coordinator. Submitting the claim for the home modification was easy – I simply sent the invoices and receipts for the bathroom remodel and the grab bars purchased and the insurance company reimbursed my mother.
On September 29, 2020, everything changed when my mother experienced an episode of syncope. It was awful. Scary. Syncope means “loss of consciousness”, but it really looks like the person died – everything stops. She regained consciousness, but her blood pressure was very low. Since we didn’t know what had happened, she was transported to the hospital via ambulance. This experience taught me that I needed a POLST form for my mother taped to the refrigerator. I’ll come back to this later.
Once mom was home again, she was weaker than usual, so the doctor ordered physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Now, I was juggling my mother’s schedule of weekly multiple visits from these therapists. Because of this health event, my mother needed more care during the day, so I increased the home care agency’s hours from 4 to 6 hours per day. The home care provider was an essential part of my mother’s care, helping me to manage the weekly therapy appointments.
With all the stress about my mother’s health, I didn’t have to worry about the money. Her long-term care insurance policy allowed me to make the decision to increase her care without thought to cost, and without lengthy explanations to my brothers about why I was spending more money.
Because the home care agency was having a difficult time finding people to work daily, I hired a private caregiver on my own using the service of care.com. Filing a claim for the private caregiver was the same as filing a claim for the agency, or even the facility. I simply sent them the invoice with proof of payment, and they reimbursed my mother’s account.
For the next few months, this became our new normal until the next health crisis changed things again.
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