Sword fighting with windmills
a windmill in the fog at sunset

Today I got a late certified letter from the end of June that the Medicaid appeal for backdating decision is denied. The date was June 26, after the June 23 appeal hearing. So maybe the nursing home already knew the decision on July 10 when they asked for full payment by August 10 or mom will be discharged home.

I finally spoke to the State Ombudsman, Kathie Gately, and she wasn’t much help except to say to send a letter appealing the nursing home’s decision to discharge. Done. And she is sending me a list of all the nursing homes in Arkansas who have Alzheimer’s wings to choose from. And to go to her website to ‘compare’ facilities. She also said Federal law prohibits nursing homes from discharging patients into dangerous situations. So why did the nursing home say they were sending mom home and not to another nursing home? They are playing hard ball…. Granted I was not a southern gentleman with her on the phone, however when I asked her if she ever had someone with ALZ, her reply was that when her son was 5 she ‘had to forgo her personal needs’ and send him to a facility 2.5 hours away. The implication being that I’m not doing enough for my mom, and should think of her needs above my own. I wanted to spit in her face, but that wouldn’t be helpful.

I called Shanee Birl in Miller County who ‘handled’ mom’s Medicaid application and she said the nursing home has to fill out the hardship waiver, not me. So why haven’t they even offered? I have to ask them.

I have asked the AR DHS Office of Appeals and Hearings for a ‘Reconsideration’. Apparently that’s a thing, too. I can also appeal Wayne Davis, Hearing Officer’s decision through the Administrative Procedure Act with a judicial review by filing a petition in the Garland County Circuit Court. Too bad it can’t wait until August 3rd when I’m there for Vivian’s 2nd guardianship hearing…. I am tired and wondering if this train wreck will ever stop. it just keeps on going, and going, and going!

One more phone call to the Office of Long Term Care and if I can stand it one to a lawyer, if I come up with $1600 retainer fee. To pay a bill or not pay a bill, that is the question. Drowning, here.

Oh, and by the way, my visit with mom on Sunday went badly, as expected to happen sooner or later. Word salad from her as her thoughts were all jumbled together. She drew me an unrecognizable picture of a house I am supposed to design for myself and her, then she walked out of her room as I was drawing a picture of mountains (at her request). She went to the dining room for dinner. She usually eats in her room when I visit. I left without saying goodbye.

Written by Phil Chwalinski
Phil spent 25 years as a specialist in catering and special events in Arkansas, then Florida, and ending up in California for 11 years. He was a Catering Sales Manager at a hotel and as a Wine Educator at a luxury winery in Napa Valley, CA. For the last 3 years he has been a full time caregiver for his mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, back in Arkansas. One thing hasn't changed over the years - Phil is also an artist.

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