Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New HOME for Dad

Today is New Year's Eve and Dad has made it through another year in this life.  Half of his past year was spent in the Geriatric Psych Ward at the West Los Angeles VA Hospital, but as of a few days ago, Dad is now in a skilled nursing facility called Windsor Gardens Convalescent Center in North Long Beach.  3 miles from my house.

Many hiccups along the way prevented him from moving to a home sooner.  When I last wrote, we had found a place a couple months ago that would take Dad as long as he wasn't on anti-psychotic drugs.  The Psych Ward agreed to wean him off the meds to test his reaction, and as we can all guess, that didn't go well.  The aggression was back within days... he scratched a nurse in the face, shoved another nurse, and it took three staff members to bathe him one night because he was being so uncooperative.  Soon he was back on Zyprexa and doing much better, but now we had to look at another housing option.  

In the meantime, Dad's MediCal case worker called to say that his application was denied because he was already being taken care of by a government facility (the VA), so he didn't qualify for Long Term MediCal.  I understand the logic here, but it seems weird that they would deny MediCal to patients who are in a government hospital.  The hospital clearly isn't a long term solution or a home.  We eventually figured out that we would have to move Dad to a new home, and then immediately re-apply with his new address.

The Social Workers looked into more homes on their contracted list, but finally asked if they could start looking at options outside their list and jurisdiction.  I signed a release of information form, and within a week (two days after Christmas), I got a call saying they found a home and could discharge Dad that very day.  That was fast.  

I checked out the home an hour later.  It's clean, bright, and the staff seems attentive.  I gave the go-ahead to discharge Dad.  As far as payment goes, Dad's Medicare Part A will pay up to 90 days in a skilled nursing facility until the MediCal kicks in.  There are co-pays after the 20th day, but we will be reimbursed by MediCal retroactively.

Our favorite part was filling out the MediCal application again.  Ugh.  But it's in the mail, so now I can go celebrate the end of 2013 tonight.  Happy New Year to you all.