Help for Mom and Dad

On December 6, 2017, we took my mother to the hospital because she seemed to be complaining about abdominal pain.  After significant testing, we learned that moms pain was due to a severe gallbladder infection and two compression fractures, one in her spine and the other in her leg. Mom was admitted to the hospital to treat the gallbladder infection as well as to monitor the injuries to her leg and spine. Complicating matters more, mom has been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation; an irregular heartbeat.  Due to a history of stroke, mom suffers from dementia and lost her ability to do any daily activities and requires 24-hour care. The hospital's case managers insist that mom is to be discharged, and needed to discuss her care arrangements with us. Dad explained that while he would like to remain mom's primary caregiver, he is no longer physically capable due to his own medical needs and heart condition.  We were hoping to transfer Mom to a nursing home facility, however  we were told by the case manager and social worker that  due to an issue with her application for her green card, our only options were to either "send her back home" to other family members who are out of the country, "see if any friends would want to take her in" or to hire help privately and pay out of pocket.  I had also submitted an appeal to the hospital, which was denied.  As if the developments over the last few weeks were not stressful enough, for my mom to essentially be dismissed was absolutely heartbreaking.  My mother has lived in America for more than 30 years and worked full-time and paid taxes like all of us do. It’s discouraging that she can't receive the medical care that she desperately needs. She is a human being, and ALL human beings should be treated equally.  As if this situation could not become more complicated, Dad lost his job a few months prior to this, which means Mom has also lost her medical insurance. After an exhausting and invasive review of our finances, it was determined that Mom does not qualify for emergency Medicaid because Dad’s income on unemployment and social security is too high. Our family and friends have been trying to explore even the cheapest options, however, the costs are astronomical. At this time, mom remains in the hospital, but we are being told to expect charges in the amount of $4,300.00 per day because mom "has no medical reason to stay." How is it possible that someone medically dependent on 24-hour care can be discharged from the hospital with no viable plan to address her long-term medical needs? It's heartbreaking enough to see a family member go through the changes that dementia can bring. Although Dad won't say it out loud, caring for a loved one is no easy task, as it takes a physical and emotional toll on the caregiver. We were absolutely crushed learning at every turn that our options are either extremely limited or non-existent over and over again. With all of mom's medical needs, as well as her being uninsured, our family is in dire need of help.  My parents have always been the most hardworking, generous souls and have been known to never ask for help. I wanted to take this step for them because they have always gone above and beyond to help others, and raised me to do the same.  While it has always been my dream to give my parents back the world that they so graciously gave to me, I am now scrambling to provide basic care for someone who has given me and others so much. Any donations regardless of the amount can help.  Even if you can't financially give, all of your prayers and thoughts will help us through this, because we surely can't do this alone. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you so much for taking the time to read my family's story. - Jamie


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Jamie Aquino Sarmiento 
Staten Island, NY
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