Continued Care For Mom

On August 7th, 2018, my mom presented symptoms indicative of a stroke. She was at a doctors appointment with high blood pressure, hand weakness, and limited verbal ability, and was NOT sent to a hospital. Within hours, it was apparent that all was not well with Mom, and she was admitted to the local hospital with a stroke. She was immediately flown to the preeminent hospital in New Jersey for brain injury. Within hours she was in emergency surgery to remove the blood clot that was causing her issues.

Thankfully, she survived an aggressive (and very tricky) surgery. The surgery alleviated the drooping in her face, ensured that she retained her eyesight, and halted any further progression of damage to her brain.  Unfortunately, the extent of the stroke was severe.  She lost all use of her right hand, 95% use of her right leg/foot, and her ability to communicate in an effective manner.  She was alive, but a large portion of who she was, was gone.

She spent three weeks in the hospital, with a bulk of that stay in the Critical Care Unit.  Thankfully, by the end of August, she was stable enough to be moved to an acute rehabilitation center...

At the hospital, the doctors and staff were hopeful that an extended stay at an acute rehabilitation center would go a long way for Mom. Unfortunately, insurance only covered one month, FAR less than the time she desperately needed.  One month came and went far more quickly than any of us could have imagined.  Mom was still unable to survive without diligent 24-hour care, but an acute rehabilitation center costs ~$2000/day out of pocket, a cost that my parents or our family at large could not even fathom affording.

We found a facility that is closer to home, highly-regarded, and thankfully, less expensive.  As a requirement of becoming a resident, my family was asked to pay for 60 days in advance out of pocket.  We all but drained our family's finances in order to make that happen, but we got her in there.  She has been there for two weeks now, and she seems far happier than she has been since all of this occurred.  With everything we were able to get together, we can ensure that Mom will be in her new "home" through Thanksgiving (her favorite holiday).

But that is where things get dicey.  It is anticipated that additional time in rehabilitation/skilled nursing will be required WELL BEYOND Thanksgiving.  At 61, she is too young to qualify for Medicare, which means that the family will pay for her care out of pocket until the well runs dry, and Medicaid is able to kick in.  Unfortunately, the facility Mom is in will not allow her to stay once on Medicaid, meaning that she will have to move, yet again, to another facility.  Right now, I live less than a mile from her, my father 1.5, and my brother and sister about 15 minutes away.  A new facility would not only mean requiring her to get reacclimated, but it would hamper our ability to be with her as often as we'd like.  Our presence has meant so much to her, especially the visits from her grandchildren.

We are reaching out today in the hopes that we can keep her where she is until she is able to go home.  Every $500 raised would allow her to stay an additional day AND receive the rehab she desperately needs to improve.  We realize that every day she gets the help she needs is one day closer to her being more independent and coming home.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for reading this, and thank you for thinking of Mom and our family during this difficult time.
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Chris Russo 
Hackettstown, NJ
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