Lessons learned the hard way:
- If you don't trust your parent's doctor, see if there's a way you can intervene.
- Don't automatically trust the rehabilitation center or nursing home to do what's right. You have to visit and make sure they're taking care of your family member correctly. His or her life could be at stake, as my mother's was.
- Don't let the social worker bully you or shut you out. You are supposed to have periodic meetings with the social worker and you can ask them to accommodate you. If s/he gives you difficulty, speak to his/her superior.
- If your family member has to apply for Medicaid and is accepted, make sure you make someone tell you what is expected of your family member or you. In three different facilities (two rehabilitation centers/nursing homes and one hospital), not one person told me the information I needed or gave me advice in any way. One other organization gave me very wrong information. Not getting the correct information can make life very difficult and make decision making and finances even worse. Now I'm a stressed-out mess.
- You have the right to complain to the state (New York in my case) about a nursing home using the Nursing Home Complaint Form. I made multiple complaints which were investigated and found to be true. I don't know what happened in the facility after that. The nursing staff sent my mother to the emergency room because she was in shock and I refused to send her back there.
Now I've received a phone call that Mom isn't well. I was trying to put off a visit due to lack of money, but I think I better go.