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Old 02-11-2010, 08:39 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,658 posts, read 40,029,981 times
Reputation: 23811

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Quote:
Originally Posted by texdav View Post
...From what I saw only Oregon has assisted suicide .
OR funded over 90% of the initiative in WA and 'death w/ dignity' was passed in WA last yr. (by the few counties that rule the entire state, due to population imbalance). It is a very polarized subject and there are few Dr's participating in WA. That is frying the OR contingent so they are trying to charge Drs in WA that 'opt-out'. As mentioned, tough subject filled with emotion.

As one who had to make the choice 5x for the father I was caregiving, and POA ... not an easy decision. Dr's and siblings would say 'pull-the-plug' and I would say... lets give the guy 24 hrs to fight for his life... He would end up walking out of the joint in a few weeks ('cept the 'last' time...). He had a very poor quality of life 'compared' to his 'productive' yrs, BUT I won't say I was capable to make the choice. He was very compassionate and giving to others and would have never seen and enjoyed his 10 grandkids if I would have followed the Medical advice I got.

Ironically, he would ALWAYS rescind his DNR when asked. (but I kept my signed and notarized copy for the times I could use it). I have kept 'directives' on file for over 30 yrs, AND because I am on the border of a 'death' state and there many times a week, I keep a separate one on that State's REQUIRED form.
Of utmost importance is keeping a med list with you when you are aging. There are some great meds that can be given in an emergency that may significantly hasten care & recovery BUT they need to know your meds to administer. The last senior I attended to EMERGENCY, it was Friday night, no med list and no Dr available. We lost this guy who was in quite good shape and caregiver for his wife. The results weren't pretty, and very complex. I was just involved in some legal discussions regarding someone else's parent who they feel got very counter productive care in a 'death' state (and consequently died prematurely). The counsel said it is not uncommon there, and is an ugly, but possible error on the Dr's part. n investigate continues.

I was going for a "DNR" Tatoo across my Sternum until my 'paramedic kid' gave me a very stern lecture about the foolishness of that.

I have attended several friends in Hospice, as well as watch some debilitating and terribly ugly long deaths, and while I wouldn't want to endure that, I am not the author of life, and there may a purpose greater than I can realize (or accept). Not fun, but not MY personal choice.

Your mileage may vary and my best to you in your quest, ain't EZ

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 02-11-2010 at 08:52 PM..
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:37 PM
 
12,754 posts, read 14,106,494 times
Reputation: 34954
[quote=Gandalara;12858628]The only thing that makes me emotional about this topic is being told what I can or cannot do..../quote]

Exactly!!!

Who lives in my body, who lives my life?...no one but me. The arrogance of someone assuming they know what this experience is - and what I should and should not experience - is beyond belief.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:31 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,692,507 times
Reputation: 35450
You guys might be interested in the circumstances connected to the death of a very close friend of mine a couple of years ago. She had Cancer and after two rounds of chemo not killing the Cancer cells she said enough already. She took pain meds which worked for awhile but as the Cancer progressed nothing really helped.

She had signed up for Oregon's Assisted Suicide procedure knowing what the end would be if she didn't. She was the second person I knew who did this. I am going to digress a bit here and say that it's not always about the inability to obtain medical care that cause people to chose this route; both friends had excellent medical insurance and had top notch doctors treating them. It was more about not wanting to live one's last days in agony. It was about being able to have loved ones around them to say goodbye. It was about the fact that they were given the drugs and allowed to chose when they wanted to go. It was about being able to have some control of one's last days rather than having to spend them in a hospital.

So back to my original story. My dear friend had no relatives anywhere nearby. She had a few elderly relatives who lived a few thousand miles away. She had a brother from whom she had been estranged for many years. She had her "affairs" in order as they say by having friends take care of certain things from taking her kitty to cleaning out her apartment. A Conservator handled the legal matters of distribution of her belongings.

But the best thing was her memorial service. Another friend and I reserved a shelter in a beautiful state park for it. Other friends contributed music, food decorations etc. Someone made a poster with photos we had all contributed of my friend and ourselves taken at various happy times. She was into UFO's so someone made cookies in the shape of planets and rocket ships. One friend made a quilt to be auctioned off at the kitty shelter where she had volunteered for many years.

Each person who wanted to speak stood before the group and talked about my friend. We told stories and told how we met her etc. Someone made little packets of items including a small photo of her various and some tiny jars of liquid for bubble blowing. We all stood at the edge of the shelter looking at the wooded area and blew "goodbye" bubbles.

Shortly after she died, her elderly kitty passed away also of Cancer. My friend and her cat had been cremated and there ashes were mixed together. At the end of the memorial we walked through the woods that she had loved scattering these ashes. We hoped they would both go to the Rainbow Bridge together.

All this with supportive friends. No family. But often as not, when you are a single woman alone your friends become your family. She would have been touched to see this. She was a person who did not always feel loved. But the goodbye we gave her was the most heartfelt and touching memorial service I had ever seen.
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Arizona
419 posts, read 658,641 times
Reputation: 862
Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
I must correct these statements because they are wrong. Hospice Care does not mean you are free of costs. It is a change in designation whereby Medicare assumes only Hospice Costs from the Medical Provider, after your are designated as having less than 6 months to live. You are still responsible for all medical co-pays for your medical plan and the full cost of domiciliary/custodial care in a Nursing Home Long Term Care or a Hospice Care Facility.

So people hear that Hospice Care is Free they thing all costs are covered--that is completely wrong. Only Hospice Care Benefits are covered by Medicare. I hear this all the time and I was told this, even by representatives of the Insurance Provider and Medical Profession--but the meaning is much different.

Hospice cost are benefits that give you additional counseling and patient management to provide better care for the dying patient and relief for the family. However, the main idea of implementation of Hospice was to allow the Medical Provider and Medicare to avoid paying for any life extending treatments and medicine. That care will all end and only care for pain and comfort will continual.

These additional Hospice benefits can also be provided at home but the essential Medical care is only on an intermediate basis, just similar to Home Health Care. You are still responsible for full time care.

You can go in and out of Hospice designation to receive additional care from your Medical Provider but it is only encouraged to provide pain remediation. Hospice designation is patient's choice or his authorized representative. It is not required to be changed to or kept in Hospice designation. Be careful because the Medical Provider will want a change to avoid additional care costs. You can also recover from and be removed from Hospice designation.

Also, the amount of assets stated to qualify for Medicaid is wrong. You can have much more assets. It is a complicated issue and takes in assets, income and the spouse.

How do I know all this because I am facing all these issues with my mother. You will be shocked when you find out all the problems and wrong information you are given; and what you billed what you do not owe.

You probably did not know this: that Wheelchairs are not a paid cost for Nursing Home Long Term Care. It is only providing specifically for use at home or an assisted living facility. You have to rent, at high cost, or buy your own. Be careful you will be hit with costs, you never anticipated. You better learn the rules and the regulations and understand what Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) means and what Long Term Care (LTC) under Medicare because if you do not--you will pay. I have already saved over $10,000 in costs because I read the rules.

Livecontent
I am speaking from experience because I lived it. My mother was in the Arizona medicaid LTC system from 1995-2000. I was responsible for applying for her benefits. Before applying, I transfered my parents mobile home to my daughter's name, backdating the documents to 18 months prior to the application. I think now you have got to transfer assets 3 years prior to application. I wanted my dad to have some income to delay his need to go into the system. We also went to the bank and removed my mother's name from their checking and small savings account. Family car excluded because of need for medical visits. She was only allowed to have $250.00 in assets. I had to accumalate mounds of documents and information. An appraisal on the mobile home, several years of bank statements, a certified signature from my dad's annuity company administering his small monthly pension, the value of any burial grave sites, yes, they placed a value on the land on where someone is to be buried. I am sure there were more documentations, but I do not remember. To add to the stress, there was a short time period put on submitting the information. Finally, afer 8 weeks she was approved for benefits.

Now, the horror story begins, the caregiving services werre contracted out to private companies They sent their caregivers to private payer clients first and anything left were send to medicaid clients. Caregivers complaining about their pay, or just not showing up for work.

Finally, my mother had to go into hospice care. After 3 days, I was told that she was not actively dying and she would have to be moved to another facility. I had checked out a local nursing home close to home. It was beautiful and well run. However, the rooms were very small and shared by two patients. Mom would have hated it. I prayed to
God, and I guess my prayers were answered because mom passed that evening.

I went through the same application process with my dad in 2003. He did not live long enough for the benefits to kick in. Again, he could have no more than $250.00 in assets.

I have never known anyone who has had to pay for hospice care, no matter what their income. Check out the website for the popular hospice organizion in Phoenix. Totally non profit with huge donations coming to them.

However, medicaid plans differ from state to state. Best to chek it out. Hospice organizations are propbably not created equal.


a n



.
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,997,544 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCBaker View Post
I am speaking from experience because I lived it. My mother was in the Arizona medicaid LTC system from 1995-2000. I was responsible for applying for her benefits. Before applying, I transfered my parents mobile home to my daughter's name, backdating the documents to 18 months prior to the application. I think now you have got to transfer assets 3 years prior to application. I wanted my dad to have some income to delay his need to go into the system. We also went to the bank and removed my mother's name from their checking and small savings account. Family car excluded because of need for medical visits. She was only allowed to have $250.00 in assets. I had to accumalate mounds of documents and information. An appraisal on the mobile home, several years of bank statements, a certified signature from my dad's annuity company administering his small monthly pension, the value of any burial grave sites, yes, they placed a value on the land on where someone is to be buried. I am sure there were more documentations, but I do not remember. To add to the stress, there was a short time period put on submitting the information. Finally, afer 8 weeks she was approved for benefits.

.
Thanks for sharing your story. How did you get the legal OK to do all the above? Did you ahve to get legal custody of your mom to do it? I don't understand the backdating part (?)
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Arizona
419 posts, read 658,641 times
Reputation: 862
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Thanks for sharing your story. How did you get the legal OK to do all the above? Did you ahve to get legal custody of your mom to do it? I don't understand the backdating part (?)
I am sure you do not understand that part and I am sorry for that. I only mentioned the desperate action I took in order to give my parents some sense of dignity. It was never intended to be a mainstream solution for everyone to use. I did have medical power of attorney for both of my parents, but no legal document was required for me to be their represenative in filing for their benefits.

I was a single mother for many years and was in no position to care for my parents financially. I had to work full time and could not stay home and take care of them. It seems as though I spent most of my time worrying about their well being. I moved them in with me and with the help of so so caregivers, I was able to keep them together until mom's passing in 2000. Dad stayed with me until a month before his death in 2003.

Mom and dad were kind, loving and hard working people. They survived the depression, dust bowl and WW11. They were not very educated people, but always took care of me and themselves. My dad finally stopped working at age 81. I don't think either of them thought they would live so long (90 and 94). They deserved the very best of care which was denied them.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,592,476 times
Reputation: 5692
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
The only thing that makes me emotional about this topic is being told what I can or cannot do.

I have never been a 'touchy-feely' person nor a religious person. The government or religions or doctors have no right to stop me from ending my life when I decide it's the right time. Nor do they have the right to 'counsel' me if I don't want it. If I want to take some pills and just go to sleep permanently, it's no one's business but my own.

Montana, Oregon, and Washington have made assisted suicide legal - but - with many obstacles. Why should I only have six months left before I can end things? Why must I be in constant pain? Why must I get someone else's permission?

I currently lead a normal happy life. But that could all change in an instant. Or I could get some really bad news from my doctor the next time I see him. I have a living will and a health care directive. Ten of my relatives have copies. My doctor has a copy. My lawyer has a copy.
I agree. I don't want to be shoved into a skilled nursing unit to sit and wait for someone to change my adult diaper. I was so depressed when I would visit my mom when she was stuck there for 30 days. People sit in corners, drooling and messing themselves. This to me is not a quality life and I don't want any part of it. My mom has to endure whatever the doctors decide to do for her and she is not a happy camper.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,592,476 times
Reputation: 5692
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
You guys might be interested in the circumstances connected to the death of a very close friend of mine a couple of years ago. She had Cancer and after two rounds of chemo not killing the Cancer cells she said enough already. She took pain meds which worked for awhile but as the Cancer progressed nothing really helped.

She had signed up for Oregon's Assisted Suicide procedure knowing what the end would be if she didn't. She was the second person I knew who did this. I am going to digress a bit here and say that it's not always about the inability to obtain medical care that cause people to chose this route; both friends had excellent medical insurance and had top notch doctors treating them. It was more about not wanting to live one's last days in agony. It was about being able to have loved ones around them to say goodbye. It was about the fact that they were given the drugs and allowed to chose when they wanted to go. It was about being able to have some control of one's last days rather than having to spend them in a hospital.

So back to my original story. My dear friend had no relatives anywhere nearby. She had a few elderly relatives who lived a few thousand miles away. She had a brother from whom she had been estranged for many years. She had her "affairs" in order as they say by having friends take care of certain things from taking her kitty to cleaning out her apartment. A Conservator handled the legal matters of distribution of her belongings.

But the best thing was her memorial service. Another friend and I reserved a shelter in a beautiful state park for it. Other friends contributed music, food decorations etc. Someone made a poster with photos we had all contributed of my friend and ourselves taken at various happy times. She was into UFO's so someone made cookies in the shape of planets and rocket ships. One friend made a quilt to be auctioned off at the kitty shelter where she had volunteered for many years.

Each person who wanted to speak stood before the group and talked about my friend. We told stories and told how we met her etc. Someone made little packets of items including a small photo of her various and some tiny jars of liquid for bubble blowing. We all stood at the edge of the shelter looking at the wooded area and blew "goodbye" bubbles.

Shortly after she died, her elderly kitty passed away also of Cancer. My friend and her cat had been cremated and there ashes were mixed together. At the end of the memorial we walked through the woods that she had loved scattering these ashes. We hoped they would both go to the Rainbow Bridge together.

All this with supportive friends. No family. But often as not, when you are a single woman alone your friends become your family. She would have been touched to see this. She was a person who did not always feel loved. But the goodbye we gave her was the most heartfelt and touching memorial service I had ever seen.
One could spend a lifetime to find a good friend like you. She was blessed.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,592,476 times
Reputation: 5692
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCBaker View Post
I am speaking from experience because I lived it. My mother was in the Arizona medicaid LTC system from 1995-2000. I was responsible for applying for her benefits. Before applying, I transfered my parents mobile home to my daughter's name, backdating the documents to 18 months prior to the application. I think now you have got to transfer assets 3 years prior to application. I wanted my dad to have some income to delay his need to go into the system. We also went to the bank and removed my mother's name from their checking and small savings account. Family car excluded because of need for medical visits. She was only allowed to have $250.00 in assets. I had to accumalate mounds of documents and information. An appraisal on the mobile home, several years of bank statements, a certified signature from my dad's annuity company administering his small monthly pension, the value of any burial grave sites, yes, they placed a value on the land on where someone is to be buried. I am sure there were more documentations, but I do not remember. To add to the stress, there was a short time period put on submitting the information. Finally, afer 8 weeks she was approved for benefits.

Now, the horror story begins, the caregiving services werre contracted out to private companies They sent their caregivers to private payer clients first and anything left were send to medicaid clients. Caregivers complaining about their pay, or just not showing up for work.

Finally, my mother had to go into hospice care. After 3 days, I was told that she was not actively dying and she would have to be moved to another facility. I had checked out a local nursing home close to home. It was beautiful and well run. However, the rooms were very small and shared by two patients. Mom would have hated it. I prayed to
God, and I guess my prayers were answered because mom passed that evening.

I went through the same application process with my dad in 2003. He did not live long enough for the benefits to kick in. Again, he could have no more than $250.00 in assets.

I have never known anyone who has had to pay for hospice care, no matter what their income. Check out the website for the popular hospice organizion in Phoenix. Totally non profit with huge donations coming to them.

However, medicaid plans differ from state to state. Best to chek it out. Hospice organizations are propbably not created equal.


a n



.
I had heard that Hospice is one organization that is on the chopping block for any Federal funds. Sad to hear as this is one great organization.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:31 AM
 
71 posts, read 252,833 times
Reputation: 106
Minervah - what a beautiful and touching story. How fortunate she was to have such loving caring friends. Thank you for sharing this story.
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