senior with medicare billsDear Jessica,

My father was admitted to the hospital twice in one year for the same type of illness. The second bill was a little more than half the amount of the first one, but Medicare paid hardly any of it.

And although his doctor recommended he go to a rehabilitation center after the second hospital stay, his Medicare wouldn’t cover it.

It doesn’t make sense that my father receives the same treatment but is billed differently and Medicare pays differently. What is going on?

Regards,

Frank

Woman helps Central Ohio senior with Medicare Open EnrollmentEvery fall we receive questions about Medicare open enrollment from adult children in the Columbus area. Because many of them are not yet eligible for Medicare, they need advice on how to help their aging parent navigate through the yearly open enrollment process.

post hospital checklistSelecting a post-hospital rehabilitation center is an important decision. We believe MacIntosh rehabilitation centers are superior, and we invite you to compare us with other central Ohio rehab centers. Tour a MacIntosh center and two other centers using the below selection criteria to assist in making a decision.

women with medicationDear Sarah,

Our entire family knows my mother needs to move to assisted living. She forgets to take her medications, and she gets vertigo very easily. When I’ve asked her about bruises, she has no idea where she gets them. And even though she gets Meals on Wheels, I don’t think she’s eating right.

mac rehab costsDear Cassie:

My father will be having hip replacement surgery later this month. I’m trying to figure out how much a nursing and rehab center will cost and how much of it his Medicare will pay for? He lives in Central Ohio just outside Columbus.

Can you help? It all seems so confusing!

Renee

Dear Tracy:mac keeping house after applying for medicaid

It looks like my grandfather will soon need skilled nursing. Our family has tried to help my grandmother keep him safe at home for as long as we can, but it’s becoming too dangerous for her to manage. He falls a lot and she is simply not able to help him get back on his feet.

We’ve been researching the costs of nursing homes in central Ohio, and it’s just not feasible for them financially. They live on a very fixed income. Their only real assets are their house and an older car my grandmother still drives. We’ve talked about applying for Medicaid to pay for Grandpa’s care, but we are worried they will take the house and leave my Grandma without a home.

What are the rules about Medicaid, nursing homes, income and assets in Ohio?

Danielle

 Senior woman training in the gym with a personal trainerDear Jeremy:

My husband had a heart attack a few weeks ago and will soon be discharged from the hospital. The cardiologist told us that it would be best for him to go to a skilled nursing and rehab center somewhere in the Columbus area for a month or so of physical therapy.

The doctor was very vague about how long my husband would have to stay and how much of his stay would be covered by his Medicare. (We have traditional Medicare and not one of the insurance plans.)

Do you have any idea how long the average older adult stays in a rehab center before going home? My husband was very active before the heart attack and he is anxious to get back home and get busy again!

Sincerely,

Vickie

mac assisted living 2Dear Crystal:

We visited my mother in Columbus, Ohio, recently. For numerous reasons, we haven’t seen her since last Christmas.

While she’s been telling us she is doing well, I’m not so sure that is true. At a minimum, she is lonely. She might even be depressed. Some of the other concerns I have are small, but I think they add up to a more serious decline in her health.

I really think we need to get her moved to an assisted living center in the Columbus area. She just can’t go another winter being so isolated and alone.

My goal is to sit down and talk with her when it is just the two of us. But I’d like to have a chance to look around her house and spend time with her first so I have some examples to share with her of why I’m concerned.

What do you consider the warning signs that indicate it is time for a senior to make a move like this one?

Sincerely,

Frances

mac assisted living coupleDear Sarah,

My mom and dad have been together for more than 40 years. Last year, Mom had a stroke, and now, she has difficulty walking, bathing, dressing and even eating.

Dad’s done a terrific job of taking care of her, but we can tell it’s becoming more and more difficult for him. He’s already told me he’s concerned he’ll fall while he’s trying to help her.

We’ve tried everything to help them stay in their homes. Right now, we have home health care aides coming in four hours a day (their minimum), and Mom doesn’t need that much. We’ve also contracted for someone to mow the lawn, shovel the snow, and do odd jobs. The costs are mounting, and I’m not sure Mom and Dad are any safer or happier.

They’ve never been separated, and we’re concerned about the effect on Dad if Mom went to a nursing home.

Can you help us?

Sincerely,

Joseph