I just received the first bill from the nursing home and the wheelchair rental is on it for $3.75 a day. My mother is private pay right now but will eventually be applying for Medicaid. When she's on Medicaid, she'll only get a monthly stipend of $35.00 (?). How will she be able to pay that rental then? I won't be able to afford the monthly rental by myself. She can't walk on her own, so she needs that wheelchair. The majority of the residents in the home use a chair also.

P.S. The bill also includes a $48 charge for the nursing home hairdresser - for a perm!! I never okayed that and I'm plenty pissed off about it. I originally told the admin at the home that I wanted my mother's hair cut every 8 weeks and I thought the wash would be included in their bathing services. That $48 was only for the first month's bill - since then when I visit her she has manicured, polished nails, a blowout and spray that makes her look like Zsa Zsa Gabor, and one curly do that was just...well, indescribable. My mother has always maintained a short, tidy hairdo with no frills. I feel that since she's private pay she's being taken advantage of. I'm going to the home on Tuesday and I'll address it with the admin, but I'm really just plain mad right now. They gave her the perm 2 days after she went to live there. GGRRRR!!

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I've never heard of a charge for a wheelchair in a nursing home, though maybe it's done. I'd check with your ombudsman about this -, then type in the Zip code. These people know the ropes.

Hair cuts, perms and such are generally extra, though they shouldn't have given her a perm without permission. They may claim she gave permission, so you may have to make it clear that the permission comes from you.

I don't think Medicare will pay all of a wheelchair cost (if it comes to buying one) though they do pay for some equipment, so if you have to buy one, do check there just in case she qualifies.

Good luck,
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Thanks, Carol. I'll be speaking to the admin at the home about the hairdressing issue on Tuesday. I'm also going to bring up the wheelchair rental fee and, if I don't get a satisfying answer, I'll be talking to the ombudsman. I checked the Medicare web site and it says both manual and power wheelchairs will be covered at 80%. My mother has a good secondary, so that should pick up the rest.I have a feeling the NH just didn't put the rental through the insurance. They probably would only do that if I asked, which is wrong, IMO. Who knows, maybe you'll be reading a post from me in a few weeks on how to change nursing homes. I hope these annoyances are just the initial getting settled in issues. If not, there are other NH in my area. Thanks again.
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