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My mother has been living in an assisted living facility in her own apt for almost 2 years. She is now on medicaid and must share a 2 bedroom apt. The woman they want her to room with is a smoker and very sloppy. My mother is neat as a pin. I went to see the room yesterday and it reaks of smoke. I've been told that the smoker will be leaving soon - 3-4 weeks - but I don't want my mother to be subjected to the smell. Plus all of her belongings and clothes will smell of smoke. I don't think it's fair to do this to my mother. The woman obviously smokes in the room when she can get away with it and it really upsets me that my mother has to put up with this even for a few weeks. My mother is upset about it b/c everyone talks about this woman b/c she stinks and therefore the apt stinks. I've been complaining about this to management and they're giving me lip service and tell me it will only be temporary. I don't know what to do. I feel they're being so unfair to my mother. I have a hard enough time to get my siblings to go visit her. Doesn't my mother have any rights? It's so unfair and it's making me crazy.

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In NY you can not smoke in hospitals or on the grounds but is most NH you can smoke outside in a certain area and residents can not keep cigeretts in their rooms -they have to get them from the office and in some NH's they can not be outside without a staff member in attendance.
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My mother and her sister each live in subsidized senior housing. My aunt's building is new and lovely. My mother's building is older but very well maintained. My mother, a smoker for 78 years, can smoke in her apartment but not in any common areas. In my Aunt's building, residents can't smoke in their apartments or common areas. (Same state. Same metro area in fact.) We have often thought how nice it would be for the sisters to be in the same building. My mother would rather keep on smoking than move into her sister's lovely building and be able to play cards with her, etc. So Ma stays where she is and visits her sister by telephone.

Smoking is a herendous addiction. IsntEasy, I can imagine how difficult it is for care facilities to deal with this.
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I THOUGHT IT WAS AGAINST THE LAW TO SMOKE IN ANY HEALTH CARE FACILITY YOU MIGHT WANT TO CALL THE STATE.
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Also if your Dad was in the service she will get about est. $1200 a month from Veternan's Assistant for her care. Look on line. It's a long process, but it might be worth looking into. Good luck.
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If the management has been trustworthy for the past two years, and given that they did warn you up front that once your Mom's money ran out, sharing would be the next step, I'd trust them now. I work in senior housing and can tell you that senior smokers are a problem in every community. We do the best we can with respecting the resident's right to smoke while ensuring the comfort of everyone else, including the employees. Truthfully, we try not to allow smokers to move in. They are that much of a problem. Families know it and often hide the fact that the person is a smoker. Offering to let your mom share a 1 BR sounds like it was the best they could do to put her in a smoke-free apartment until the smoker moves out of the 2 BR. Families often have a hard time seeing that you can only do what you can do. The facility has to stay afloat (apartment rents need to be paid) for it to remain a nice place to live. We have often allowed residents to remain in their apartments at reduced rent for awhile until they're able to work out alternate arrangements, but if there's a tenant ready to move in at the full rent, we must accept them. We have to meet our budget to stay in business.
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I'm am glad you have the problem resolved. Perhaps the AL would agree to painting the room. The smoke is now in the curtains, linens & walls. This is still a hazard to your mom's health. It's obvious this woman DID smoke in the room. I'm so sorry this happened. You are such a loving daughter!
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It is illegal to smoke in health care facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Florida. Designated outdoor smoking facilities are allowed, although some hospitals prohibit smoking on thei campus
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Igloo - sounds like a good suggestion. Thanks.
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Will - sounds like a got plan. You know there is going to be "smell" issues with the new paint. What about increasing Proctor & Gamble's profits and buying a lot of all co-ordinated scents Febreze products and get them going in the room. The free standing ones are great (no spills!) and they have a "touch" nightlight one that has an embedded fragrance in the shade that is pretty cute and servicable. They all work for 30 -45 days and that should be just the right amount of time for paint and construction odor to be gone. Maybe buy one to give to the caseworker and the supervisor - a little goes a l.....o....n....g way with that level of worker.

Justcare - in some areas there are "Air Force Village" for retirees. Very well run
and go from IL to NH with dementia homes for group living. Most excellent.
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Thanks for your thoughts justcare. My dad was an army veteran in WWII and passed away in 1965. My mother re-married in 1990 and my stepfather wasn't in the service. Unfortunately I was told she wouldn't qualify b/c she re-married and my stepfather wasn't in the service.
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Just another thought. Was she or her husband in armed services during active duty? There are a ton of little-used veterans subsidies out there. And spouses qualify to use them just as the veteran does. Plus, the assisted living where I work in Wisconsin accepts county-funded residents (limited in number as we are an expensive assisted living with chef-prepared meals, brain-boosting activity focus including ipad for seniors program, etc).
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Thanks for all your comments. I met with the supervisor of the AL yesterday and she assured me that the "smoker" would be leaving within the next day or two and the reason for the delay was that they were getting another room ready for her. This I have to see. I called my mother's case manager at Medicaid and she's trying to help as much as she can. In the meantime the supervisor told me that my mother's 1 bedroom has been rented and they need my mother to move into the 2 bedroom. I told her about the smell in the room and they are doing everything they can to get rid of the smell after the smoker moves out which should be within the next day or two. She said they are aware of the smell and she assured me that the woman doesn't smoke in the room. She said the smell is from her clothes and belongings. I told her I didn't want my mother subjected to that and to please move her before my mother moves in. She assured me that after the smoker moves, the smoker's room is being completely gutted, i.e. rip up the carpet, paint all the walls etc etc. and prepared for a roommate for my mother. She said they're trying to get the smoker out of the room before my mother moves in. I really have no choice but to believe her. She also said that the facility doesn't have that many 2 bedroom apts. for Medicaid recipients and the other alternative was to put 2 people in a 1 bedroom apt. I didn't think that was legal but it is here in NJ. If they can move the smoker out and re-do her room, I'm praying the smoke smell will go with her. Right now my best bet is to try to negotiate as best as I can because my mother paid a fortune for the 2 years she was there and there are no other AL facilities that take Medicaid recipents. Plus my mother feels very comfortable there finally. It's taken 2 years for her to feel comfortable. I can't even think about moving her plus she's not ready for a nursing home. When my husband and I first met with the sales mgr at the AL facility 2 yr ago, she assured us that after my mother's money ran out, she could apply for Medicaid and after accepted, she would move her with a compatible roommate to a 2 bedroom apt. They never said a 1 bedroom for 2 people. I guess if it's not in writing, they can do whatever they want. I just want to get my mother comfortable. I have no help from my sister or brother with anything. Thanks for all your responses. I'm so happy I can come here and vent.
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Why don't you suggest that they let your mother stay in her current apartment until the roommate moves out? After all, "it is only temporary," right? Surely they can do that small favor for someone who has been private pay for two years. And they are going to want to thoroughly clean that 2-person apartment after it is vacated, so it would really be doing them a favor for Mother to wait to move in until that is all done.
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You know your situation is super common. Sad. Yep you should be upset. You have to follow your gut feeling, which is get her out of there, correct?

Here's my suggestion. You need to get things done to change your mom's medical history so that she can qualify for and show the need for "skilled nursing" AKA a nursing home. Go an start looking for NH that do "Medicaid pending".

Here's my experience: My mom, mid 90's, went from IL to NH and bypassed the AL stage. She is now in a NH and on Medicaid. She was in a "tiered" facility - the kind that goes from IL to AL to NH to hospice. They are a good facility but being for-profit has an emphasis on the AL part - which is where the $$$ is made as that is all private pay - her state does not pay for AL per se. I placed her there because I didn't want to have to move her again and again (lmao), so it all seemed to be all kum-ba-ya. After a couple of years in IL, she started having closer & closer bouts of Lewy Body Dementia related hallucinations and paranoia. They were pressing me to have her move to AL- just a building away, she'll see all her friends..... She needed to make some type of move. What I found worked for my mom, was to have her seen by the medical director of another NH (he was not the medical director of the tiered facility). She saw him as just a regular patient and I told him that I was thinking NH rather than AL.Because she had "critical" medical issues like a more than 10% weight loss within 30 days, a critical H&H levels, she required "skilled" nursing care & supervision, so she was able to bypass AL and move from IL to NH. He wrote up her health history that showed skilled care needed asap. Also did a couple of other things, like changed her from the Exelon pill to the patch (more "skill" to do) and had her take a medication that needed to be compounded (again more "skill" to do). Now in less than a year, I moved my mom from the first NH as his affiliation with the medical school gerontology practice stopped and this NH#1 just had chaos in administration. She is now in another NH and back with the medical school affiliation MD's.She seems much happier and lots cleaner, although her dementia & age has finally caught up with her! Once they are on Medicaid, transferring was easy from NH to NH, well it was easy for us. My point is find a NH to move her and if it doesn't work, it's not forever.

It great that you are already through the Medicaid process. It's an exhausting pile of paperwork isn't it? For me, it was 5 months for that hurdle to clear initially and then 4 mos to deal with appeals regarding crediting for a secondary insurance deduction. Then just recently, refiling her application & documentation. But thank goodness Medicaid is available. Good luck & keep a sense of humor.
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Thanks igloo. I just said to my husband that I'm going to call her dr and request a letter. You're absolutely right about the AL's attitude now. Unfortunately all my mother's money is gone and no AL facility will take her on just Medicaid. She doesn't need a nursing home but she needs assistance b/c she's in a wheelchair. Thank you so much igloo for your responses. I really needed some guidance. I'm making myself so upset over all this. Things were going great when she was paying almost $6,000 + per month. It's disgusting the way they treat our parents when they have no place to turn to. Not something to look forward to at all. Thanks again.
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Oh and the AL attitude about this - like their ignoring your requests - it a huge red flag for me. This AL could well have the attitude that the Medicaid residents are 2nd class citizens. I'd start looking about for another place for your mom to move to.
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Have your mom's MD do a letter stating that she is susceptible to 2nd hand smoke and it is potentially a critical condition for her health and fax it over to the AL. That should do it.
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