My husband is a 100% Totally Disabled Vietnam Veteran - 100% Military Related!

Came home about 4 weeks ago from Hospice Hospital (Admitted with Renal Failure - kidneys started back functioning - had only 40% kidney function prior). He has Dementia and other numerous major illnesses. None of the VA Participating Nursing Homes in my area will accept him as a patient. He is totally bed confined. VA doesn’t make exceptions to use other NH’s (I’m totally disabled, not able to reposition him in bed and some other needed care ) Already used his Medicare’s Hospital & Nursing Home Days allowed.

(VA did offer VA Nursing Home over 1 1/2 hours away ). Couldn’t have him that far away, also I’m unable to travel that far daily, (VA gives me 3 hrs daily home care - Hospice nurse comes on Monday to access him) I’m paying for 11 hours CNA in home care daily: 10:am - 2:pm & 7:pm - 2:am daily - 7 days a week. It’s taking over half our income to pay for necessary home care needs. He needs more home care and we can’t afford to pay for more hours.

(I was paying same CNA’s while he was in Nursing Homes’ and Hospice Hospital )

- I was staying with him the first 2 months 24/7 except to go home and shower most days - (After I found him laying in his own feces ~ would only give bed baths 2 - 3 times a week ~ wasn’t providing food he could eat ~ ( lost 60 lbs ) ~ fell out of bed 2 x’s that I know of ~ he had to have repeat Spinal Surgery ~ discovered after NH Dr. over does him with morphine ~ after 3 days, I had him transferred back to the hospital ~ after 3 more days when the morphine wore off and he was screaming worse than his was after 1st back surgery, MRI showed he now had a cracked vertebra, screw broken in half and all hardware was out of position ~ had a DVT ( which my daughter discovered ) ~ tried to remove his mid line to other arm ~ wouldn’t come out, said it was stuck in DVT - wanted him transferred to the hospital, told me to give the blood thinner time to work and would try again in 3 days ~ wouldn’t come out. ~. wasn’t in DVT ~ had migrated into heart ~ had pneumonia and UTI ~ transferred to hospital ~ went into Renal Failure ~ transferred to Hospice Hospital... -> That’s just a few of the problems he has gone through since he was admitted to the Hospital on 08/18/18 originally <- Now at home, discharged from Hospice Hospital. Sorry so long, just needed someone to what I have gone thru and how stressed my life has become!

Seems like there are resources available if the VA offered to admit him to their NH. While it’s 1.5 hrs for you, your husband will receive care there. I know it’s hard to put a loved one in a NH (you’ll read many CG struggling with this very topic) but if you are unable to continue in home care due to expense or your own physical limitations maybe reconsider the VA NH offer. There are many veterans & their families waiting for a VA NH bed to open so declining the offer may be to your own detriment. It is free! I don’t know if I would turn down that offer. Vets are special.
Have you applied for Aide & Attendance benefit from the VA? That is a option that may provide some outside caregiver hours (but not FT) to help you.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Shane1124
debi2debra1 Mar 31, 2019
I feel so guilty just putting him in a nursing home. I don’t think I could stand putting him that so far away from me. that I’ve had him at home I know how he is being taken care of. Yes, the expense hurts... I was already paying for CNA’s to be where ever he was. The CNA’s are like family to him and me. I wouldn’t even be able to have that assurance he is being properly taken care of. Not all, but at least 50% of the nursing homes he was in, you needed someone taking care of him when I wasn’t there. They were not taking proper care of him.
The things I’ve seen and lived through with these Nursing Homes. I understand why most CareGivers’ would choose having their love one at home. I’m disabled and I can’t even turn him in his bed. I have approximately 11 hours when I have no CNA. Also I was told by my case worker and she says their is no more.

Thanks for your advise.
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Have you tried to get Aid and Attendance? Was husband in during a War?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to JoAnn29
debi2debra1 Mar 31, 2019
I have applied, I was told I would receive around $160.00 Per month. Its not much but I'm blessed to receive any amount. Thanks for your reply
Call VFW or DAV, they can lead you in the right direction. They have people who work on these issues. 100% should get better than this! God Bless old soldier!!!
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Reply to Ming06

Consider doing this...have your husband move to the VA nursing home (I would not turn that down it is too hard to find a spot) and then rent at an extended stay hotel or Airbnb in that town. It would be much cheaper to do that than to keep paying for CNA care 12+ hours a day I imagine.

If your husband is on hospice (I am sorry he is so unwell) it means that your solution only needs to be short, not long, term. Do you think this could work? That way he has 24/7 care and you can still see him several hours a day and make unannounced visits.

My Father and my many Uncles ( 7+) that served in military during war time live in Florida and any VA hospital is at least 2 hours from them, they have to drive that far to just see a VA doctor, so only driving 1.5 hours for a nursing home that would take care of them if needed would be a blessing. But that doesn't make it any easier for you on a day-to-day basis, I know.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to plum9195

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