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Mom has lived with us for 25 years, and we can no longer care for her. She is medi-cal and medicare in San Diego County. How do we get her into a nuring home with endless waiting lists that never advance?

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Igloo gave you excellent advice. We often have to choose a home that is more difficult to access but will work at least for a time. Then you can place your mom's name on a list for one closer to you if you choose. I hear from people in more populated areas than my community and they often have to travel quite far. But even in my own community, we sometimes have to choose a home that isn't our first choice.
I will add that moving someone isn't easy, so you may decide to stay with the one father away if your mom is happy. It does seem like that's your only choice if she can't stay with you until there's an opening.
Good luck - we're with you in spirit,
Carol
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Try looking beyond your local area/county for a facility. There are open NH Medicaid beds in every state but you will need to plan on driving out to it. I'm in the New Orleans area and Medicaid beds in Orleans parish (we do parishes rather than counties) in a facility that I'd find acceptable for my mom are pretty well none existent. Anyplace that is even marginally acceptable is now private pay. I'd have to go across Lake Pontchartain to find a nice Medicaid accepting NH - which means 1 - 2 hr drive. That may be the reality of what you need to do, which could mean going up to La Jolla (my late MIL lived in that area ages ago).

You know once you get them into a facility and through Medicaid acceptance, it is pretty easy to move them as far as paperwork is concerned. So you can continue to keep working the waiting list at the local easier to get to NH and then move her
back into your homebase area. Good luck.
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NH is nursing home. SNF - skilled nursing facility - some people use the names interchangeably.
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My mother was a resident at a NH 2 hours from where I live. She transitioned from the rehab directly into the skilled nursing area. So, that part was easy for me and her. I did look into NH near me and yes, there were waiting lists, but she was already situated and I could not find one nearly as nice as the one she was in - so she continued to reside there.

As mentioned in above post - you most likely will have to go outside your area. My mother lived in a resort area - where many elderly retired. Due to this fact, it appeared there were more NH available to provide care for the numerous elderly in the area. Good luck - and wish you the best.
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We faced a very long wait in our county when looking to place my mom, but the next county had only a two week wait! It's a 20 minute drive, but well worth it! Best of luck. ♥
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I work for a nursing home in Central California, Yes some NH have waiting lists especially if the person if coming from home. However, if she were to go to the hospital for a 3 day stay, lets say for tests ? Then her Medicare would kick in and usually they have priorty for spots. Most NH only have a small number of straight medicaid beds available and that is why such long waiting lists. Medicare patients usually come in the facility for rehab and then
stay if the rehab does not work. When calling a NH be sure to tell them that she does indeed have medicare part B and medical as well this can also speed things up also, most counties are going into managed care for medical and some for medicare. Not all NH takes all of them and not all managed care will pay for skilled nursing for more than a few days. This also can delay someone being admitted.
Good Luck to you.
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I am experiencing something similar as there are 2 year waiting lists for the nice homes so I am torn abt what to do. The care isn't as good and his move into a NH is a huge transition but the staff doesn't seem to be that motivated. I'm new to this so learning the ropes. My father has had a managed care policy but has to go off of it to get rehabilitation thus we have to wait until the 1st of the month. This is all heart wrenching.
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We have found that these managed care policies are great until you get sick. Some have large co pays starting after day 14 and it goes up after day 20. When a lot of our seniors rely on just there medicare they think hey I could use this extra money each month that I don't have to pay for medicare which is all good till some has a fall and then must go to skilled nursing for a while.Most don't have $5000 just laying around just waiting to pay co payments. Good Luck to you both.
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What is NH? I'm from Canada. I keep seeing NH everywhere on the site; but can't figure out what it means. At first I thought New Hampshire. But, I figured, surely not everyone here is from there. lol
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To donnacecillia: it stands for nursing home. It took me a while too. ;-)
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