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I got a call today from a nursing home rehab they may be moving my dad to. The lady said, since this is expected to be only a 21 day stay his insurance will cover it & there will be nothing owed. She also said that even if there was any bill, they wouldn't be able to hold me responsible. (My dad has no POA & I'm his only child.) Since he is independent still she was going to call & talk to him too, but had wanted to talk to me to find out about his situation (how he ended up needing rehab). She asked if I'd consider being his sponsor, which had nothing to do with finances, but it would make me the contact person if anything happened while he's there, or when he's ready to leave. I hate to be such a skeptic, but I wanted to know for sure if that's true.

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I wish your dad well in rehab. If this is an older facility that has been operating for a long tome, "sponsor" may be a term, unofficial but with meaning to them, that is left over from the past. Visit sometimes during therapy sessions and be dad's cheerleader.
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Thank you. Actually, my dad takes care of himself for the most part while at home. One of his friends & I help him when needed. For. The most part his friend helps him to the doctor & to run errands. He prefers it that way, I think so that he doesn't feel dependant on me so much. At times he does need me & I do what I can for him, such as during this time I've made sure his bills get paid (with his money), & if herds something I bring it to him.

I hope that I don't regret it, but since I didn't get any responses before the time came, I talked to some people from my church who had loved ones that had been in the nursing home. I was told that they had been sponsors for their loved ones & in one case a neighbor, & they had never been financially responsible, even after the person passed.

So far this seems like a good place..,old building, but good staff. I've heard lots of good things about it.
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Anytime a facility 'drugs' it's residents, then there is a problem. Not all facilities are created equal. There are some terrible facilities, but there are good facilities as well and the physical therapy they offer allow the person to become more functional. Always check out a facility before admission and check with the local ombudsman program
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I agree with blannie. Both of my parents spent time in rehab facilities, dad after a stroke, and mom after a broken ankle. They both benefitted from the therapy and the instruction about how to compensate for the disability. Without that help, my dad would have spent the rest of his life in a nursing home. If your loved one is not getting good care or help in rehab, speak up. If there is no improvement, it's time for a move.
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I'm not sure what a "sponsor" is either. If you are on your father's HIPAA form at the hospital as a "contact person" (as his only child), it makes sense that the nursing home rehab person would call you and touch base with you to find out a little background on why your father was admitted to the hospital and your take on his rehab needs. Not alarming at all.

Your profile does not give any background on what circumstances surrounds your caregiving of your father. If he is lucid and able to make his own decisions, then there is no need to worry about you being responsible for his financials. Look over the rehab admissions forms CAREFULLY if they request that you "sign" him in. Your father should sign his own forms so he and ONLY HE is financially responsible to the rehab center. Normally, Medicare will pay for this rehab stay for the first 20 days (I believe). Thereafter, I believe there is a co-pay.

Nursing home rehab facilities are fully aware of these Medicare regulations and should communicate them to your father and you clearly if you are there when he is transferred and admitted to their facility. Make sure everyone (hospital discharge planner, rehab, you and your father) are all on the same page. YOU never want to sign an admission paper without fully reading it as you may then be financially responsible. As long as your father can sign himself, let him do it.

As far as HIPAA regulations go, yes, it can be a pain in the butt when hospitals/doctors get really picayune about it. However, I have never been in a hospital when my mother was in the ER or admitted, that the hospital staff asked me "Are you on your mother's HIPAA form?" I was there as her concerned daughter and of course, they would answer my questions. I wasn't asked for identification. This HIPAA stuff has really gotten out of hand. I can see in cases of major family conflict that hospitals would enforce this law (or when unknown individuals CALL the hospital asking about a patient, then of course, they will not give out any information). However, when you are an only child there with your father, I doubt the hospital staff is going to give you any problems finding out what's going on with your father.

If you have sibling conflict (this is not your case) and children are "fighting" in front of staff, then of course, they are going to enforce the HIPAA law. Another situation would be if your father intentionally told the staff NOT to release his health information to you. Then he would be the one to file a complaint against the hospital/rehab staff. This doesn't sound like this is the case here.

Because this part of caregiving may be "new" to you (as far as rehab, hospital discharges, etc.), it is normal to be skeptic. But from what you wrote, I wouldn't be alarmed and I would be grateful that the hospital/rehab staff are concerned enough to keep you in the loop.

With all due respect to Willow's response, not all rehab facilities have understaffed, overworked and half-hearted staff. Of course, a child's one-on-one PT therapy given at home is the ideal situation but not everyone can be there 24/7 with a parent during PT. If you (as your father's caregiver) can be fully engaged in the rehab process and are monitoring his progress in the rehab facility, then that is the ideal situation. That's why I feel it's important to get to know the hospital/rehab staff and let them know you are a team working for ultimately a good rehab outcome. Advocating for your parent is always ideal.

I wish him well in his recovery.
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I strongly disagree about rehab being a place to "store" patients. My dad had a stroke and after two weeks in the hospital, he went to a nursing home for rehab (I think he was there for about three weeks). They worked him hard and he regained about 90% of his previous ability. It really helped him get his strength and mobility back.

There can be a wide range of benefits from rehab, which is why it's important that family and loved ones keep an eye on what's going on and make it clear that they're there to advocate for their loved one. If your loved one is in a bad rehab, step in and get them moved.
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I don't want to miss this opportunity to tell you to rethink your decision to place your dad in a rehab facility. I put my husband, who has dementia, in one twice when I had him transferred there from a hospital stay, and I will never do it again. Rehab is just a place to store their patients and keep them drugged and ignored as much as possible until it's time for them to be dismissed. Yes, he had physical therapy every day that he was there (he was there for three weeks), but the physical therapy I have been giving him here at home is far superior to what he had there. Some of it was half-hearted; the therapists looked so bored a good part of the time.

There were some good people there, but the administration was not up to par. They were understaffed and overworked. Many times a nurse or an aide would take ten or fifteen minutes or longer to come to the room after I had rung for help. It was a pretty unpleasant experience all the way around.

Rehab is for the birds! It is not what you think it is. :(
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I've never heard the word sponsor used in a rehab or nursing facility; to me a sponsor would be someone who pays. Having said that, if your dad had a qualifying hospital stay then moved into the rehab center, his medicare should pay for the first 20 days at no cost. On the 21st day there is a co-pay of around $147.00 (I think) per day. If you father's income and assets fall within the long term care Medicaid guidelines, he can apply for Medicaid to pay his stay after the 20th day. It's been my experience when someone is admitted to a facility, the facility wants to have a contact person on file. Since your father makes his own decisions they need to ask him if it's ok to add you as a contact person and that they release info to you. Talk with your father about planning ahead so problems can be avoided. He can complete an advance directive/living will and he can name you as his power of attorney if he so wishes to do so. Even if you are his POA, you are under no obligation to use your money to pay for his care. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging or Bureau of Senior Services. They will have info on planning ahead to avoid problems; you can also speak with the long term care ombudsman. The ombudsman will be able to find an answer regarding being a 'sponsor'. You can also ask the AAA about programs for in home help for your father. They have many programs that benefit seniors and caregivers such as yourself. Good luck.
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Because no one else has answered in almost two days, I'll do my best to be responsive but my answer will NOT be the "be all and end all" and I strongly encourage you to ask this question of your father's primary care giver and/or the physician who had him admitted to rehab. I do want to reassure you, however, that a dose of skepticism can be an important, even crucial, attribute for someone who is attempting to look after a loved one. I have never heard of a "sponsor" for a person in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility AND, in the absence of a POA, the person who called you probably was not operating legally under Federal privacy laws (HIPAA) unless she had a written release from your father giving her permission to speak to you about his situation. THAT SAID -- and maybe she did have such a release -- I'd be slow to complain or criticize about this, especially since you don't know that the person's motives were not completely above board. Personally, I bless every healthcare provider who uses a little common sense about compliance with this law as it has clearly been in my Mom's best interest for her caregivers to speak with family about her condition. The privacy laws are for patients' protection but often the people who write these regulations haven't a clue about the "real world"! If all the facility wants at the moment is a contact person that seems to me to be very much in your dad's best interest. Just don't sign anything!!! Regardless of what you say you were told about having no responsibility for his bills (and you do NOT), if you sign something indicating in any way that you WILL be responsible, you are likely to be held accountable. Good luck, stay in touch with this site; it will be very helpful to you). I wish you and your father the best.
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