My husband was hospitalized two weeks ago and is now in rehab, with the possibility of having to enter a skilled nursing facility. I find I am spending most of my time with him because I have to straighten out issues of care, such as correct medications, and his need of my presence. Now I realize I have to 'get a life' of my own again. I don't want to be a slacker in terms of my husband, but I am feeling depleted. Yet I also feel guilty if I'm not there for him. Curious to know how others transact similar situations. Thanks.

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ArtLover - I don’t know if the reality of the costs of care in a NH is yet in your radar..... but it can be a staggering sum. If hubs is currently in rehab from a post hospitalization, his stay is either being covered by Medicare’s rehab benefit (first 20-21 @ 100%, then up to 100 days @ 80%) or private insurers which tend to follow Medicare % system.

Imo you want to do whatever you can to encourage him in his rehab. I’d suggest you try to visit after a rehab session. Also like this week, try to have a off the record word with rehab staff (PT, OT, speech therapist) as to his “progress” to see how he’s measuring up.

You know him best, like if he needs a cheerleading squad or he’s more the type to need a goal or whatever to stay “progressing” in his rehab. You want him to stay in rehab and “progressing mode” for a long as possible. It rebuilds his ability AND gives you time to figure out what / how his move to becoming a resident of a NH or MC is going to get paid. Why?.... cause as long as he’s on rehab the initial insurers are paying till he stops progressing or times out in coverage. And if it’s Medicaid that’s going to be applied for, you will face the extra set of challenges in Medicaid planning ahead of filing his application to have you as a community spouse to keep or shift as much assets / income to you within Medicaid limits so you do NOT find yourself financially insure in your future.

Also try try to find out what this facility is doing for some sort of holiday family event and go to it. It gives you an opportunity to actually meet other families, especially others who are in the “community spouse” situation and can share their insights.
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Oh yes, been there, done that. The initial hospital/ rehab stays are exhausting. Navigating the paperwork, trying to figure out who’s who in his care network of aids-nurses-therapist-social workers etc can be so confusing and time consuming, asking the wrong question to the wrong person. This phase will get better, but if he goes to long term care it will start all over. If he is in OT and PT therapy, I would suggest you try to be there for those sessions to encourage him, learn from the therapists, and understand his progress or lack of. This will really help you in having data for his next level of care. After the daily sessions are done he may be tired, you could review the planned daily activities with him, and take your leave. This rehab to skilled nursing transition is going to be exhausting for you, I’m not going to sugarcoat it, and your personal life may suffer during this period. But after the transition is complete, and the learning curve has leveled out, you should be able to look forward to resuming some of your activities, knowing he’s being taken care of when you’re not there, and maybe visiting just a couple of days a week when fun activities are on the calendar would be an acceptable balance for you. Or perhaps join him for lunch or dinner a few times a week. Going at varying times that work with your schedule will get you familiar with aides on the various shifts, which can help with your feeling that he’s in good hands round the clock.
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