Alzheimer's caregivers, guardians, and conservators

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circular
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Re: Alzheimer's caregivers, guardians, and conservators

Postby circular » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:28 am

I thought it might be good to link here to our thread about the Being Patient website. This is off to a really good start as an independent news channels for issues of interest and concern to caregivers.
ApoE 3/4 > Thanks in advance for any responses made to my posts.

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Nords
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Re: Alzheimer's caregivers, guardians, and conservators

Postby Nords » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:40 pm

circular wrote:It sounds like you have one of the versions of a Medicare supplement policy. What they cover is standardized across the companies that sell them, and there are different MS policies going by letter designation that supplement different Medicare benefits. While the coverage will be identical across companies, making premium comparisons worthwhile, I'd forgotten that some companies work seamlessly with Medicare while others don't. I believe the term used for that administrative benefit is Automatic Claims Processing (or similar). The AARP Medicare Supplement plans with United Healthcare have it. The providers bill Medicare, Medicare makes their determination and then if a balance is still due sends their statement directly to the Medicare Supplement company for handling the balance. My mom has the most comprehensive Medicare supplement policy, so I'm not sure, if the Medicare Supplement policy is one that doesn't cover everything, how or when the patient's portion gets paid (up front to be reimbursed or at the back end when the exact patient contribution is known). The automatic claims processing and customer service with AARP UnitedHealthcare is very good. I just seem to have a hitch at the provider level getting reimbursement. The doctors are wonderful and I'm sure they have no clue they're getting paid twice for my mother.

What's Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)?

It sounds like at least you're getting the coverage you need, even if there are some logistical hiccups which are bound to occur under any setup.

Thanks, Circular. I'll send Bankers Life an e-mail and find out how they do this. I thought they were just technologically way behind the curve. They don't have a website version of their EOBs, and I get a lot of individual paper EOBs instead of a monthly statement.
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circular
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Re: Alzheimer's caregivers, guardians, and conservators

Postby circular » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:45 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if Banker's Life is less than optimal. They've had a terrible reputation in the long term care insurance market, but I don't know the details or whether there are still problems. That said, even with AARP UHC automatic claims processing there's no monthly summary; it's one claim at a time. But, there's online access. I have nearly all my mom's business running paperless.
ApoE 3/4 > Thanks in advance for any responses made to my posts.

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Re: Alzheimer's caregivers, guardians, and conservators

Postby circular » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:44 am

The long-term care insurance appeal was denied, a year to the month after the original claim was filed. I'll spare the thread the copious details involved in this thoroughly unjust denial. I feel like I've been bullied and gut-punched. When I asked the claims person who told me what the next step was (knowing attorneys are certainly an option), she said the Department of Insurance. I'm not quite clear now whether that's a good idea. I've read online that the DOI may not pursue legal nuance the way attorneys would (focused more on regulatory affairs), and take a lot of time in the process. I have to figure out if it's 'safe' to pursue the DOI and attorneys at the same time. I'm also having a devil of a time even finding attorneys who specialize in this area. I've read the DOI will wait for the legal outcome, while attorneys are expensive and maybe the DOI would take care of this. I am beyond stressed, enraged, demoralized, exhausted ...
ApoE 3/4 > Thanks in advance for any responses made to my posts.

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Re: Alzheimer's caregivers, guardians, and conservators

Postby SusanJ » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:17 pm

Oh man, circ, that just sucks. Sending hugs and more hugs your way.

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Stavia
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Re: Alzheimer's caregivers, guardians, and conservators

Postby Stavia » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:29 pm

{{{Circ}}}

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Re: Alzheimer's caregivers, guardians, and conservators

Postby cwicker » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:14 am

Nords wrote:This post is about my Dad.

This background helps explain my later posts about our caregiver experience and our mistakes. The next post will give more links to caregiver resources.


Thank you Nords. I just happened upon this thread. My father is also an electrical engineer in the Navy who started showing symptoms in his mid-70s with sharp decline in 2011. He is also in the mid stages of stage six. However, my mom also has dementia and is about stage 5. They are both together in a "family care home" with 4 other residents. Though my father, an engineer is trying to "fix" things and is destroying furniture and plumbing.

My mom also has dementia and was following along at the same trajectory as dad until about 5 months ago. She is about stage 5.

Like your dad, despite his mother being in the same situation, he refused to plan on such a scenario. How fortunate that your dad had at least LTC.

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Re: Alzheimer's caregivers, guardians, and conservators

Postby Nords » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:07 pm

I'm sorry to report that my father Dean passed away Saturday morning (18 November 2017) from Alzheimer's complications.

As many of you know, Dad first noticed his dementia symptoms in 2008 (at age 74) and was in a care facility since 2011. His cognition steadily declined but he recovered from more health crises than I care to remember. He was a tough guy.

Dad reached late-stage Alzheimer's symptoms a few months ago, but he'd spent years in each of the stages and we expected more of the same. He no longer went out for walks around the grounds, let alone for a Sunday lunch at a nearby restaurant. He was quite happy to stay in his room and work on jigsaw puzzles. He was losing his vocabulary and his speech, and he was eating much more slowly, but he was coping.

Last week we were all surprised when his coordination rapidly declined. He was shambling, stumbling, and nearly falling. His blood pressure was very low but medications did not seem to be the issue. We discussed a hospital visit for additional testing but (on the advice of the doctor) we decided to avoid hospital delirium. Friday morning the memory care facility recommended hospice, although we all agreed that Dad might easily recover.

On Friday evening hospice saw his symptoms take a turn for the worse and we arranged for 24-hour nursing care. The hospice doctor mentioned that Dad might be closer to death than we thought, but even the doctor was thinking in terms of days or weeks. Morphine helped relieve Dad's stress and he slept through the night. He never woke up, and then his heart stopped.

Some neuropsychologists claim that Alzheimer's makes you more of what you already are. Rather than feeling sad, I'd like to note that for the last nine years Dad has been mostly happier than I've ever known him. He finally freed himself of all his cares and burdens. I didn't enjoy his journey but I'm glad we could be there to help and to spend the time with him.

Dad's directions are straightforward: cremation, no flowers, no funeral, no memorial service, and instead donate to charity. As usual, he didn't want a fuss. We plan to cremate his body whenever the crematorium is ready. We'll scatter his ashes at one of his favorite hiking spots where he's spent so much time over the years. Personally, I favor donating to an Alzheimer's organization like this forum or the Alzheimer's Association, or to the National Park Foundation.

My conservator appointment has technically ended. My brother is the executor of Dad's estate (he lives in Denver in the same district as the Probate Court) but I'll probably be the administrator for him. We're going to start that conversation with the lawyer tomorrow, and I'll occasionally update this thread with the details of settling Dad's affairs..

I've included the photo from the first page of this thread: Dad in late 2009 at the overlook of the Visitor Center at Colorado National Monument Park outside of Grand Junction. He was in early-stage Alzheimer's at this point, still living independently and driving and hiking. (He used to joke about hiking into the Rockies with his "slipping memory" until he couldn't remember how to get back to his car.) He was notoriously camera-shy for his whole life, almost always behind the lens instead of in front. I had to sneak this one in before he moved back out of the frame.

Dean at Colorado Monument National Park Dec 2009.JPG
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Re: Alzheimer's caregivers, guardians, and conservators

Postby JML » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:14 pm

Nords--So sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like quite an interesting guy! I really appreciate all that you have shared about your dad's journey and your caretaker's role. There's so much to learn, and you have been generous. Peace to you and your family.
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Stavia
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Re: Alzheimer's caregivers, guardians, and conservators

Postby Stavia » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:03 pm

Nords please accept my deepest and sincerest condolences on your loss of your Dad.
Thank you for letting us know.

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