Guest Writer: Beth DeHart, Director of Long-Term Care, SC Thrive
When we look over our lives, we can find moments when a resource that presents itself becomes a linchpin to change a situation for the better. This was the case for me in 2013. I was a single mother with a full-time job and a busy son. My mother was getting older, and the responsibility to support her fell to me as her only child.
Eventually, when she needed someone to be with her round-the-clock, I knew I needed help. Everything changed when she experienced a catastrophic fall that required immediate, intense, long-term medical intervention. My mother was never able to live independently after her fall.
She did not have any income beyond her monthly social security benefit, nor did she have any insurance to help cover her new, demanding medical care costs. I was panicking with worry over what we were going to do to ensure my mom would be safe and receive the care she needed.
My mother spent three months in a rehabilitation facility after her fall, during which time we had to face the hard truth that she could no longer live on her own and her health needs were more than what I could meet. Eventually, we arrived at the only viable option, that she needed to live in a nursing home. But the next question was, how would we pay for that? Neither my mom nor I had an extra $7,000 per month, the average cost of nursing home care in South Carolina.
Fortunately, a social worker at the rehabilitation facility told me about the Healthy Connections Medicaid Long-Term Care benefit and helped us apply. When my mother was discharged from rehabilitation, she transitioned seamlessly into a nursing home and remained there until her passing in 2015.
My son and I were able to visit my mother several times a week. We took her out for drives, visits, and even ice cream! I was so grateful to know that my mom was in a safe place where she could not hurt herself. I was thankful that she would receive medical care, good nutrition, and social activities every day.
I know it is not easy to think of our moms and dads living in a nursing home, but nursing homes are a meaningful and valuable option for families with increasing health and safety concerns. It certainly made all the difference to my family in my mother’s last years of life. I am grateful for the nursing home staff who provided her with round-the-clock excellent care, and Healthy Connections Medicaid which covered the cost of that care.
Do you know someone who needs long-term care help?
If you have a loved one that needs long-term care treatment, the Healthy Connections Medicaid Long-Term Care benefit program may be a good option. An SC Thrive Benefits Counselor can help you apply with either an English or Spanish application. Please reach out to us at 800.726.8774.