Disposable People

I suppose the Holiday season is a good time as any to highlight how we treat our elderly and disabled. NBC news does that pretty well with this bit about nursing homes kicking elderly patients who can’t pay, to the curb. Who would do such a thing? 

If I walked in my front door and my mother was setting there in her wheelchair because she couldn’t pay her 10,000 dollar monthly obligation, I’d be more than just ‘pissed’. Truthfully, I can imagine that happening. My mom needs 24/7 care, and doesn’t know her ass from page three, and I say that lovingly. The problem is the system, it’s all for profit, even when the nursing home is non profit. Christ, they stripped her of her life’s savings, her life insurance policies, her stocks, and everything she owned that was of value, and now she’s eligible for Medicare. That said, my mom has it pretty nice, her environment is pleasant, she eats well, and the staff are attentive. More than I could offer here at home. I’m thankful she’s where she is. Like I mentioned, unfortunately, I can imagine a scenario where she’s evicted and dumped off on my front porch. I have a son with severe schizophrenia who lives in a group home. A few years back, he was discharged from a previous group home to live independently, with a support plan in place. A support plan that was woefully inadequate, and lead to his eviction. A support plan that was so not fucking followed through, that he ended up living with us for a year. Either that, or the Salvation army! I love my son, but that was a year of hell, emotionally and financially. He’s in a good place now, and like my mother, gets decent care, and the staff are dedicated. That brings peace of mind that you can’t buy. So to answer the question of, ‘Who would do such a thing?’. People that don’t care, staff that are untrained, and over worked, or don’t care, and organizations motivated by profit. Sons and daughters, family members too, carry some burden. Trusting their loved ones advocacy to their social workers, not knowing the laws, not caring enough to pay attention, being too submissive in having a say, all contribute. All the conditions make for the perfect nightmare, and when I say nightmare, try cleaning up your own mother when she’s shit all over the place. Been there, done that once, and nightmare doesn’t come close to that horror.


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