Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving and the Annual Paperwork

My husband and I took an exercise walk today.  It was a "bonus" day here in upstate NY; the sun shining.  I was actually able to take off my coat.  A chance to, sort of, soak in the Vitamin D and try to plan out the Thanksgiving weekend.

And, to think and talk about our future.  And our future with Bil, and trying to get things more "started" now to prepare for that future.  I'm grateful we have this chance to prepare, and I don't want to waste any  more time.  I've had a couple of physical "surprises" in the past year and I know how quickly things can change.

We are not going to visit Bil and my mother in law for Thanksgving, due to circumstances up here.  But, in a way, that is good. When we visit for the holidays things we need to keep track of vanish in the holiday bustle.  I think, coming over the weekend, will work better.

Will Bil miss us not being there?  I'm not sure.  I think it may bother him a little because we are almost always there for Thanksgiving, at least in the past few years. (My husband's job, prior to 1999, required him to work many Thanksgivings.  So we would go down another time.  Sort of like what we are doing this year.) But I know one thing I would really like us to focus on when we do go down.

When my mil visited last weekend, she told me about how hard it was to do Bil's annual Medicaid review.  Despite knowing Medicaid will want Bil's financial statements, she keeps throwing them out because she is so tidy.  So then she has to run to the bank and pay unreasonable fees to get the paperwork.  While she was at it, she discovered that because Bil didn't have direct deposit of his SSDI checks, that the bank was charging $6. a month to deposit them.  Lovely!  So at least she got the paperwork filled out for direct deposit.

Why hadn't the bank ever brought this up with her?  Or the Medicaid Service Coordinator?  I wonder how many other little things can be done to make life easier.

Bil's Medicaid Service coordinator helped her with the actual filling out.  But she told me that all the running around had her totally exhausted.  Yet, when we have brought up trying to get some kind of guardianship, or representative payee, or other role for ourselves we are seen as meddling.  She never even asked us to help. (I know it is hard being 150 miles away but after she can no longer have an active role-we are still going to be 150 miles away.)  And if we ask the Medicaid Service Coordinator for any kind of information whatsoever the MSC runs right to my mother in law.  Do we, as other family members, not rate?

I've said it before:  I'm thankful my mother in law wants to continue to care for Bil, to her last dying breath.  But why can't she see that if we step in, or want to step in, that we are not saying she is worthless, or incompetent, or anything like that.  What does she think will happen if she suddenly passes on?  Doesn't she see that by not letting us participate more, she hurts Bil?  And us?

Sigh.



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