Sunday, November 13, 2011

Alzheimer Awareness

It was a good day today. It was the Lord's Day. Wonderful Spirit in the worship services at the house of God. At 6:30 PM this evening, Ladybug and I went over the bridge to OAR and visited with Mom. We went down to the chapel there and had a nice time singing together around the grand piano. Kathy, one of the workers there came in and there was a time set aside for remembering victims of Alzheimer's Disease. They had paper bags and little artificial candles to put in them for Alzheimer's Awareness. We put candles in bags for Aunt Rosa, Uncle Buck and Brother Don Knight who all died from Alzheimer's Disease. The lights were dimmed and we spent a moment in silence and Kathy asked me if I would lead in a word of prayer. Then Kathy read "The Alzheimer's Prayer" and we adjourned for cookies and coffee. It was very nice. When we took Mom back to her room she seemed a little anxious about getting into her Jammies for the night and we assured her that we would be back soon and that we were looking forward to her coming to our house in a couple of weeks for a big family get together at Thanksgiving. She seemed to do better after that.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Opting out of Group Health

Below is a copy of the information I needed to send to the GHC to opt mom out of the care program. I will mail this off by registered mail on Monday, which will give you time to get back to me if there are any concerns. With Medicare/Medicaid she will receive in house care with Anne Horsley ARNP= nurse practitioner, who is under the umbrella of a doctor. I do not have his or her name yet. The office is in Lakewood on 108th street Home Doc . 253-589-6573. In making this change also her medications would be the pharmacy they use making her meds more quickly available. OH, yes I did meet Anne, who seems to be a nice gal, and with a ARNP on the end of her name, that says something. She will see mom on a regular basis every 5 weeks coming into Olympic Alzheimer's Residence to check mom along with her other patients who live there. Anne will be the go to gal if mom becomes ill or any needs of concern.

Page on down to see the letter. I just want us all to be on the same page with this change. Why pay out when it's being picked up by Medicare/Medicaid.

Yes, one thing too. Elvis because you have the POA and I only have the POA/health. I understand you will need to call the Soc/Sec office to make sure they stop the payment. They may want a written request too. I just don't know. Please check that out.

His Grace, down :)
Dear membership department,

(Mom's name) is my mother and I have her POA over health issues. See attached copy. In recent months my mother has moved into the Olympic Alzheimer's Residence in Gig Harbor, Washington. With this move her finances have been cut so much with spending that she needed to go onto Medicaid Care/ Medicare. She is now in a position to need to opt out of her GHC Clear Care Essential HMO plan, plus optional dental benefits.
I was told from the GHC information line 1-888-901-4636 that I needed to write a letter to your membership department about my mother's need to opt out and include my POA/health paper. I understand that on September 2, 2011 my mother will no longer be able to seek help at any of the GHC places of service.

Thank you Sincerely,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Crabby Old Man

What do you sees nurse? . . . . . What do you see?
What are you thinking . . . . . when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man .. . . . . not very wise,
Uncertain of habit . . . . . with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food . . . . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . . . . . 'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice .. . . . . the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . A sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not . . . . . lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . . . The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? . . . . . Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse . . . . . you're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am. . . . . . As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, . . . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . . . . . with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters . . . . . who love one another.

A young boy of Sixteen . . . . with wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now . . . . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . . . my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows . .. . . . that I promised to keep.

At Twenty-Five, now . . .. . . I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . . . . With ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons . . .. . . have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me . . . . .. to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, . . . . . babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . . My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me . . . . . my wife is now dead.
I look at the future . . . . . shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing . . . . . young of their own.
And I think of the years .. . . . . and the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles . . . . . grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . . where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass . . . . . a young guy still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys . . . . . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . life over again.

I think of the years, all too few . . . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people . . . . . open and see.
Not a crabby old man . . . . Look closer . .. . see ME!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beauty Parlor

When I called Mom today at the usual time she was waiting in the beauty parlor to get her hair done. Tuesday is Beauty Parlor Day for Mom at OAR. It always seems to perk her up and she feels better after getting her hair done. Mom was a licenced cosmetologist in the sixties and had her own shop until her back gave out on her and she had to have surgery. After that she worked in the wig department in a major department store.

I received the info from DSHS on Mom's Medicaid benefits and got the bill at OAR all straightened out through July. Snickers and Popcorn were out of State for a week and Mom became a little anxious during that time and made several calls to me for reassurance. I was there with her last Tuesday and had lunch with her. Every thing went well. When Snickers got home from the trip she picked up Mom for a visit at their house and Mom once again became very confused when it was time to settle in again back at OAR and also made several calls from her cell phone to Snickers for reassurance.

Ladybug went up to Everette to spend the day with her Mother who is also in a rest home. She is 90 years old and failing. Her weight is down to 89 Lbs. and she is on morphine for pain from her osteoporosis.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

the money stuff

We are still dealing with the medicaid lack of payments needed for Mom's stay at OAR. The social worker gave us all the paper work needed to get the ball rolling on this and it showed that Mom was qualified "medically" speaking for rent assistance at OAR. There are two figures that Medicaid will pay. One is $52.72 per day for Med. B and the other is $94.71 for Dementia Care. Mom registered at OAR as a Private Pay resident originally but we knew that her funds would run out within the first month or two and filed for Medicaid at the time she moved in. We were told that the Medicaid payments would kick in retroactively when the paper work goes through. So, we have been paying the Private Pay bill at OAR each month based on the figures given above for Medicaid assistance and subtracting them from the monthly bill . Mom's fund are indeed depleted. We received a bill from OAR stating that Mom still owed them $9060.90. Our figure showed that she was all paid up on her part and the medicaid funds would make the balance zero.

At a meeting with OAR this week we learned that the figures given above are not a sum total of daily benefits but an "either or" kind of thing and that Mom is "medically"qualified for the $94.71 per day benefit but so far DSHS has not shown her qualified "financially" for the benefits. While in this meeting, I called DSHS. The Social Worker is out on medical leave and I talked to Bruce, the Social Worker's supervisor who verified that a case worker was working on the "financial" qualifications right then and when finished, we would be notified what Mom's co-pay would be and the benefits would be payed retroactively to the first of June. Upon hearing this, the folks at OAR said that they would go back into Mom's account and rework it with the understanding that she will not be a Private Pay resident effective the first of June but a Public Assistance residence and that makes the rates different. So, we wait. Pray for us.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend OAR nurse

We all got a call from OAR Sunday morning. Here is a note from Baileywick about it.

Hi Elvis and Snickers,

Just got a call from OAR. They tried calling both of you but no one home. Nurse was concerned about red blotches on mom's chest. Mom was able to relate that she had been to the doctors. I explained to the nurse, who only works every other weekend, regarding mom's episode and hospital admission. I stated that the blotches were probably do to EKG patches and she might be having a slight allergic reaction to the adhesive. Suggested they use Neosporin on sights. They are going to use Triple Antibiotic Ointment. Wanted to fill you in on what was going on. If you have any other questions just give me a call.

Talk to you later,

Saturday, June 25, 2011

a trip to ER

Last Monday, Mom woke up abut 5AM with chest pain. She notified the OAR on duty nurse and an ambulance was called to have her checked out at the ER. Mom told them to take her to Tacoma General and that her Dr. was who we call "Doc Bee" (our family Dr. for many years). Around noon they told us that they felt that she should stay over night for observation but TG was not a Group Health hospital (Mom's new Insurance) and recommended that she be moved by ambulance to St. Joseph. By about 3PM she was settled in at St. Joseph and had something to eat. The next morning they told us that the chest pain was not heart related but it was due to tender muscle tissue for some reason. Mom did not remember any reason why her muscles would be tender. Anyway, she was able to be released and is back home at OAR and doing well.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Mom is in her 2nd month at OAR. She is doing well. Snickers has taken her to her doctor and dental appointments and she has her new teeth now. The bottom plate may still need some adjustment. Mom says they make her gums sore. Mom's funds have run below what is needed for the care at OAR and I have filled out all the needed piles of paperwork for her application for medicaid. So far, so good on that. Mom has been moved to another room. Her first room mate became difficult. Mom is adapting well with her new room mate.

There are times when Mom speaks very highly of the staff there at OAR and the accommodations but other times she seems depressed. She doesn't appear to have deteriorated as far as most of the other residents in her community with the AD symptoms but often does not remember that we have been there to visit her. I call her every morning right after breakfast. She always recognizes my voice and we have the usual short conversation about the same things.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Mom is all moved in to OAR (Olympic Alzheimer Residence) and below is the latest update from Snickers.
Dear family, and prayer warriors,

Thank you so much for your prayers. God has heard our call and has calmed the storm with His Peace. Monday the 25th we did the move in for Mom at the Memory Care Community (Alzheimer's). Before leaving our house I began to feel a wee bit frantic as I could tell my mother was stressing. Things calmed as we all got into the van, mom, my sister-in-law, and me. My husband, and brother followed with the truck load. Upon our arrival the staff went into action with smiles, and welcomes directing mom into her new environment. Thank you God, thank you God. They know what they are doing. We the family were able to take care of the move in, and the financial part within a few hours. We made sure her side of the room was as close to the arrangement of her bedroom here in my home. Mom was pleased, I could tell. We had the circle of prayer including her new roommate, Margie. Thank you MY LORD. We returned to my home, had some food, and a good visit as we still had more paperwork to finish. By 5pm, my brother and his wife had left, and my husband had to attend a meeting at the church. Guess what? I fell asleep in the easy chair and slept for two hours. Then I was able to hit the hay and still have a good night's sleep. Note, of course I forgot her hairspray...LOL, but that didn't matter. I talked with my brother this morning and she had already been to the beauty salon. My mom is a retired hair dresser. She's right at home, along with a Christian, Mariners Fan, roommate. At 88, how good does it get! Please, when the Lord brings us to your mind do pause and remember us, Mom and the family in prayer. Pray also for the staff at OAR.

He Hears,

sister sheep... Snickers

Monday, April 11, 2011

She LIKES it.

There is an opening in Olympic Alzheimer's Residence 3025 14th Avenue N.W. Gig Harbor, 98335. Last week Wed. we found this information out, went and toured the place and were pleased. Elvis and Ladybug toured it on Fri. and also liked it very much. Today Mom, Elvis, Ladybug, Popcorn and I went to tour it again and to meet her possible room mate (Margie) a neat Christian, Mariners FAN, gal. She and mom hit it off well. The deposit has been made for mom to move in and be Margie's room mate. Now comes the paper work from moms doctor to OAR and as mom will save $1000.00 if she moves in by the end of April we hope to have her start her move in on Mon. the 25th.
Mom is excited and really liked the place very much. Hope she really remembers all of this tomorrow. At this point I really feel it's best for mom to make this move now while she is still able to get used to the environment and the people around her, caregivers and such. There is a hair salon and other activities for mom to be involved in. But the most exciting thing to mom was that Margie is a Christian, and of course a Mariners Fan. LOL She just seems very happy and peaceful about this move.
As mom says...God's time is the right time.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Gig Harbor Facility

Got a call from Snickers the other day. She and Popcorn had visited a sister facility to the Point Orchard Memory Care Center (Mom likes it) and they thought Ladybug and I might like to visit this one in Gig Harbor too as a possibility for Mom. Mom is third on the waiting list for Orchard Point and there is an opening NOW at this one in Gig Harbor (just across the Narrows Bridge from Tacoma). We visited it and liked it. We put a refundable deposit down to hold it for Mom if she likes it. Monday, we ALL plan to go over again and look at it again with Mom. The name of the place is Olympic Alzheimer's Residence. Pray for us about this decision. You can look at their website HERE.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lucky me

Watching a health news story on TV yesterday I learned that children are more likely to inherit the symptoms of AD from their mother than from their father. I also take meds for high cholesterol and hypertension. So, the following article added a little icing to the cake today...

Cholesterol and hypertension seen as harmful to memory

High cholesterol and hypertension may be linked to loss of memory and mental abilities in middle age, according to a new study. Researchers found that among the 4,800 people in their research study, cardiovascular risk in middle age was related to lower overall cognitive function; the scientists also saw a relationship between poor cardiovascular scores and overall cognitive decline over 10 years. Study participants did not have Alzheimers, but hypertension, diabetes and poor cardiovascular health may be risk factors for the disease.
Read the article >>
Learn more about risk factors >>
Be heart smart >>


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Exercise your brain and test
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Every 70 seconds

Researchers continue searching for ways to prevent Alzheimer’s

More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, with a new case diagnosed every 70 seconds. The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s is increasing age, and the first of the baby boomers are turning 65 this year. With the escalating Alzheimer’s epidemic here, researchers are trying a pre-emptive strike against the disease.
Watch the CBS News story >>
Learn about Alzheimer’s Association TrialMatch™ >>

Healing up.

Thanks for your faithful updates on Mom, Snickers. Ladybug and I plan on coming over next Thursday for an overnight visit. Warning...Warning..Warning... :) Elvis.
Hello family,
Thank you for your prayers. Mom went through her surgery very well on Thurs. the 24th of Feb. Then come Sat. the 26th. it hit her, she was down, hadn't slept all night and of course Sat. was exhausted. She slept most all of the day and for the first time because of her headache I gave her one of her pain pills. Then come night time...bed time, she took only one more pain pill and slept all night long with a few restroom visits. All in all she has come through this with flying colors. Her appointment to be fitted for her new plates will come the week or week after the 17th of March. Three weeks are needed to heal up real well before she gets her fitting.
Again thank you so much for your prayers. She is doing great!
In His Grace,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oral Surgery

Hello Family,
Just wanted to say hello to all and let you know my mom is doing pretty good. Most of her days are rather calm and enjoyable. There are those days when Alzheimer's show it's face with confusion. We just seem to work it all out one step at a time. I have found when mom has any type of an appointment that would make her have to get organized and out of the house at a certain time, it's best if I just keep our morning as calm as possible and then a few hours a head of time mention her up coming appointment. Sometimes she gets stirred up and then thank God for Lorazepam that will calm her stomach. We just had a visit with her dentist that will have to remove two lower teeth. Things went pretty good and she will be having oral surgery Thurs the 24th of this month. I'd sure appreciate your prayers for her on that day. Mom is not a morning person, but agreed to a 10:30 appointment, that she didn't want to wait and to get it over with. Again please join us in prayer for her during this oral surgery.
Mom does have calendar in her room that she will and we put appointment on and she will come out and remind me of her appointments. Calm is the word, by just reassuring mom all is well and she is fine, it seems to keep life pleasant.
Just wanted to keep our family up on mom and how she's doing. Thank you for your prayers.
The Lord Bless and Keep you all,

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dental update

Hi all,
We made it through the dentist appointment with help of her Lorazepam. Things went very well as mom knows she needs to get her teeth all fixed, so that she can chew her food better. I'm thinking it will help her stomachaches she seems to have often. I hope so anyway. The next step is to visit the oral surgeon on the 17th of this month. Only a visit and then set the surgery day. None of us are looking forward to her having to go through that as she will need to let her mouth heal for 3 wks before they fit her mouth for a full lower plate and thank God it sounds as if she will be able to have her now upper plate all redone. Mom was sure hopping for that.
I will keep you updated with the next step.
Pray for mom,

Friday, January 14, 2011

second opinion

Ladybug went up to Everett yesterday for a "Family Meeting" at the assisted living home where her mom lives. It was a long day but the bottom line is that her mom is at the place where they need to upgrade her care to 24 hour care. She is a medicaid patient so not much will change on that. It is likely that she will need to move to another wing of the facility and may have to share a room rather than having a private studio like now. Ladybug was comfortable with the decisions that were made.

Here is the latest update on Mom over at Snicker's:


Wanted to make sure you were aware that mom is finally on the Group Health Co-op health plan at the cost of $267. I think it was that amount. She is not to happy about that, but on her clear days she understands the reason. Her change in counties made this so that she does have to pay a premium.

Last Thursday we spent from 1:30 to 5pm just getting her meds set up, blood work and so on. Yesterday she had to go in and get a chest xray to check her CHF. Tomorrow we go to see another neurologist to assess her mind. Will keep you updated on all of this. It's been an interesting ride around here. Most of moms days are good though.

ttyl - Snickers.


I just wanted to make sure you all know that mom's GHC monthly payment is $167. a month, because of her first payment it was $267., and then it'll be out of her SS there after. It's kind of mixed up because we set it up to come out of her SS and at GH I was told that doesn't work very well and that I should call customer service and request to not do that...which I did...then we get the letter in the mail that it was in effect. Soooooooooooo, we'll see what happens with all of this. I do wish I'd never recalled them, but so goes the day.

So, we go see the neurologist today. Thank you "Elvis" for coming over to be with mom and me at this appointment. It's good to have more ears and eyes on this kind of appointment. Like I remind mom it's a second opinion. I'm excited for that myself. Will keep you updated.

In a Season,

Here is the report on the visit today:

Today we, mom, "Elvis", and I met with a new neurologist with the Group Health family. This was great because it was like a second opinion. Mom did great! All of us were very happy with the doctor today. He was so much more personable than the first neurologist we met with. Although his diagnose for dementia was still the same. He answered to us using the "A-word" to represent Alzheimer's. I responded with (you mean Alzheimer's) and he looked shocked and looked at mom, then us and said yes. Then we talked about dementia and it ended with the diagnose being Alzheimer's. He also said he felt because mom was in an environment of activity with family that she seemed to be doing very well. He also suggested Silver Sneaker's for mom, so this is something we need to work on for her. So by the end of the day mom, "Elvis" and I were all glad for this new doctor's diagnose. She is doing very well and most of her days are good.

I've talked to mom about setting her up with an email address so she might be able to talk to all of you. So I think we will come up with something or it could be just go ahead and use this email for her too.

Mom says to send her love to all of you, that she wishes she could see all of you.

In His Season of Life,