Hospitalization and Rehabilitation
At this stage, your care receiver may be having frequent hospitalizations sometimes followed by short rehabilitative stays in a nursing home if he or she can meet the specific Medicare requirements. Please notify community service providers such as adult day care, homemaker, home health aides, and home-delivered meals when your care recipient is going to be out of the home. Ask how long services can be placed on hold before a reassessment is needed before services can be re-started.
As the caregiver you will need to monitor the process of transferring your care receiver from the hospital to a nursing home and you may have to serve as an outspoken advocate during this transition process. One caregiver reported that a clerical error almost had his wife admitted as a private pay patient rather than as a Medicare admission.
Learn more about what Medicare covers. You can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to request the publication "Medicare and You" for the current year. Medicare also offers information about "Medigap" policies by geographical area. You can also visit the Medicare web site, www.medicare.gov.
More Medicare information is available through the Florida Department of Insurance. They publish a booklet that provides information on Medicare supplement insurance. Another booklet is titled the "Health Maintenance Organization Consumer's Guide" and helps you understand HMO's and Medicare. Call their toll free number 1-800-640-0886 to request these booklets.
Pinellas and Pasco County residents also have the option of calling the Senior Helpline for referral to a Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) which can provide books such as these and to help you with health insurance questions and paperwork. The local office of the SHINE Program is located at the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc. For a description of SHINE see Stage One, Section 5. More information on SHINE is available on the "Prescription Assistance" page on the Florida Department of Elder Affairs' web site, www.state.fl.us/doea.
If you have long term care insurance, check the benefits of your policy as some home health care may be covered under long-term care policies.
Some caregiver web sites have articles about long-term care insurance. See the Caregiver Web Sites section of this Handbook or visit the online article, www.agingcarefl.org/caregiver/Websites.