Monday, February 24, 2014

Report from Pillville: The hospital bed, the wheel chair, the companion

photo of my mom after her birthday trip to Maryland last September

On my second day of trying, I believe that a hospital bed is working its way through the bureaucracy to my mother. It may or may not be accompanied by a hospital bedside tray table. The transfer (or is is transport or transit?) wheel chair is another story. Medicare does not seem to provide those--or maybe they do, and the agency in my area that "won the bid" is just too dysfunctional to provide one. Anyhow-- I bought the damn chair so I can get my mother to Miracle Ear (oh, if only their hearing aids were actually miraculous) on Wednesday. The trek through Sears to its remotest corner where Miracle Ear is housed is another of the inexplicable inconveniences of old age--and will be impossible if she's having a bad day.

I have a phone call in to an agency that provides a free 1-hour consultation with a lawyer to help me figure out the ins and outs of paying a companion for my mother since the IRS information sheet on paying a domestic employee is devoid of plot and character and poetry, and therefore cannot be read by me. I have an email into the CPA that does my taxes regarding the same issues, and meanwhile I'm concocting a story whereby we just pay this wonderful woman under the table in cash, and I cook the books here in Margaritaville to "prove" that we've been ordering expensive take out every night on my mom's dime. If she has to eventually go into a nursing home,  food would be a permissible spend down of her savings, and making it look like we eat caviar and lobster (so easy to chew!) every night seems preferable to actually figuring out withholding and Social Security and how to file Schedule H with her taxes when her income is so minuscule that she hasn't filed taxes in years.

Oh, and I have to check something about accidents and domestic employees on my homeowner's insurance policy, but it's too late to do this this evening, so I think I'll just get drunk. My sciatica which was kicked up a week or so ago by lifting a regular wheel chair in and out of my hatch 3 times is killing me. So yeah, I'm calling out for some caviar right now. If you want to come over and join us, give a call so I get enough for all of us. Oh and yeah, there'll be martinis, too. We're switching to the expensive gin.


Ms. Moon said...

Well, if you can figure out how to get the time, go see an acupuncturist about the sciatica. That's what healed my husband years ago and he's never had another problem with it.
As to the paperwork problems- I would recommend a wizard. I'm sure you have those in California. Right?
Oh honey.
Enjoy those martinis.

Elizabeth said...

The whole concept of spending down and zeroing out is madness -- pure madness. I don't know if you saw it last week, but there was an article about a proposal to change the disability laws so that people could actually have more than $2,000 in their bank accounts (even savings!) and still receive assistance. I think getting drunk with expensive gin is a good move, though. An excellent move, actually.