My husband has dementia. When I suffered another compression fracture last year, he moved to a memory care home. Before he moved, he was walking. He could not bring his exercise bike and now can no longer walk. We are now paying for his room plus the rate for maximum care, which includes a two-person transfer. Two months ago, the facility started using a mechanical lift to move him between bed and wheelchair. Hospice supplied the mechanical lift. Today, my bill included an unexpected charge for using the lift for two months at $55/day. Is this routine?

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If hospice provided the lift, I wonder what the charge is for.
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Reply to Taarna
MidwestOT Jun 16, 2024
I would imagine that the charge is because two people are needed to safely use the lift. Mechanical lift transfers with one person can go wrong and with the added variable of dementia, the risk increases. This certainly should have been explained before hand.
olderthanpotus: Peruse your contract and talk to the administrator, if necessary.
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Reply to Llamalover47

I am wondering if he needs to be in skilled nursing, where I think the lift would be included?
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Reply to Igloocar

Every little thing raises my moms monthly bill. Maybe the Hoyer is a rented item like my moms breathing treatment machine which sat unused and I forced it to be returned to the company that charged us.
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Reply to Sadinroanokeva

Look at the contract you signed.
What is included? excluded?
If medi-caid paying for this?

There may not be a 'routine' - it could be county, state controlled, or individual based on the facility (I do not know if this is / or how regulated).

You can't 'go wrong' asking about the charges ... telling them you were NOT notified beforehand of additional charges. They may deduct some of the charges. As you feel it may be warranted, you can contact the facility's licensing board and ask them. First, I would approach the administrator of the facility.

And, always ALWAYS note / document calls / emails, etc. Get everything in writing.

Gena / Touch Matters
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Reply to TouchMatters

My only experience waas putting my dad in a memory care facility. The charges were in writing and explained clearly before he was admitted. A mechanical lift was not an extra charge.
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Reply to George8

I am no knowledgeable authority on nursing home care and their staff. However, I do know their charges are extremely high, not mentioning any particular facility at all. It is what I read. When you look at the picture, they need 2 people to help your spouse because of his safety, and the safety of a little 5 ft care taker of the facility. My husband was 6 ft, close to 200 lbs. He had severe dementia, and needed help going to the bathroom, to the dining room, etc. The charges are very high, but maybe part of the cost is the high insurance the facility has to pay for their staff to not be held responsible. The facility wants paid for every little paper clip or toothpick they use/give to the patient. It is what it is.
Think of the alternative. If you kept your loved one at home, could you do ALL that is required to their care without missing something, not being able to complete the task, not having the space for equipment, or strength to help him/her.
My husband was 6'2", 200+, and I am little less than 5 ft, 150 lbs. I could not lift him, maneuver him, or bathe him safely. I th ink before people marry they should be quizzed to the effect, can you do th is or that at age 60 for your spouse if he/she got incapacitated!!! Wouldn't that be something on the marriage license.
We do the bests we can at the age we are at the time, and the situation is exactly why there is so much talk throughout our lives about saving for old age. It is not cheap for equipment or no $$ help from society or government. I learned from a very young age when my father died at age 34, , I eldest of 4 at 16, in a brand new house my dad built himself, with heavy mortgage (for the time of century, absolutely no life insurance ('cuz nothing's going to happen to me "f rom him or mortgage insurance on this brand new house. My mother begged him to get insurances, but no, nothing's going to happen to me was always the answer. She finally convinced him it was necessary, they got an appointment for Friday, and on Tuesday or Wednesday, he died of a heart attack, My Mom with 5 kids to support, and I eldest at 16. No walk in a park for any of us. We all pitched in to care for a little 2 yr old before and after school while Mom found a job with no experience, never worked before, to pay for the mortgage that my Dad insisted they didn't need mortogage insurance that he was young and was not going to die . He died a year later at age 34 of a heart attack.
So, the write above knows what she can afford or not, . Outsiders know nothing about circumstances, so say what they feel is appropriate. No one knew my Dad didn't want to buy new home insurance, life insurance, only car insurance. His words, Nothing is going to happen to me. Lived in his new house just over a year, age 34. I've heard it all, but I think my family's situation was an example of "buy the insurance", you never know what can happen. I was married less than a week when I made an appointment with an insurer to purchase life for my new soldier husband. H e said he couldn't afford it. I saved money during my bachelorette years, so paid the first premium. I wasn't taking any chances on my soldier husband. Nuff said. One never knows what is planned for us. My father's death was a big bam for my Mom, as he refused to buy mortgage and life insurance. She set up an appointment to do both, but he died a week before the meeting. We are not promised tomorrow
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Reply to JosAgingCare

The state of SC MCs does not allow for any 2 person lift in any condition and NC also indicates they can take a 2 person lift as long as they have a hoyer. So it may depend on your state. You might call your department of public health that regulates MC if they do. Either way a hoyer to be safely used requires 2 people to get the patient on the seat, so yes the cost of assistance has increased for this.
I remember when my mom was in MC and she had increased incontinence care and laundry her bill increased $800 for one year only.
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Reply to MACinCT

It seems as though with equipment. There would be one less person and since the equipment's paid for, it would be cheaper. Not plus $55 but you don't have to worry about math in Ohio jobs and family services Dept. ORC Ohio Claims all the income to the facility. And the patient gets $50 a month. Sounds like Depression era fees. Whose making the money???$$$ No trouble with math. There is a new US senate committee on aging. They were in a 20 year hiatus, and maybe they'll do something now For thousands/millions of their constituents. I saw one of those lyft mechanisms lifting a wounded horse on a highway in Texas. Where I've been one person rolls, changes and cleans you.
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Reply to AdVinn

Hospice must be paying for the lift itself, but it sounds like the MC is charging extra for people to use it. That seems outrageous--the mechanical lift should make the job easier for the staff, not harder. The lifts I am familiar with can be operated by one person. I'd argue with the charge, esp if you were not notified of it ahead of time. If you dispite the charge, let us know how it turns out!
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Reply to RedVanAnnie

If the rate you were paying pre-lift was the maximum, with 2-person transfer already, I don't see why using the lift with 2 people should incur an ADDITIONAL 455/day charge. If anything, using the lift should make it easier and safer for the two people involved.
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Reply to newbiewife

My mom’s MC doesn’t let people stay if they are a two person lift.

Maybe that charge is because of that. Since hospice is involved, the administration is letting your Mom stay. The extra charge may be for that extra person involved in lifting her.
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Reply to cxmoody

Wow, the equipment provided by hospice is usually provided free of cost.
I would discuss this with the administration at your memory care.
As you may know, most MC facilities and ALF facilities are independent businesses with their own rules and regulations. Being on the highest level of care I would think would already include the highest level cost and cannot imagine another 55 a day to use a life which is to be honest a boon and an ease for the caregivers, not extra work.

I wish you good luck.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

In many cases a Memory Care facility can not use "equipment" to transfer or move someone.
Equipment is generally used in Skilled Nursing facilities.
But check the area where you live. there may be different codes I know where I am the only facility that is allowed to use equipment is Skilled Nursing.
I also include Rehab with the Skilled Nursing.
I do know of a facility where they were able to use equipment but only if the resident was mobile when they entered the facility.

In your case I would ask what the extra $55.00 a day fee is.
It may be because it takes 2 people to transfer.
The facility should not be charging you for the equipment the only thing that they might charge you for would be the extra staff.
And they should not be billing you in advance for a fee or service that has not yet been provided.
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Reply to Grandma1954

Memory Care Assisted Living residences are normally private pay and subject to no rules as far as billing is concerned. I feel they should've told you up front about a huge fee of $55 per day before adding it to your bill, however! Not to mention, why are THEY billing you for TWO months lift charges at one time???

I found these practices to be common in corporate owned ALs and MCs....they were chomping at the bit to find reasons to plump up the monthly fees, which is one reason I took my folks out of Brookdale. They drove me insane with their convoluted billing schemes and chronic mistakes! Going over a bill with a fine tooth comb every month was not my idea of a good time.

I'd argue this extra charge if it were me. As I said, the least they should've done, in the name of common decency and professionalism, was to inform you of a such a large extra charge of $3300 before adding it to your bill.

Good luck.
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Reply to lealonnie1

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