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Shay Jacobson, RN, MA, NMG, LNCC, CNLCP
Martha Kern
Jennifer Gazda, LCSW

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The sisters had lived with their mother for most of their adult lives.

Sadly, for at least five days of this timespan, their mother was dead.

Marge and Annie stayed in the home with their mother’s body until police made this discovery during a wellness check.  They may well have suspected she was dead but feared, perhaps, that reporting such a thing would lead to some kind of trouble for them.  It’s possible they didn’t know how, or to whom, a death might be reported.  It’s also possible that the idea of their mother’s death was too much for them to process so they willfully convinced themselves she was sleeping.

Disability x 2
Marge and Annie were both disabled.  Marge was diagnosed with schizophrenia.  Annie was developmentally delayed with an IQ of 59.

Marge and Annie’s mother had provided for them financially via a special needs trust but had never made plans for how they would manage day-to-day life without her guidance and coaching.  This is a common occurrence as many people are unaware that care management and guardianship services are available, especially when there are no family members to assume these roles, and that such professionals can be named in advance to step in when family caregivers become disabled or die.

And step in we did.

The sisters’ trust officer called us to help coordinate their care and ensure they were housed safely and appropriately.

Both sisters were hospitalized after the initial discovery that they were alone with their deceased mother’s body.  We located an environment for Marge that could provide the psychiatric treatment she needed.  We also sought SSI and Medicaid benefits for her to help forestall the depletion of the trust.

Annie was successfully placed in a group home after considerable lobbying on our part for crisis funding.  Without this effort, Annie would have had few options other than a large and less home-like facility equipped to handle developmentally disabled individuals.  We also successfully secured Medicaid benefits for her.

Lifecare Guardianship was named Guardian of Person and the trust officer Guardian of Estate for both women to assure their legal protection and ongoing support as they learn to live without their mother.

Marge and Annie have made great strides, and both have benefitted from the very specialized support of their new environments.  Though they miss their mother, the women are making friends and learning more about themselves and their abilities as they try new things. Each has bloomed in her own way, and it was our privilege to lay the groundwork for this new chapter in each of their lives.

©Lifecare Innovations, Inc.