Frustrations with proper care for senior amputee

January 18, 2022

I am writing this letter from my loving 30-year companion, 85-year-old Annette M. De Vona. In June, she had her left leg amputated below the knee due to a life-threatening bone infection. She was in Beebe about three weeks when she was sent home a bedridden amputee as they could not find a nursing home with a bed available. Beebe provided home care for a few weeks, and it was then discontinued. I am an 89-year-old disabled Air Force veteran of the Korean War and have limitations of my ability to provide her with the proper care. 

In July, she had a urinary tract infection and went back to Beebe. After a few days, she had improved and they found a bed at Genesis nursing home in Milford. She did the best she was able to do for rehab, and after two weeks, she was sent home in my care, as per her insurance and Social Security guidelines. They would only pay for this time period (unbelievable). At this time, now early August, we made an appointment with her surgeon in Lewes to examine her leg and set up a home visit from Mr. Brian C. Smith of BCS Prosthetics (whoopee). After taking measurements, he ordered a new leg, and also seeing that she has severe arthritis in her right foot, which is painful to bear much weight, he ordered a two shoe to be worn at the same time to help her stand. About six weeks later, all the items came in early November. The problem was the new leg did not fit as ordered and was sent back to be adjusted. Two weeks later, we can now go to work getting up and learning to walk.  Beebe provided home care, but due to being home and not having the proper environment, the nurse was unable to train her properly and said she needs a nursing home for rehab. Beebe home care people are excellent, and we love them. 

I started to call all the nursing homes, government agencies and Beebe. They were all full or I was told Annette had to be hospitalized for three days. I explained she has a rider with her insurance which supercedes this clause and they would not accept this. Finally, I came in contact with a nursing home in Milford and was told they would accept her as a patient. All I had to do was have her surgeon fax her medical records and a prescription. 

After two weeks, I called the nursing home and was told her admittance was denied by their doctors as they did not think they had the necessary treatment for her rehab. What is a nursing home for if not for rehab of people with an amputated leg? It is now early January 2022 and after seven months, we are still at stage one. I cannot understand why in this great country Annette is being denied her right for proper medical care and rehab in learning to use a new leg. 

I am frustrated and angry for the lack of professional care for any age in Delaware. 

Ivor D. Lindenmuth
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