Campbell Co., VA - A nursing home and an assisted living center are two entirely different things. Unfortunately, a Campbell County couple is learning that the hard way, as the medical bills are piling up.
Turns out, Medicaid covers a nursing home and an assisted living center differently. Patients at assisted living centers have a lower income threshold to qualify for Medicaid.
Alzheimer's patient Earl Critchley is over that threshold by just a few dollars. But that small difference is making a big impact.
Every day, Judy Critchley visits her husband Earl at an assisted living center in Bedford.
"When he was here at home, I was constantly up. He was walking out the door. In and out, in and out all day long," said Judy.
Alzheimer's Disease causes Earl to wander off. Judy says assisted living gave him security, until Judy got an upsetting letter in the mail. Medicaid denied Earl's assisted living care. Now, Judy has to reach deep, very deep, into her own pockets to keep her husband safe and secure.
"And I've faced the fact: I'm willing to lose everything we've worked for to take care of them," said Judy.
The payments are hard to make. But, the reason for them hurts even more. According to Earl's assisted living center, Medicaid denied Earl's coverage because his monthly disability check is $6 over the threshold.
"Because my husband made $6 too much in his monthly check, we can't get any help," said Judy.
Judy isn't standing around. To pay the bills, she's sold some furniture and now she's selling their home.
"But, Judy, what are you going to do?" we asked.
"Ya know, people have asked me that. I don't know. I'll have to cross that bridge when it gets here. My main concern is to take care of him. That's how much I love him."
Judy says she knows she's not the only one in this situation. She loves the assisted living center. But, blames Medicaid and the system for putting her family in this situation.