In search of a nursing care solution

To the editor:

I am writing to express my outrage and total frustration at the lack of nursing home beds in New Hampshire.

I was just informed this past week that there has been a moratorium for at least the last five years in New Hampshire. What are people to do? With the population growing older I cannot believe that any state would issue a moratorium on nursing home beds. When I called Concord I was told that the state wanted to save money by having the people cared for in their own homes. I don’t know anybody who would rather be in a nursing home than in his or her own home. However, my mother is not swallowing correctly and to bring her home and take the chance of having her choking and possibly dying is not worth the risk. She also has a mild to moderate form of dementia.

My mother just turned 94 years young in October, and up until May she was driving a car. However, in June she became somewhat confused and disoriented, and in August she suffered a TIA or small stroke. She was admitted to Portsmouth Hospital and around the end of August she was transferred to St. Andre Health Care in Biddeford, Maine, because that was the only facility that would take her for rehabilitation care.

Around the end of September, I was notified that my mother would not be covered under Medicare from Oct. 2 on because she was not showing enough improvement to keep her on Medicare and that I would have to private-pay at a rate of $231 a day. I don’t know about most people, but I cannot afford to pay over $7,000 a month for nursing home care.

When I was first notified that her Medicare would be cut off I started looking for nursing home care in New Hampshire. My mother has been a resident of New Hampshire and Portsmouth since 1964, and therefore does not qualify for Medicaid in Maine.

I have tried relentlessly to get her placed including contacting both Senator Gregg and Sununu’s offices, Representative Shea-Porter’s office as well as the state senator and state reps offices but to no avail. It is imperative that I find a suitable place as soon as possible. Does anybody out there have any connections, ideas or suggestions that I might try? I can be reached at 603-436-8833 or by e-mail at

Russell S Sweeney

Categories: Cook on Concord