The mission of The Mary M Hess Foundation is to identify stroke survivors in immediate need of therapy that will exceed the Medicare 100 day benefit period and fund that therapy need on an ongoing basis until the patient maximizes recovery based on neurological reports and/or reports from facility Medical Directors and Therapists.
The Mary M Hess Foundation was developed out of a need for improved quality of life for seniors and stroke survivors in Nursing Homes with the goal of providing ongoing therapy for Americas most cherished citizens, our mothers and fathers. To meet this objective, we will strive to raise funds that will be used to assist with the cost of all therapies for those identified and who qualify for assistance after the Medicare 100 day benefit expires.
The Mary M Hess Foundation was created out of a need for ongoing therapies for stroke survivors after the Medicare 100 day benefit expires. The Foundation was organized after a personal family experience. Our Mother, Mary Hess, suffered a devastating stroke on January 18, 2014. She was right side hemiplegic, non-verbal and incontinent; in fact, with the exception of feeding herself with her left hand, she was completely dependent on others for her every need. She was in 3 different facilities during her 100 day Medicare period following her stroke.
On May 25th, 2014, Medicare Part ‘A’ 100 day benefit period expired. At the time, Physical Therapists had our Mother standing weight bearing on both feet with assistance; that was great progress. She continued therapy (all three disciplines) for a few more days until the Medicare Part B caps were met. At that time, we had to move my mother to a new facility since that one did not except Medicaid.
My Sister Sandy, The Foundations' Secretary, and I sought out the nursing home best qualified to meet our mothers needs; but, as it turns out, there is not a long term facility qualified to fully meet the needs of a resident with our mothers degree of need.
During Ms. Hess’ tenure at the last facility, I was able to get therapy started three different times. On the last occasion, because I was persistent and got Medicare involved to explain the Part ‘B” cap extensions to the Therapy director, the facility Medical Director ordered ninety days of therapy every other day. On day sixty, as I walked in to visit Mother, the Therapy Directory met me at the door. She lamented that she was "amazed"; at Mothers response to therapy. As I entered Mothers' room, I noticed she had her right foot against her left knee. When I asked mother if they left her that way when the placed her in her bed using the mechanical lift, she said no and slid her leg straight.
The very next day I received a call from the same therapy director who then said that they could no longer justify therapy.
Our Mother passed away a little over a month later June 29, 2015 due to complications unrelated to her stroke. She was 82 and until the day she had her stroke, she was very healthy and on no medications at all. She was a Breast Cancer Survivor and a fighter, but she, nor any of us, could have beaten Medicare or the inability of the facility to meet her needs medically, physically or psychologically.
The ultimate goal of the Foundations is to assist stroke survivors with the cost of therapy, and simultaneously improve the quality of life for seniors in a Nursing Home through enhanced legislation for which I have already been fighting.