TJC Story Blog

Nov 2020


Imagine having to make one of the most difficult decisions in your life – having to check someone you love, a member of your family, into a nursing home facility because you could no longer care for her. Now imagine, out of the blue after 3 years, you get a call saying that she needed to find somewhere else to live immediately. My cousin-in-law, Glenda, is 76 years old and has been mentally challenged since birth. She has been physically disabled for years and wheelchair bound going on 4 years. Once I was notified of this urgent dismissal, we (family) had to dive right in and try to find a place for Glenda to live and start an appeal process. During this time, Glenda also got COVID-19. Even if we could have found a new place for her, no place would have taken her. After the judge denied two appeals, I reviewed the entire TennCare handbook myself and found all of the rules that proved Glenda deserved to stay in the nursing home facility. I prepared a third appeal and submitted it. My contact at BlueCare also filed the Safety I requested and it was approved. Glenda could stay at the nursing home facility. She contacted me and told me to withdraw my appeal. The state should have to provide lawyers, like those at TJC, for us to do this legal work. TennCare knows people like us have no law experience, no money to pay lawyers, and need Medicare or Medicaid; there is no way any lay person has a fighting chance by themselves going up against an experienced lawyer and a Judge.

We are still suffering through this unfortunately because TennCare threatens to review Glenda again. Our future is full of anxiety because there will never be any peace when it comes to knowing that our loved one is in a permanent home that she loves. We could have to fight to keep her in this home at any moment again. …our story has a fairly good ending for now – Glenda gets to stay in the nursing home facility she has been in for 3 years and 8 months, one she has grown to love! However, we as her family live stressed and full of anxiety every day anticipating a call telling us again that Glenda has another denial and needs to move out.