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Question: My mom has been bed bound for a little over two years. It is becoming increasingly hard. Every time we call a physical therapist to see if they can come to our home and help they say they can but her health insurance doesn't cover that. Is that fair? Also she has some nerve damage and I wanted to know if you think it is possible for her to ever walk again? I am scared and confused. She has been sitting for a while but we help move her leg and also do bed exercises to keep blood flowing. She weighs probably a little over 200 pounds.

Dr. Amy: This is a really tough situation for you, watching your mother live such a restricted life. I am sure you must feel defeated every time you call the physical therapist. I am glad you have written, because this shows you are not giving up!

A medical doctor is the best person to give you advice about your mother’s condition. I encourage you to arrange a visit and ask him if he can refer you to a specialist. You can also ask him about the best way to care for your mom, day to day. In the meantime, what exercises and dietary guidelines does he think will help her be as well as possible? You might ask him to train you on the exercises that will most help her—and give you diagrams to take home. Can you put together a team of family and friends who can take turns, so that it all doesn’t fall on your shoulders?

In addition to seeing the doctor, I encourage you to call your insurance company and find out exactly what your insurance covers and what other options you may have. Have you called to see if your mom is eligible under Medicaid? If not, you can explore this by calling Adult Services. And to fully explore the benefits you have under Medicare, you can call 1 800 medicare.

Our bodies have an incredible ability to heal themselves, given the chance.  I don’t know the details of your mother’s situation, but I encourage you to read as much as you can on this subject. Good luck!

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