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Inside Man: Elder Care

Aired August 3, 2013 - 20:00   ET


MORGAN SPURLOCK, CNN HOST (voice-over): Today, people are living longer than they ever have before. That's right. Not only are we getting older, but our senior population is multiplying. During the next 35 years, the number of people over the age of 65 is expected to double, and demand for medications, specialists, and life prolonging procedures are expected to skyrocket.

But what does getting old today really mean? More birthdays, more bills, more walks, more walkers, more play, more pills. Sure, most of the time old age seems like all coupons and early bird specials, but what happens when the day comes that we can't take care of ourselves?

Growing old is the one thing that will happen to us all, even if no one ever wants to talk about it.

Meet Tootie, a retired shop clerk from West Virginia. For someone who is 91, she is still doing remarkably well, still living in her own house where like most of us, she hopes to live out the final chapter of her life. She is witty and resilient, even if she is a bit uncompromising and she's also my grandma.

Hey, good-looking!

TOOTIE, 91-YEARS-OLD: Well, welcome to Tootie's bed and breakfast.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: How are you, pretty lady?

TOOTIE: Well, I'm here.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: You look good. Did you go to the doctor last week?


MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes? What did the doctor say?

TOOTIE: You're in good shape.


TOOTIE: He did.

BECKY WILLEY, MORGAN SPURLOCK'S AUNT: The doctor said you're good. You're clear. And she said I can stay by myself? And he said if that's what you want, you can.

TOOTIE: When I had my first heart attack, he said she can't be left alone, for three months. And that's been four years ago. They all say I'm doing fine.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. How often do you come by, I mean days week?

WILLEY: About two.

TOOTIE: She takes care of my house and her house, and she is my gardener, my chauffeur.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Even though Tootie still lives in her own home, she still needs help on a daily basis.

TOOTIE: I can do most everything, but I have a little help.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Having a neighbor check in on her is crucial to Tootie's being able to live home.

TOOTIE: I get up and I open my drapes so someone knows that I'm up and I'm all right.


TOOTIE: Thank you.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Tootie is lucky. Of her three children, two of them live nearby, my dad, Ben, and his sister, my aunt Becky. Together, they are able to look in on her at least three times a week and help her with anything she might need. If Tootie didn't have family that lived so close, she probably would have had to move out of her house a long time ago.

TOOTIE: It doesn't worry me about getting old. I have had a good life. I have enjoyed it. I just hope I have a health. Keep it until the good Lord decides he's something different.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Tootie still has an active life, even if it is maintained by her family. Every week someone helps her with her grocery shopping.


And drives her to her weekly appointment at the beauty parlor.

How long has Tootie been coming here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She started coming when I first opened the shop 41 years ago.


But this week Tootie has a monumental event, her 74th high school reunion. And I get to be her date.

One, two, three, big smile, Toots!

TOOTIE: Oh, that's good.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: That's a good one. There you are. Look at that, class of '38, Lorraine Spurlock.

TOOTIE: Are you the only one at your place?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm the only one I know of.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think you're a miracle.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Tootie has lived in the same town for 91 years. She is a cornerstone of her community. And to this day, has friends she has known for decades.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, sweetie.

TOOTIE: Well, bless your heart. How you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't get to see you very often, but I think a lot about you. We had some good trips, didn't we?

TOOTIE: We did. We had a good time.


MORGAN SPURLOCK: That was a pretty great day.

TOOTIE: It was a good day.

This is mom's.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Oh, man. Who is this guy? Look at that with that mustache?

TOOTIE: That's grand dad Johnson. That's my grand dad. And that's grandmother Johnson.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Wow. Who is this?

TOOTIE: That's me.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: That's you! How old were you in that picture?

TOOTIE: Probably 12, 13.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: That's you being a smart Alec.

For as long as I can remember, Tootie has been the rock in our family. But in the last couple of years, it hasn't been easy for her. My grandfather passed away 13 years ago, and ever since then, Tootie has been living on her own.

TOOTIE: There I am in the van. Right here I am.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: That's you right there. Yes. Were you a good trombone player?

TOOTIE: I guess as a first chair. MORGAN SPURLOCK: Look. That's me. Boy, look at that face, a face only a mother could love. That's me. You should never let me wear a jacket like that ever again, Tootie. That should never be allowed to happen again.

Good morning, toot-toot. You are already up and all over the place. Can I get you anything, Tootie?


MORGAN SPURLOCK: Tootie, what time did you wake up?

TOOTIE: 5:00.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: 5:00. I just love that Tootie was up two hours before I was. She is a machine. You can't stop her. She is pretty independent, if you haven't noticed.

So Tootie, do you do anything to get any exercise?

TOOTIE: Yes, I just do what I want to do.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: You still get around pretty good.

TOOTIE: I'm thankful I can.


More than 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 will need long- term care services at some point in their lives.

Keep stirring this, right?

TOOTIE: Yes. Sprinkle some in. Open it up.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Even though Tootie is healthy enough to live on her own now, she has had six major surgeries, and like all families, we worry.

TOOTIE: Well, bless its heart. And how are you?


TOOTIE: We got a custard pie.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: How are you, Pa?

BEN SPURLOCK: Great. Good to see you.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Nobody likes thinking about whether Tootie's situation could change, but just in case something were to happen, my dad and I are looking at other places she could live. Tootie looks good.

BEN MORGAN SPURLOCK: Oh, yes, oh, yes. She really does. She really does. MORGAN SPURLOCK: She looks good. Sharp as a tack still.

BEN SPURLOCK: I think Tootie is very, very fortunate, OK, in a lot of respects. Tootie's got two or three people that she can call if she has problems with the house or got a water problem or, you know, whatever. They're right there.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. What do you think it would take for you and Becky to make the decision that Tootie would have to go into some sort of an assisted living or a rest home?

BEN MORGAN SPURLOCK: If she were to the point that she absolutely could not take care of herself at all.


ROSELEE BLACK, DIRECTOR, MIDLAND MEADOWS: What brings you out here today?

MORGAN SPURLOCK: My grandmother is 91.


MORGAN SPURLOCK: And my father's mom.


MORGAN SPURLOCK: And so we're just looking at, you know, some possibilities where she could possibly be in a few years.


The needs of aging Americans are changing, and so are the facilities that care for them. Now a days, many of them are actually comprehensive care facilities that offer the benefits of independent living, plus a high level of supervision, dedication and care.

BLACK: This is the main ding room. We do not have meal times. The residents want to choose when they get up, when they are going to go to bed, when they want to eat. This is just a TV room, a little library. The residents bring all of their own furniture. They put all their memories on the wall. They make it very home-like. We provide all the care that they need inside this apartment.

DEE ATKINS, DIRECTOR, ROSE TERRACE: We have 90 beds in this facility. We have three different units. We have a 24-bed dementia unit, a 28- bed rehab. And then we have long-term care services. This is one of the 20 rooms on this unit. Each room has a private rest room. The rooms are very spacious. We do person-centered care here. It's getting away from the medical model, basically. We also have a private ding room. They can reserve it --

BEN SPURLOCK: Oh, that's nice.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: That is nice.

ATKINS: It gives them a little privacy.

ATKINS: She's ready for Wii bowling. Do you play Wii?


ATKINS: It really helps with the ability.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: There you go. Nice!

ATKINS: Way to go, Beulah.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Good game. Good game, Beulah.



The trend is to make places like this feel more and more like home. But the homier they get, the more expensive they are.

If somebody was coming here, how much of the room is paid for by Medicaid and Medicare?

ATKINS: Medicare will pay up to 100 days, and the first 20 days are paid at 100 percent. At 21 days, Medicare drops down to pay 80 percent.


ATKINS: But they will only pay as long as somebody is making progress.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: So it's not really designed for someone who is coming here who will be here until the end of their life?

ATKINS: No, Medicare is not.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: And if somebody had to pay privately, what is it per month to be here privately?

ATKINS: It's around $8,000.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: $8,000 a month?



So Bob, what did you think of those two places?

BEN SPURLOCK: The places are nice. But who wants to be there?


BEN SPURLOCK: You want to be there?


BEN SPURLOCK: OK. I don't either. They have a lot of activities, and they're genuinely concerned about the people.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: I mean, it didn't feel like an old folks home.

BEN SPURLOCK: No, not at all.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: But what I about coughed up a lung on when she said it's about $8,000 a month. I don't know who can afford that. Five years is a half million.

BEN SPURLOCK: People think, I'll get on Medicare, you know, I'm set for life.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Would you rather live in a place like this or live in your house?

BEN SPURLOCK: I would rather live in my house.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. Of course.

BEN SPURLOCK: But that adds up quickly too.


BEN SPURLOCK: Just think about if you have to have somebody in your home. That's $240 a day to have 24-hour-a-day care at 10 buck answer hour.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: So at ten days, that's almost at about $7500 a month? You have got to have a lot of money to die right.


MORGAN SPURLOCK: When you see assisted living places, does it make you think of when Tootie is not going to be around anymore?

BEN SPURLOCK: No. I don't think about things like that. Maybe because it's I don't want to think about it.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. But you'd have to plan for it. So what are the things that you have looked at for your own personal life care?

BEN SPURLOCK: I really haven't.


BEN SPURLOCK: No. I figured you would be there.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: It's all going to be my responsibility?


MORGAN SPURLOCK: By 2040, more than 81 million Americans will be over the age of 65. Most of them at some point will need some sort of extended care. And just like my father, they haven't planned for it. And they have no idea how much it really costs.

Most private nursing homes cost an average of $77,000 per year. If you are wealthy, you can most likely afford a private option. But for the vast majority of Americans who have paid into the system their whole lives, Social Security only gives you 1,230 a month and Medicare only covers you up to 100 days of an extended period of time in a nursing or rehab facility.

That's not much help when today some experts predict the average person will need roughly $900,000 to cover their expenses throughout their retirement. A staggering amount when you consider that the majority of senior citizens have less than $30,000 saved for retirement. If you want to live forever, you better find a way to pay for it.

No, I want to just kind of hear your thoughts on Tootie's financial situation.

WILLEY: Oh, my.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: And where she is.

WILLEY: Well, our dad when he retired, he opted or the them to, you know, take his retirement money and invest it. They were guaranteed a certain amount of money every month.


WILLEY: -- for 20 years. Well, mother has outlived it. And when it was gone, it was gone. So now all she has is Social Security.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Wow. She has outlived it by six years already.

WILLEY: Yes, already.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. Does she have any savings at all?

WILLEY: As far as a savings account, it's just about depleted.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. You have to basically live on -- is that all paid for by Social Security?


MORGAN SPURLOCK: Like everything you have to pay for.

TOOTIE: Mostly.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: And how much do you get a month on Social Security?

TOOTIE: $1300 after everything is taken out of it.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: So that's after they take out Medicare.

TOOTIE: They take out $97 for I guess that's Medicare part. And then -- and I pay blue cross $257 a month. MORGAN SPURLOCK: So what are all your other expenses? What are the things you have to pay for every month?

TOOTIE: I have nine different bills. My garbage, that's $18 a month. My gas bill is all budgeted to $94, my electric bill last month it paid $139. My cable is $68.53. And my phone was $52.79 this past month. And my water is $68.82 a month.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: So once you get your Social Security check, plus your other bills, that money is gone?


MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. No matter where you live, ageing is an expensive proposition. But more and more frequently, parents are having to rely on their children to help bear the expenses. My aunt Sandy has been caring for her ailing father at her home.

SANDY LINN, MORGAN SPURLOCK'S AUNT: Hi, Pop? How are you today?

MORGAN SPURLOCK: He suffers from dementia, and now requires 24-hour- care.

How old are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should I tell him?

LINN: I'll tell him. 96. Tell him 96.


LINN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I hated to tell that.

DEBBIE, IN-HOME CARETAKER: I have took care of many people, but he surprises me.


DEBBIE: He surprised me. You're a surprise.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Sandy is a good daughter?


LINN: Because we're a team, aren't we?


LINN: Yes. OK?

We had to make some significant changes to his room. We had to bring a hospital bed in. But because I wanted it to look like his room, I took the headboard off of his bed and I Velcro it to the wall. And this is where the ladies stay at night. They stay right here in the chair beside him.


LINN: All night.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: So if he wakes up he is not alone?

LINN: He is never alone. 24/7, he is never alone. If I'm not here, one of them is here, all the time.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Why did you decide to keep him at home?

LINN: When you take someone with dementia out of their own environment, it usually increases the dementia.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: How much longer can he stay at home?

LINN: I don't know. When my mother was living, my mother died a year ago. Before that, she and I took care of him. After my mom passed away, I realized that I couldn't do 24/7 with him because you have to be hands on, eyes on, all the time. It's extremely expensive. It can run $8,000 to $10,000 a month.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: And that's not covered by any insurance?

LINN: No. It's money that he and my mom saved.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: OK. So if he hadn't had that money, what would have happened?

LINN: My God, I don't know. He has a Social Security, but that's not enough. We would have had to do the Medicaid spend down, I guess.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: What is the hardest part for you?

LINN: Just watching your dad deteriorate is hard. You can imagine what it would be like with your folks to watch them get a little worse every time you see them. Well, it's like that every day. You make it work. You suck it up and go on.


LINN: Because I don't think I have a choice with that. I can't just walk away from him, and I won't.


See, now there, look at that custard pie. Wow.

LINN: Oh, wow. Wonderful! Is this the one you made?

ATKINS: This is the one I made.

LINN: Is this yours?


MORGAN SPURLOCK: Look at that.

TOOTIE: You did good.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: How did we do, too-too?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've told Becky, somebody in the family had to know how to make custard pie.

TOOTIE: You're it.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Now I've got a big torch to bear. So too-too, we were -- Benji and I went and looked at retirement communities today. And I was wondering what your thoughts are on those types of places.


TOOTIE: This is Tootie's rest home right here. It's going to be Tootie's rest home as long as I'm capable.


TOOTIE: I get up when I want to in the morning. I go to bed when I want to. I don't mind being by myself. I don't get lonesome. If I did, I pick up the phone. I got a lot of friends I can talk to.

BEN SPURLOCK: But we can't say that she is going to stay like this. I mean, mentally and physically.

WILLEY: If we didn't live close to her --

BEN SPURLOCK: That would be a different story.

WILLEY: OK. And if she didn't have a neighbor that was right here.

BEN SPURLOCK: That was willing to do the same thing.

WILLEY: That puts eyes on her every day.


WILLEY: If there wasn't somebody like that, then she would have to go live some place like where you were today.


WILLEY: And it may very well come, and she realizes that. And we talked about, you know, to where you might have to have some help.


MORGAN SPURLOCK: I mean, it seems like you guys have talked about it a lot. Why do so many people not talk about this?

WILLEY: I think people are in denial.


WILLEY: If I don't talk about it, maybe it won't happen.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Right. I'll live forever.

WILLEY: I'll live forever. And a lot of kids don't want to talk to their parents about it.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Because they don't want to think about it.

WILLEY: Right. And you don't want to think about it. Do you want to think about it? No.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. But I mean, the thing is the reality was when dad was in the hospital a few years ago, suddenly the reality hit home he is not going around forever.

WILLEY: For the first time.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: For the first time. Did you assign a power of attorney to somebody in the family?

WILLEY: Becky has all of that. If there is nothing that they can do, I don't want to be kept alive artificially. But I don't worry about it. The good Lord will look after me when it's time to go. So I'm all right. I'm fortunate. I have a lot of good friends. And that means all the world. I have a lot to be thankful for, a lot to be proud of. And everybody says you have the nicest family. So I just pat myself on the back and go right on.


MORGAN SPURLOCK: I brought you a present.

TOOTIE: Can I open it?

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes, you can open it right now. I got you a Wii?

TOOTIE: What's that?

MORGAN SPURLOCK: It's a video game system. It's something you will be able to play and get some exercise.


MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. Here we go. Let's do bowling. All right. So what you're going to do is there is your player. You're going to take your arm down, just like you're bowling. You're going to go like that.

TOOTIE: Oh. You bowl?

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. OK. Then let it go. Oh, look at that, there it goes! You go all the way. Nice! TOOTIE: That's me, always leave a few.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: See? You left two. There it goes. Tootie, you're going to pick up the spare. You're going get the spare. That's looking good. Looking good. Oh!

TOOTIE: Oh, goodness.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Oh, my God. So you're good at this game. I love you.

TOOTIE: You're sure sweet.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: You're a good somebody.

TOOTIE: How are you doing? Good. You look pretty as usual. Come see me. You're sweet.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: How many years have you been coming here?

TOOTIE: All my life. Ever since they built this church.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would like to say good morning to you.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Good morning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's great to be here this morning. God has given us a beautiful day. But what a blessing it was this morning when I was able to open my eyes, stand on my two feet. I praised God for it. People ask the question is God still in control. Sometimes God seems so distanced from us, don't he? When you're going through something hard in life and you wonder where is God, God, where in the world you at? I need your help. But God's everywhere. He is everywhere. We would like to ask you to bow your heads if you would at this time, please.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Give me a big squeeze, lady.

TOOTIE: OK, sweetie.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: I love you. When I grow up, I want to be just like you.

TOOTIE: Enjoyed having you.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: All right. Love you Toot-Toot.

TOOTIE: Love you too, sweetie.


MORGAN SPURLOCK: Hey, Pop. Is there any update? Like what's happened? You know, I tried talking to Tootie, and I just couldn't understand anything she was saying.

BEN SPURLOCK: Right. Tootie's not doing well at all. She is in the hospital, and she's out of her head and it's critical.


BEN SPURLOCK: And other than that, I don't know anything, OK?

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Should I plan on coming home tomorrow?

BEN SPURLOCK: It probably wouldn't hurt, you know.


BEN SPURLOCK: OK, honey, I love you.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: All right, dad. Love you too. Bye.

So I will fly home tomorrow. It is hard and I just saw her. I just saw her. She was having a hard time moving around and was a little slower, but --


MORGAN SPURLOCK: Hey, pretty lady. Hey, can you see me? You see me looking at you? Hey. You want some breakfast? Yes, you want to have some breakfast? I think we have French toast.

Tootie hasn't really been awake today. When she does wake up, she is, you know, a little incoherent. Her blood sugar is really low. She is not really eating or drinking anything. And she's just not being very responsive.

When you first brought her in, why did you take her to the emergency room?

WILLEY: She has an infection in the leg and congestive heart failure. And her body with the infection is just trying to fight to heal itself. And so it's just a long, long process.


WILLEY: Of course, when you're 91, it takes a little while too, you know, to fight that.


WILLEY: To be strong.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: You doing all right?

BEN SPURLOCK: Yes. Ready for some breakfast, Toot-Toot? You doing OK?


MORGAN SPURLOCK: That's good. You're doing great, toot-toot. She's not making a lot of sense, but she's awake. How are you?

BEN SPURLOCK: As well as can be expected. There is no preparation. For the final --


BEN SPURLOCK: It's going to be bad then, and I knew that. You just do all you can do.


BEN SPURLOCK: The beginning of the end.

TOM SPURLOCK, MORGAN SPURLOCK'S UNCLE: She opened her eyes and you think she is looking at you, but at times she's really not. Like you said the other day, telling me before I come in that she act like she is staring, but she really isn't look at you.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: So if she keeps progressing, then what will happen?

WILLEY: The goal is to get her back to where she was two weeks ago.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: So she gets to the point where she was as responsive as two weeks ago, then, yes.

WILLEY: I think that's the best we can hope for.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. And then what will happen if she doesn't get back to where she was two weeks ago?

WILLEY: She will leave from here whenever they're able to release her to long-term care.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. But she won't be going back home?

WILLEY: Not right now.


BEN SPURLOCK: That road is one day at a time.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Yes. All right. Love you.

BEN SPURLOCK: Love you too, honey.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Let me know. All right. Thanks, Pop.



WILLEY: Who do you need?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need everybody.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: They were giving Tootie a bath when all of the sudden all the alarms started going off, and they don't know if she had a stroke or she had a seizure, but apparently now she is breathing again. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are going to leave her down.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: They are taking Tootie now to get her CT scan. I think this is where they're going to check and see if there has been any bleeding in the brain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so sorry. Oh my God. I tell you what. If anybody ever fought a good fight, it's Tootie.


WILLEY: She always made the comment that she was really cautious about buying something red because she knew I would bury her in the last thing she bought, and she didn't want to be buried in red. And I said well I don't think it's going to be a while. I said don't worry about it. But not too long ago, she said I know you'll put me in pink. So it doesn't matter. I said pretty in pink, you know.

We can say yes or no on life support, you know. Well can say yes or no on feeding tubes, you know. Yes to a point, but at the point that the doctor says there is no hope, you know, then say that's it. And that's what she would want. And we know that. I've talked to Tootie enough to know that when it's time it's time. So, we are not there yet.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Nope, not yet.

BEN SPURLOCK: Not yet. Of course, she didn't want any part of this.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Good morning. How are you doing? Hi! Good morning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We wanted to meet with you for with your mother here and we know she is going to have to go to rehab when she leaves the hospital.

WILLEY: Before she came in the hospital, she was by herself.


WILLEY: And functioning pretty well?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, ma'am. Basically, mother was able to do almost everything on her own for herself in her own home.

WILLEY: It's hard when you go through this, because she was independent.



WILLEY: But now at this point she is going to need help.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. WILLEY: Probably with all that OK. What we can do is look at a skilled facility that would probably be the best option for her, because if she needs long-term placement after that and she can't get back home, what would be the best option would be to go look at a couple of facilities.

BEN SPURLOCK: Well, Morgan and I had visited the one, and very nice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. And if they can take her, then, you know, really we'll do all the paperwork, and they'll do all the assessing, try to make it as easy on you as possible. See how she does. It would be a good trial period to go there and see if she is able to get back home. I'm sure that's probably what her wishes would be. But if she can't get back home, they have long-term care as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You sign here. Transport.

WILLEY: Very good.

After having her released from here today, we're headed to Rose Terrace with her for physical therapy. We don't want her to ever think that she is not going home. That's why we're going to physical therapy, not a nursing home.

ATKINS: So let's show you back to her room.


ATKINS: We have your mom here.

WILLEY: Very good.

ATKINS: It's right next to the door. You can actually come in the back door.

WILLEY: It's very nice.

ATKINS: Yes, a pretty facility.

WILLEY: The dresser is on the wrong side of the bed for her, but that's OK.

ATKINS: We can move it.

WILLEY: That would be good.

ATKINS: So she has been in Thomas for?

WILLEY: Twenty days.


WILLEY: We've taken some up and down trips over the last 20 days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.

BEN SPURLOCK: You're welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Deep breaths for me. Let's take a look at your skin, Lorraine.

BEN SPURLOCK: It's Tootie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do they call you Tootie?


WILLEY: Hi, sweetie. Yes. You're going to stay right here and they will take care of you.

ATKINS: OK. This is the last one I'm going to ask you to sign today. It's consent to treat. Basically, it's just allowing us to treat her here, and that we're allowed to bill her benefits. And it also starts going in to how to apply for Medicaid. Lots of people in West Virginia use Medicaid to pay for nursing home services if they stay long-term.

WILLEY: I got you.

ATKINS: And then this talks about what Medicaid doesn't pay for.

WILLEY: The first 20 days she is here through rehab?

ATKINS: Hundred percent.

WILLEY: And then the next 79 days Medicare pays part and her insurance will pay the balance?

ATKINS: As long as she meets the criteria of skilled services. If she doesn't have a specific plan that pays for long-term care, you can choose to pay privately and that's $265 a day. Some people don't have that. And typically, that's when they make application for Medicaid services.

It's a tough, tough transition, and it's a tough decision. Let's see what we can do, and then we'll just take it a day at a time and see what her status is. Thank you for entrusting us with her. We're all on the same team.


WILLEY: You be a good girl. You work on therapy now. And I will see you tomorrow.


WILLEY: You'll be right here. I know.

BEN SPURLOCK: You will be here. You be good, girl. Don't fight with the nurses, OK? Bye-bye, honey.

WILLEY: Love you.

BEN SPURLOCK: Love you too, sweetheart. Get some rest, will you?

WILLEY: I will.


BEN SPURLOCK: Twenty minutes. That's all it takes you to get here. 20 minutes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lorraine Tootie Spurlock, 91 of Griffithsville passed away Monday, January 26th, 2013. She was born July 28th, 1921 in West Virginia. She was also preceded in death by her husband proud Spurlock and two sisters. She was a homemaker, a charter member of the church, member of the women's club. She enjoyed doing hand work, reading, and cooking for family and friends. Her kitchen was open just like her heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Few people have ever lived 91 years like Tootie did. Her life was filled with joy and she smiled and laughed, hugged and loved. What a lady she was. She was a cornerstone of our community. We now commit her body to the ground, back to the dust. And she's gone the way of all the earth. She was the real deal. She was the real deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's give Toot-Toot a kiss bye-bye.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Here's me and Toot-Toot. Here she is with her cake. Here is Becky and Toot-Toot.

Tootie had three children, four grandchildren, nine great grandchildren. She was a wife, a mother, and she lived surrounded by the people she loved.

Today, we are living longer than ever before. More birthdays, more anniversaries, more time with the people we love. And sometimes it feels like it can last forever. Maybe, that's why it's so hard making all the decisions we need to about growing old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good to see you.

MORGAN SPURLOCK: Because saying some things out loud can remind us how quickly everything can change.

Love you, Pop.

BEN SPURLOCK: Love you too. You all be good.


BEN SPURLOCK: Be careful.




BEN SPURLOCK: Love you too.