Medicaid is a ‘godsend’

Margot's story
Washington

Margot is all about doing for others. Before she became ill, she volunteered at a local food bank, cooked Thanksgiving meals for seniors in need and helped at her church.

These days, Margot can’t always take care of herself … but she still finds ways to nurture others.

At 76, she’s lived at Providence Marianwood, a skilled nursing facility in Issaquah, Wash., since 2015. Medicaid makes that possible. She’s fortunate to have private insurance that pays for hospitalizations, but she couldn’t afford to live in a residential care center until she enrolled in Medicaid in 2016. That’s when her health issues worsened to the point she could no longer live independently.

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Medicaid pays for Margot’s care in a
skilled nursing facility, where she serves as
a beacon of light for her fellow residents.

“Living here and having Medicaid has done wonders for me,” she says. A widow, she took the death of her husband – “he was my buddy” – hard. She beams when she talks about her two adult daughters, who also live in Washington state and visit as often as they can.

Margot has several serious, chronic health conditions – a spinal cord injury that severely limits her mobility, rheumatoid arthritis, a heart condition and fibromyalgia. But she doesn’t allow physical limitations to dampen her enthusiasm for helping others.

“There’s a sign on my door that asks ‘What makes you happy?’ and I wrote: ‘Helping the other residents, making sure their needs are met, and encouraging them to be all they can be,’” she says. She’s president of the center’s resident council and recently was asked to be an ombudsman for her fellow residents.

“I go around all day asking people how they feel. I visit patients who don’t come out of their rooms,” she says. “It takes only a few minutes to put a smile on someone’s face. I make sure they’re not forgotten.”

Without Medicaid, Margot doesn’t know what she would have done. In addition to caring for her physical needs, Medicaid helped give her a renewed purpose in life … it meant she could continue her life of service.

“Medicaid has been a godsend. Can you even imagine how grateful I am, as well as many other seniors?”

Medicaid matters.

 

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Providence St. Joseph Health thanks those who have shared their stories for providing releases.