My Mom lives alone and during a current hospitalization the doctor said she needs 24 hour care. Does this mean I have to move her to a nursing home?
Not necessarily. First, it is very difficult to fully assess someone’s level of functioning and impairment while they are in a hospital (or even rehab) setting. People learn to make necessary adaptations in their home environment that allow for them to remain independent, that can’t be determined unless observed in their home environment. It may be that they need someone to monitor them a little more closely, or perhaps provide more assistance to them at home. If the doctor or someone else has recommended 24 hour care for your loved one, please call The Eldest Daughter. After a thorough assessment we can develop a safe and effective care plan that will enable your loved one to remain as independent as possible, as safe as possible, for as long as possible.
I live 2 hours away from my Dad, and with a busy career and family I am not able to visit with him as often as possible. I worry so much about how he is doing. He says he is fine and tells me not to worry but how do I really know if he is ok?
The Eldest Daughter can visit with your Dad, and complete an assessment and care consultation to determine how well he is functioning on his own. As a skilled and highly trained professional, we are able to assess beyond the verbal responses an elder gives. There are certain things that a geriatric social worker is trained to pick up on that even families won’t necessarily notice. You may also wish to have us check in with your loved one on a regular basis either by phone or personal visit so that we can be your local eyes and ears and notice potential problems before they become a crisis. Contact us to learn how we may be able to help in your specific situation.
My mom is 91 and living alone in the home I grew up in. She has some savings, but not a lot. She is not able to continue taking care of herself nevermind the house. I think we should sell the house but I don’t know where she could go to live after that. What are our options?
There are lots of options for her, and lots of contributing factors to consider. The best way to determine what would make the most sense in your mom’s case is to discuss more in detail what her needs are and what she has for available support. If selling the house and considering assisted living make the most sense for her, The Eldest Daughter can help you find an assisted living facility that you and your mom love, as well as selling her home and managing all the tasks associated with that.
I have been trying to find some inexpensive help to go and help my mom and dad out. I’ve heard of a few companies that help with senior care but they are so expensive. Their income is very little and they have no significant savings. I am willing to help pay for someone, but I still don’t think we will be able to afford it. How do people manage the high cost of services?
There are many available programs and services out there that offer in home supportive services for free or low cost. Many are provided based on monthly income and need. It is nearly impossible to know of all of these programs unless you work in the industry (and even then it is STILL overwhelming at times!) Hiring a geriatric care manager to help determine what programs and services your parents might qualify for might actually save you significant money AND find your parents the help they need.
My Dad served in WWII. He did so much for our country. Are there any programs out there to help him and give back to him now that he needs more help?
YES! There is a benefit available to veterans who served during war time that can provide additional monthly income to help cover the cost of in home care, or even assisted living or nursing home. The Eldest Daughter can help determine if your Dad meets the criteria for the program.
Are you caring for an aging loved one in your home (or in their home) but find yourself worrying if you are “doing it right”?
The Eldest Daughter can provide the support, education and tools you need in order to help you become the best caregiver you could be.
My Mom has cancer and decided she didn’t want to undergo treatment or chemo. She seems ok now, but what do we do now?
She may be doing well now, and the goal is certainly for her to continue to do well, but this is actually a really good time to have a conversation with her about what she wants her future to be like. It can often be a very tense, scary and emotional discussion for families to have. The Eldest Daughter can help facilitate a healthy, productive conversation between the family members to ensure not only the best quality of life for all involved, but also to make sure your loved one’s wishes are followed. There is great reassurance in knowing you have a plan for the tough days.
My Dad is 86 and still drives. We have tried to talk to him about not driving anymore but he doesn’t listen. Even his doctor has recommended that he stop driving. We don’t want to take away his independence but I am really worried that something bad is going to happen. How do we get him to listen to us and stop driving?
This is a very difficult conversation to have with a typically independent, strong person like your dad. Sometimes hearing the message from someone other than their children helps. Resistance is typically the by-product of anxiety and fear. If we can help reassure him that he will still be able to get out to do the things he needs and wants to do, like get groceries, go to doctor appointments etc by making sure there is scheduled alternative transportation, then it will be a little easier for him to accept handing over the keys. There are lots of factors though, and evaluating all the circumstances would give us a much better picture of how we could best keep him safe.
My mom will be discharged from rehab soon, after recovering from a fractured hip. The rehab social worker said mom will be set up with a visiting nurse so does that mean we don’t need to worry about this care planning thing?
Medicare does typically (I say typically, because there are circumstances where Medicare won’t cover home care services) provide home care via a visiting nurse agency, but these services are usually very short term. Medicare does not cover “custodial care”, ie help with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) like bathing and dressing, unless there is a skilled need for a nurse to be involved. If it is recommended that mom receive physical, occupational or speech therapy, or there is a need for skilled nursing services and your mom is unable to make it out to appointments without significant stress, then Medicare will provide those services at home. If this is the case, they will also assign a home health aide to come in to help with personal care, but this is usually limited to a couple of days a week. These are short term (think just a few weeks) until mom “plateaus” and doesn’t continue to make gains in therapy or no longer requires the nurse to come.
It is a good idea to set up a plan to meet anticipated needs without relying on services with indefinite coverage.
Families want to do the right thing, but often aren’t sure what the right thing is. The Eldest Daughter can help you figure out what that “right thing” is.
Adult children often live at a distance or are overwhelmed due to the other responsibilities such as careers or families/children. The Eldest Daughter can help share the burden by tag teaming with you, or to be the eyes and ears first hand and determine when an emergency long distance trip is warranted. A geriatric care manager like the Eldest Daughter can be especially helpful for long distance caregivers and caregivers who have exhausted all of their available work leave, but also helpful for anyone needing some extra guidance and help caring for their loved ones.
Family members are in conflict or there is dysfunction (where parents should live, safety vs autonomy, end of life decisions, spending, resistence by parent, suspected abuse or undue influence). The Eldest Daughter can help sort through the conflict with you to determine common goals and aid in effective communication. Together we comprise the “client committee”; the professional, the family and the client.