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Caregiving Articles of Interest:

Is Elderly Care at Home the Best Choice?

Caregiving- Families Don't Always Play Fair

How The Sandwich Generation Can Help Their Parents Create a Legacy of Meaning  

Five Things You Must Do When Traveling With Older Parents   

Senior Parents Living Alone   

The Life Cycle - Taking Care of Your Parents   

Home Care Training Increases Effectiveness of Caregivers   

Avoid Identity Theft from Obituaries   

Photo ID Cards and Home Health Care Workers    

The Four Essential Components to an Effective Senior Fitness Program

Taking the Keys From Mom and Dad: Top 11 Tips for Living Without a Car   

When Parent Child Roles Reverse   

The Ten Steps to Happiness After 40   

When Pets Outlive Their Owners 

Safe Medication and Aging-6 Challenges to Overcome Medication Errors

Is there life after 60?

Senior In-Home Healthcare Goes Remote  

Confused about what happens when you turn 65? 

Finding a Safe Nursing Home

Avoid Identity Theft from Obituaries

Senior Articles of Interest:

Cancer: A Death Sentence for the Elderly?

Depression among the Elderly

Long term care insurance: What is it really?

Medical Conditions and Information for the Elderly

Medicare: How will it help me?

Medicaid Program: What do I need to know?

Medication Information for the Elderly

Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?

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Fixing Your Parent's Train Wreck - What's Next

By Denis L Ashauer

You, the adult child, will be delegated the task of answering the "what to do next" question. At this point most people will find themselves overwhelmed at the information they will need to process to answer the "what's next" question.
You can chose to undertake the task on you own if you have the time and patience, or simply hire a Professional Geriatrics Care Manager to do the research and provide recommendations. A Professional Geriatrics Care Manager will cost $75-$100 per hour but are well worth the expense. The care manager will provide you with scenarios both short term and long term to choose from hopefully preventing future injuries, major or minor.

If you choose to undertake this task on your own, you will need to understand the appropriate level of care to fix the problem today, and what will be needed in the future.

It may be as simple as hiring an in-home non-medical care agency to help with the activities of daily living (ADL's) such as bathing, transferring, feeding, toileting, dressing and continence care. These agencies can also help with transportation, laundry, house keeping, meal prep, medication management and much more. 

If your situation is more complex requiring medical attention such as wound care, therapist, IV therapy, or respiratory therapy you will need to connect with a visiting nurse association or a medical in-home care provider.

If appropriate, hospice care may be the next step. Hospice care is widely misunderstood and should be considered. Hospice services are available either in home or within a facility. Hospice employs an inter-disciplinary team approach to provide comfort and support to all members of the family. They also can reduce the financial burden by providing medications and medical equipment.
To complicate the "what's next" question, you will need to learn what Medicare will pay for and what expenses will be private pay. On top of that you may need to consider a combination of these services.

Next you will need to learn and understand the various living arrangements and what will be appropriate.

There are two types of independent living arrangement. The most common choice is the present home setting. You will need to identify your loved ones limitations. This may require professional help such as a physical or occupational therapist. Once you have an understanding of the limitation you will need to make the appropriate accommodations to make the home safe. The second option for independent living is a retirement community. The retirement community often provides social activities such as bus trips, picnics, and get togethers.

There are various forms of living arrangements that provide assistance. There are many acronyms for the levels of care required such as CBRF, RCAC, and adult homes. I would advise you to research each carefully to understand which level is appropriate for the immediate needs and future needs. Once you have decided on the appropriate setting, then the selection process takes place. I advise families to make an unannounced visit to the facility to observe with your sight and smell. The best time to visit is at mealtime. This is the busiest time of the day for the aides, and you can observe the meals that are prepared. Then request a meeting with the administrator and also request a copy of the most recent state inspection report. Studying and comparing state inspection reports will provide an insight and raise questions. Then there are various pricing plans to consider.
The final living arrangement to consider is skilled nursing. I advise following the same steps as mentioned above when deciding which facility to choose. With skilled nursing facilities you can compare various facilities on line by using the Medicare website. The service is free and can save you a lot of unnecessary leg- work. 
Now that you have a road map to follow, the next step is finding all this information. I suggest you contact your local county aging services or your local Area Agency on Aging. They will send you a packet with all the information needed. This is where the work begins!

About the Author: Denis L Ashauer, Certified Senior Advisor and President of Home Helpers. Home Helpers is the leading provider for in-home non-medical care. Visit Home Helpers at and visit our blog site at to receive caregiving tips for family members caring for loved ones

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