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Recent Caregiver Wellbeing Advice

    My 86 year old mother needs a wrist watch. I want something very basic that is digital with the date and day and has a stretch band. Do you know where I could find one? Can you recommend a manufacturer?
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    William B. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Try First Street for Boomers & Beyond web site or call: 800-704-1209 Good luck,
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    Denise V. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    I could suggest Independent Living Aids.

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    I am the sole care giver to my elderly parent. I hate to admit it but I think I am going crazy. How do I keep my wits about myself as I deal with caregiving for my parent. Is there a brochure on how to deal with this feeling?
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    Margaret H. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Please do not feel like you are alone in feeling this way. Being a caregiver is a very demanding role. I would suggest reaching out for help. Talk with your doctor about your feelings and concerns. There are many resources to help you. Consider visiting the National Family Caregivers Association website at www.nfcacares.org for tips, join a support group for caregivers, or hiring a geriatric care manager by visiting www.caremanager.org. A geriatric care manager can assist you with finding local care options that can make your role easier.

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    My mother needs a lot of help at home. I see that some people have state funded healthcare workers how does this work? How does she apply? What are the qualifications?
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    David T. , Financial Planner answers:
    I can assist you in applying for Medicaid for your mother that will pay for home care (which we can set up for you as well). The eligibility criteria is based on her total value of assets as well as her monthly income. Based on our knowledge of the Medicaid system we can help her qualify for Medicaid even if you think she's not eligible. Give me a call and we can discuss it in further detail.
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    Sonya M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    She has to have less than $13,800 in total assets, not including value of the home, and $820 in income. If the assets are more than that, there are ways to qualify. But please call a qualified elder law attorney to discuss those other options. She would apply either at the local CASA or thru a Managed Care attorney.
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    Nelly K. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Depending on her assets and qualifications your mother may be eligible for Medicaid/ Global options Home Health Care. I can provide you with professional assistance as private Social Worker who successfully aplied for entilment and benefits for hundreds of elders. Please contact me .
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    Lauren M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    There are services under the Medicaid program called Global Options that pay for home health aide workers, social workers, and other services in the home. You have to make a Medicaid application with the county board of social services in your home county. A New Jersey elder law attorney can assist you with this process.
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    Nancy M. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    Medicaid funded home health care is provided through your Area Office on Aging and, as Jordan says, is "means tested," or based at least partly on financial status. Call the Somerset Co. Office on Aging at (908) 704-6346 to learn the details. They offer many wonderful services and counseling to local seniors and their families.
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    Elliot S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Typically your mother would be eligible for community medicaid if is she has a medical necessity and meets the resource requirements which I would need some more information to determine. Feel free to contact me to see if she is eligible.
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    Ely J. R. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    You are probably thinking of community medicaid, where, assuming your mother qualifies for medicaid under the income guidelines, she would be entitled to government funded care. Our firm submits medicaid applications for clients on a regular basis, and we have achieved tremendous results. For more information about the medicaid application process and our firm, please contact us by phone (1-866-272-6557 ext. 20951 or visit our profile on this website .
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    Jordan R. , answers:
    It sounds like you are interested in Medicaid funded home-health care workers. The general rule, there, has to do with financial status. I will post your question to some of our MyAgingFolks.com professionals. In the meantime, however, please visit a recent blog post on qualifying for Medicaid.

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    My aunt's home health care aide has been complaining to me (my aunt has no kids of her own) all the time about my aunt. The aide, paid for by Oregon Health Plan, is interested in a vacation and would be willing to take off on her own.
    Can we get another aide for a short period through medical? Would this be considered to be respite care and is that respite benefit allowed for in the program?
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    Doina F. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    I believe the best think to do is to talk to home health office and request another aid.

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    Denise D. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Confused about?

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    Mom is in the early stages of Dementia and will sometimes agree either to in-home help or to move to retirement assisted living. Dad, however, is stubborn, won't agree to assistance. Dad's recent stroke left him nearly unable to speak - he can think clearly but can't communicate. Dad drives even though the police physically took his license away. Mom gets lost when she drives. Both are in their mid-80's and not in very good health. How do I convince my parents that they need assistance?
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    Jim M. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    convincing your folks that they need assistance is going to require some aggressive measures. Dad should not be behind the wheel so you need to contact his doctor and request that a letter be sent to the Motor Vehicle office requesting that he come in for a test. You cannot force help in to the home. so at least interview some home care agencies so that you have a plan in place when the event occurs that makes in-home care the only way they can stay there. You can get a sense now of the way home care agencies work and what the cost will be.
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    Marlene A. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Consult with a qualified geriatric care manager for advice and resources as well as an attorney regarding the possible need for a guardianship and or conservatorship.
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    Pamela B. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Try to pull in the primary care physicians in the case the your parents may listen to his/her recommendations. They may also respond to the liability involved with driving. "You don't want to lose everything you've worked for" in the case of an accident and liability involved. A family intervention -- children coming in from out-of-town to meet and discuss their concern about preserving their independence and how to do this.

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    I don’t know what to do. I am having trouble caring for my mom who is sick with a brain tumor. She always wants what I can’t give her. We are always fighting. She complains constantly and is never satisfied. Sometimes I can joke about it, or cut her short, but sometimes I lose it. How can I do a better job of caring for my sick mother?
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    Denise D. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Sometimes caregiving is a thankless job even when you know in your heart that you are doing it out of love. Just try to remember it is probably not your mom being upset but the tumor and she would tell you how grateful she was if she could. It would be completely 'un normal' if you did not "lose it" occasionally. It is important though, that you find the time to take care of yourself in some way. Get some help! Don't think you should have to do it all alone. If you can afford to hire a home care agency, even for a few hours a week do it! Also, you local hospice would be my first go to resource I would recommend you look into. They can not only provide excellent medical help for your mom, but respite care and support for you! A geriatric care manager could also help you to find resources quickly so you do not have to waste your precious time and energy trying to find the right resources to help you and your mom. My thoughts and prayers are with you!
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    N. Wallace K. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Caregivers havea great deal of responsibility in caring for loved ones. I suggest a support group and a Geriatric Care Manager to assist you in making plans for care for your mother.

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    Who can be the caregiver of relatives? And does the immediate caregiver have to live with the sickly family-member?
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    Denise D. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Really anyone who is willing can be a caregiver and there are many different levels of care - do they just need someone to check in on them, get them to appointments, help with meals or do they not need to be left alone. I would love to be more specific if you would share more specifics of your situation. Good luck!

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    My father recently passed away and I am still taking care of my mother (she lives in Washington Heights, I am on the UES). When I brought her to the geriatrician, her doctor recommended that I go to a support group.

    Unlike many other New Yorkers ;-) I do not really relish the thought of being in therapy. Yes, I am grieving for my dad. Yes, I am very frustrated by some (most!) of my Moms choices! But what can I expect to get out of going to the group? The geriatrician who made the recommendation was too busy to be really helpful.
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    Avi M. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    I am sorry for your loss. I can imagine that you are grieving and can imagine that caring for your mother can be difficult. I just want to weigh regarding your question. Don't think of a support group as therapy. It's less about pathology, something being wrong, than about being a positive place for you. A support group can be a place to connect with others who share common interest and experience. Support groups tend to get a bad rap. The purpose of coming to a caregiver support group is not to listen to somebody cry; rather it’s to openly discuss the stresses and burdens of taking care of a loved one. Doing so allows for people in similar positions to exchange practical caregiving techniques and education while offering comfort and support. By attending a support group you are allowing yourself the opportunity to connect with other people who are living a life much like your own. In addition to validating the busy life you have other caregivers might have creative ideas for how to be a better caregiver for both your loved one and yourself. I could bet that you are doing 'just fine' with your caregiving role, all by yourself. But, perhaps, you could be doing well or GREAT! As you can probably tell, I am very pro-support groups. And that, by the way, is no accident, I am a social worker and I run a group that meets near where you mom lives. Feel free to check the support group for family caregivers at the Washington Heights Y. Perhaps, you'd like to join us for a session or two as a way of commiserating after a visit with your mom. :-) We also have a bereavement group that will be meeting shortly.

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    My parents/family are driving me a bit crazy. They are divorced, both in their late 80s, live independently and are actually quite healthy yet still need my help and rely on me quite a bit (as their eldest daughter) for chores, errands, etc. My brothers are semi worthless. I have had to scale down my work to help them part time. This is hard for my marraige, and takes away attention from my own kids. I love them dearly, but still. Any tips for making a caregivers life a bit easier?
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    Denise D. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    My first response is you need a geriatric care manager to help you organize, plan for care and find resources in your area. Especially in Florida, with its large elderly population, there are many resources for help with senior care. We actually just opened a senior concierge service here in NC just for the errand like chores you are talking about. I am sure there would be similar services in Florida! On a broader note, it sounds like there may be some boundary issues between you and your parents as well. While it is comendable that you are there for them and they are lucky to have such a loving and dependable daughter, you also have to maintain your own life and your marriage. I would encourage you to google geriatric care manager or senior concierge/errand in your area and start "farming out" some of the chores so that you can to try to get more balance in your life. Remember, if your personal life or your health crumbles, who will take care of them then?

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