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FAQs #24

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Q24. My mother has reached the point of not being able to tend to herself very well (cook meals, clean house, take correct meds, etc.) Should she move in with us?

A24.Donna Burrill, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF :
>The first thing that comes to my mind is Medicaid assistance through the local county's social services office. That provides payment for medical care for those whose financial resources and income is low enough. Whether homemaker services will be provided via Medicaid or not, I cannot tell you. In your county there may be an Office on Aging, again associated with the county's human services agency, which may provide referrals to local services that can help out.<i>

Kirsten Hartman, Case Manager, Housing Transitions for Elders and Their Families:
>Becky — As a case manager my suggestions would be the following: Are your parents in a home or rental housing? If they are in their own home, even if they have a mortgage on it, they may qualify for a reverse mortgage. This is a method of financing that would allow them to borrow money now against the value of the property. If they don't want a reverse mortgage, they also may qualify for a line of credit with the house as collateral. It's a way for them to be able to afford the care they need. Your local mortgage lenders will tell you who is doing reverse mortgages. If you need more information on reverse mortgages, I can give you the name of someone in Ft. Collins who is doing that, but I know you will have to work with someone in Georgia . <i>

Another source of help for you is to contact your local Department of Health and Human Services sometimes called Social Services. Sometimes this department has different names in different states. In Colorado our local office can provide home health aides, depending on people's income and needs. The aides can do cooking and cleaning. Sounds like your family has the need. If you cannot find your local Health and Human Service Dept., every state has an Office on Aging and they could direct you. Your Office on Aging will have an office in your city or in the closest big city. If you are having trouble finding your local Social Service office also call the hospital that your father was in and ask for social service dept., or the discharge planners. Or ask the agency that is providing the nursing care to speak with their social worker.

Another source of help usually on household repairs is through RSVP, a program run through Volunteers of America. In our area the volunteers usually do repairs, but that is a source checking.

Have you considered asking at your local church if someone is willing to help out? If you are not involved with a church, contact your local Inter Faith Council and they can direct you to churches that have social service committees or volunteers.

For meals, there is a national program called Meals on Wheels that delivers food to homes. Usually most people feel that the meals are large enough that they can eat one hot meal from it, and then leftovers for a second meal. The meals come prepared. Again that program is run through the county and your local Office on Aging can help you get their phone number.

Good luck to you. You are definitely on the right track looking for support and help. If you cannot keep your parents at home, I am sure that you know that possibly it would be appropriate for them to be in a nursing home, which can be paid for by Medicaid if they have limited financial resources.

Placing parents in a nursing home is a hard decision, but if you are up against brick walls, sometimes that can be a good solution. Again you would need to check with a social worker or case manager for information in your state.><p>


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