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General Information FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. My 72 year old widowed mother recently moved in with my widowed sister who has a house in Illinois. Lately my brother and I have been having phone conversations with our mother in which she complains about the arguments she and my sister are having, after which they sometimes do not speak to each other for days . My mother wants to move back to Pennsylvania, although, since she gave up an unusually low rent apartment there, she really has no place to move to that she could afford. My sister will not discuss this with us. What can I do to help?




Q2. Help, my parents are both very confused, and they have lost weight and seem increasingly unable to care for themselves in spite of my efforts to help with meals and organizational support. I have had my work interrupted with increasing frequency with emergency phone calls from concerned neighbors. Their physicians have expressed concern about their ability to cope in an unsupervised situation, and I have attempted to get support from my 8 brothers and sisters who live out of town, to insist that they accept help outside the family. However, my parents can pull it together and look competent long enough to assure them that they are fine, and I am the only problem. A lot of conflict is developing. Any ideas?




Q3. I love my mother... but everything is on my shoulders now, i.e. my parent's finances/health issues/housing issues/personal shopping, etc. How do I deal with MY anger/frustration/stress at this role-reversal?




Q4. My mother hallucinates in the afternoon; otherwise, she seems fine. What should I do? I can't get in to see her doctor for 1 month.




Q5. How do I tell my mother that she needs to give up driving?




Q6. How do I tell my father that he can't live alone but can't live with me either?




Q7. I don't have the time/energy/desire to research all the options for my aging parent's care. Where do I turn? Is there a central source of information?




Q8. My 82 year old grandfather recently went into a nursing home due to various health problems, including heart problems. He is on morphine to lessen the pain and seems to be calmer and less anxious than usual. He is a Fundamentalist Christian who is very concerned with the salvation of the people he meets and does not hold in high regard those who believe differently. He has been irritable, worried, and has had noticeable loss of pleasure the past few years. The nursing home has recommended counseling for depression. I am concerned with two factors as I think about its effectiveness: How is the morphine masking his emotional life and would he bond well with a younger, non Christian counselor. Would you recommend counseling for him?


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Q9. My mother is dying now, from an inoperable brain tumor which has recurred for the third time. She is 79 years old and she understands that she is dying. She is at home with Hospice care. Mother has been active in the professional community here where she lives for the better part of her life. My question is, it seems that every time I read the paper I see another obituary for one of her long time friends. Mother is able to understand when we talk with her and though she can't articulate well, she is able to communicate with us. Is it a good idea to tell her about all her friends who are dying or would it be upsetting to her? it just seems so depressing to me; I'm afraid she would be sad. My brother thinks I should tell her, but I'm just not sure. What should I do?




Q10. My brother is a retired minister. He is 61 years old and was diagnosed as being HIV positive in 1994. The recent death of his companion of 15 years, coupled with complications in his medical status, seems to have intensified his depression. He has always had a tendency toward depression, but it is much worse now. and, I must admit, he now occasionally alluded to suicide. My brother has received appropriate medical treatment but continues to be resistant to counseling. He is a very private person and very guarded about his situation. I think he needs professional help but don't know where to begin. Help.




Q11. If my elderly parent(s) doesn't move in with me, where would they live?




Q12. My father was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Although he has responded well to the medications he does experience periods of confusion and some problem with memory; he is also moodier than ever. Dad continues to drive. I'm afraid that he may need to surrender his license but I'm afraid to bring up the subject. Seems as though my father and my mother, who is also quite frail, get very upset whenever I attempt to discuss adjustments or changes in lifestyle. Help.




Q13. My mother has had several strokes and needs 24 hr care. We have her at home with us and it seems to work well. We have a wonderful and skillful caregiver for mother who we pay privately. We know that mother has had a long term care insurance policy for several years and we would like to access these benefits. Someone told us we could be reimbursed for the aide if an R.N. is supervising her. Do we just submit a claim to the insurance company?


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Q14. My father was doing just fine until two weeks ago. Now he acts confused and I am afraid he is getting senile. I have also seen him urinating in the corner. I guess I will have to put him in a nursing home. Which one do you suggest, or where should I start?




Q15. Help! My dad is 82 and seems kind of disoriented and confused lately. His car shows several mystery dents, but he swears he has no knowledge of how they occurred and insists his driving skills are better than ever. He has always been a strong and competent person, and a bit stubborn. Other people in my family support his right to drive, but I notice they don't ride with him. My parents live in the country and there is no reliable public transportation in their area. I'm afraid he is going to hurt or kill someone, and to be honest, I'm also afraid of liability if this is to occur. How can I intervene? Should I intervene?




Q16. When you don't agree with the doctor's response to an aging parent, are there strategies, besides changing doctors to get more satisfactory care?




Q 17. When my mother (father) says "off the wall" things in our conversation, I worry that she/he might have Alzheimer's. How do I find out if we have a bigger problem here than I suspect?




Q18. Are researchers getting any closer to a cure for Alzheimer's. What is the latest research?




Q19. Help, my uncle, who I grew up with, has Alzheimer's and my aunt, who raised me, is physically frail. They recently were assisted in moving from the family farm to an apt. in town where they have better access to services. They contracted an attorney who seems to have changed their will, with the help of some other family members, who said that my uncle "doesn't need to be competent to sign this new will, he just needs to know that he has something to give, and someone to give it to." I would like to see the new will, but don't want to appear mercenary. Any ideas on what my rights are?"


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Q20. My mother, divorced for years from my father, was recently hospitalized for a fall which has left her disorientated, confused, and paranoid. My 32 year old brother has lived rent free with her most of his adult life, and for the two weeks since mother returned from the hospital he has cared for her. Because our mother is not improving, it looks like our mother may need to go into a more intensive care environment. Her house is her major asset. My brother is meeting with our father to see about getting her house put in "one of our names" to protect the asset from being taken by a nursing home. My mothers intention was always that her assets be divided equally between my brother and me, and her old will reflects this, so I am wondering if the will, can be changed now by my brother. Also, I am wondering if there is a difference between ones care in nursing homes that are "Medicare only and care if there is private pay, in which case it would be better if her house e was used to help pay?"




Q 21. How do I help my kids accept the changes in their grandmother who has Alzheimer's Disease?




Q22. 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?




Q23. I don't know if you can help me, but I need to talk with someone. I have a mother age 73, widowed, who is driving me nuts. She lives alone and has sever arthritis, so I clean her home, make her meals, cut her grass, take her to get groceries and have her over at my house on Sunday. I do everything for her. I can, but it is never enough for her. My oldest daughter is having a baby shower Sunday, so I suggested mom, my other daughter, my granddaughter and I go out to eat and do some gift buying. During d inner my mother though she heard me say, to her, I was mad because my granddaughter was talking a lot to my mother. I tried to tell my mother I never said that, even my daughter told her, I didn't say that. But she wouldn't have it that way, we all ended up in a big fight trying to tell mom I didn't say that to her. It really hurts me that she is always trying to find something bad I do to her, when all I try to do is make her life better. Now she isn't coming to the baby shower, she doesn't want to ever se e my daughter again and she is never coming to my house again, I can't leave her alone because of her health condition but I don't know what else to do. Please, if you have any suggestions please send them my way.




Q24. My parents are in their 80's. My mother has not been able to do housework, etc. for years and my father was doing that. In January he had 5 by-pass surgery and a leg amputated. Nurses care for his wounds at home but the cooking, cleaning, etc. is left up to me. I am now unable to work and my financial situation is getting very bad. I cannot afford a maid-nurse for them. How can I get financial help? Thank you.




Q25. My 89-year-old Uncle recently started living with me. (He'd been hospitalized with depression). I didn't want to put him in a nursing home; and both he and I, as well as the hospital's Social Worker, felt he couldn't live alone anymore. At the hospital, he gave me power-of-attorney.

To try to safeguard at least some of his assets, should he ever need long-term care (and also perhaps to have Medicaid pay for the personal assistant care he's now paying for privately), I tried talking to him about putting his money now in my name . (I am his beneficiary in his Will.) I've been to a Medicaid-planning seminar, and have an appointment with the consultant soon.

The conversation with my Uncle was a disaster. We both got angry. And also, it went around in circles, as he was just being defensive. He's a sweet guy and loves me, but he's a real tight-wad, and also very suspicious.

To me, it would be tragic if ALL of his assets were used to pay for long-term care, when at least some of it could be saved. I feel frustrated and angry. His stubborn refusal, and lack of understanding of the situation also makes me feel like having him live elsewhere, not in my home--although I would be actively involved. (I may want him to move even if he decides to transfer his assets to me...which becomes another problem.)

I am totally trustworthy and responsible, and would use his money on his care (not for myself). Do you have any suggestions ??????

Thanks so much.


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Q26. My parents took out a Pre-Need Plan Group Life Policy in 1997. My father's was a five year plan and my mom's a 10 year plan. I may be wrong but it appears that my mom is putting out a lot of money for this policy which gives her a $5914 death benefit but she is paying interest all these years. Her payment is $107every month since April 1997. If she stops now the cash value is only a little more than $1000. Yet, if she keeps paying 107 she'll be putting out more money for a small return.Any suggestions? Also, she would like to switch funeral homes. Can this be done?




Q27. My mother is no longer able to live alone and care for herself. She has six daughters. Four daughters live close and are willing to care for her either in their home or in her home. We are taking turns spending a few days each caring for her day and night. I am trustee of her bank accounts and power of attorney of her health care. How can I use some of her money in the trust to pay us daughters for caring for her. We have lots of expenses of food, cleaning, laundry, personal products , travel expenses and the job of caring for her 24 hours a day. What are Medicare/Medicaid rules and tax problems if I use money in her trust to cover expenses of caring for her. We don't know how long we can care for her in her home and at what time she might need nursing home care. At present with help she can get to bathroom and table for eating. She cannot be left alone but is not bedfast yet. Thanks, Gladys




Q28. My mother is 88 years old. I am her only child and 58 years old. She lives in an Assisted Living place. She refuses to have a bath or change clothes. They are supposed to assist her with a bath every Wednesday, but for the last 4 Wednesdays, she has refused to take a bath. Her clothes are filthy and she has an odor. They asked what I was going to do about her taking a bath. I have talked to her and she just says she is not taking one. She can get very verbal about her refusal of a bath. I don't know what to do. If you could just tell me who to turn to for advice, I would greatly appreciate it. She is in a wheelchair because she refuses to walk with her walker. She sits and watches TV all day. Assisted Living has a cafeteria and someone pushes her to her 3 meals and takes her back to the room.




Q29. My parents have been worried about protecting their assets if they need to go to a nursing home or need long term care. She is 71 and he is 73. To ease their anxiety, they have recently bought a 3 year long-term insurance policy. They also have Medicare and supplemental health insurance coverage. They have heard that you must transfer assets at least 3 years before going into a nursing home. What assets are exempt from this 3 year law. If they decide to transfer funds to myself and my brother, how much per year or month can they give us without us having to pay taxes on this money? Please add any other advice about protecting assets for the elderly. It is sad to know that people who have lived their life responsibly, worked hard and saved their money may have to give all their assets to the nursing home before they can benefit from Medicare coverage. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.


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Irish Martin-Danhoff
FirstLight Home Care
1019 39th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80634
970-515-5025

Expertise:
Home Care Services : Non-Medical

Email Irish Martin-Danhoff