Keeping Your Aging Parents at Home

22.Feb.2011by Karen in Housing· 0 comments

Each of you are children who care about your parents health and well-being. All of us know very well that staying in their own homes is the preference of most of our parents. For some parents, living on their own will not be possible due to the needs they face. For others this will be possible although at some point may require in home assistance.

You do not have to be the one that provides all of that assistance. It may even add to your parents sense of independence to have someone else involved in helping them. There are many private agencies that provide these kinds of services for a fee. These are services that Medicare does not pay for. In addition to out-of-pocket payment, these expenses can be covered by Long Term Care Insurance, Veterans Pension with Aid & Attendance for Veteran and Spouse and other means. The county may also provide these services to those who meet certain financial requirements.

Homewatch CareGivers

We invited Belinda Gordon to share with us about the services of her agency Homewatch CareGivers. We are grateful for her time with us last evening sharing tips for Keeping Your Aging Parents at Home. This agency provides a variety of services to assist in the home with personal care and everyday activities. These include: Elderly Transportation Services, Comprehensive Personal Care, and Quality of Life Care. This is a locally owned franchise of this national company.

Technology Devices

She began by discussing two remote technology devices.

  1. CareLink MobileHelp differs from previous medical alert systems in that it works not only inside the home but goes anywhere the person goes. There is a lot of detail information on how the unit works and even suggestions for discussing it with Dad and Mom at this link.
  2. SimpleMed is not just a pill organizer but also assists in taking the right dosage of the right medication at the right time as well as a tracking system confirming its been done. Check out the detailed visual demonstration.

You can read more about these and other devises in the Guide to Remote Care Technology from Homewatch CareGivers. If you are interested in these devices, contact Belinda by e-mailing or calling 610-8832-2477.

Choosing an Agency

Choosing an agency is not easy and does require research. You do need to determine which types of services you need. The agencies themselves usually provide assessment but typically for a fee. When a parent is coming home following a hospital or rehab stay, the discharge planner or social worker or even the physician can help in identifying the needs and can often recommend a service.

It is recommended that you contact your state or local health, aging, and social services group for their list of licensed agencies. The Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services lists almost 40 different health care agencies in the Lehigh County offering services to help keep parents in the home.

NAHC is the nation’s largest trade association representing the interests and concerns of home care agencies, hospices, home care aide organizations, and medical equipment suppliers. They provide some helpful consumer information on choosing an agency. On this page you will find in the right hand column the various topics covered in their online brochure titled: FAQs about How to Choose a Home Care Provider. It includes: What is Home Care?, Who Provides Home Care?, What if A Problems Develops?, What types of services do providers deliver?, Who Pays for Home Care Services?, How do I find Home Care Services?.

Use their NAHC Locator to find home care and hospice agencies in your area. It lists over 60 agencies in a 25 mile radius of my zip code.

The Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services

This Aging and Adult Services also offers Assessment and Care Management.

A full assessment is completed on each older adult.  The assessment includes noting health conditions, cognitive ability, economic status, support systems currently in place, housing status, and mobility and transportation needs.  This information helps determine eligibility for benefits and available programs and services to keep the individual in the community.

These and many other services are offered and based on financial income guidelines. Contact the Lehigh County Information and Referral Unit at 610-782-3200 if you think that your parent might qualify. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

In addition, the Lehigh County Aging and Adult Services offers APPRISE.

The Apprise Program is comprised of health insurance counselors that help you understand your health insurance options. This is a federally funded program designed to answer questions older adults have about Medicare, Medigap, Medicaid, long-term care insurance and preventive care.

Contact the Apprise Coordinator at (610) 782-3193.

Veteran’s Pension with Aid & Attendance for Veteran and Spouse

Belinda mentioned the Veteran’s Pension with Aid & Attendance for Veteran and Spouse as did Tom Dye, Director of Lehigh County Veterans Affairs (see our Veteran Benefits post about his visit). Belinda mentioned Pennsylvania Veterans, a financial planner who their agency uses. The site includes information and a video you’ll enjoy. The Lehigh County web site includes a list of the documents needed for Veteran’s Pensions with Aid and Attendance for veteran and spouse.

PA Veteran’s home are also an option but proceed with caution according to this article in Business Week.

May the Lord continue to give you wisdom as you choose to be obedient Him in loving and caring for your aging parents:

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

“Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.” Psalm 71. 9

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3.18


Previous post:

Next post: