helping senior with laundryDear Elonda,

My mom has been living at home by herself since my dad passed away three years ago. She was doing okay at first but now she seems to be slowing down a bit.

To help her, I go over once or twice a week to do yard work, help with laundry, go grocery shopping for her—anything she needs done. I live nearby so it’s not too difficult to make the trip, although sometimes it’s hard to find a free moment.

post hospital rehab insuranceDear Kristen,

My father was recently hospitalized for a broken hip. Dad’s doctor told us that he’ll need post-hospital rehab following his stay to help him get back on his feet.

Now we’re trying to figure out how (or even if) the rehab will be covered by his insurance, but it’s been really confusing trying to sort through what’s covered and what’s not. Can you give me any info on how insurance works for rehabilitation after a hospital stay?

medicare and medicaidWe hear it a lot—“what’s the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?”

The confusion is natural. If you don’t have any experience with either program, it’s easy to get the two mixed up.

To help clear things up, let’s go over the basics of Medicare and Medicaid, who’s eligible for each program, examples of what each covers and how the two can work together for Ohio seniors.

visiting loved one long term careMany adult children with parents in a long-term care community worry that they aren’t visiting enough.

Do you feel this way, too? It’s difficult, but don’t let the feeling of guilt overtake you. Cut yourself some slack—you have many other demands on your time: a career, friends, children of your own, community commitments and more. 

rehab caregiverWhen a patient is discharged from a hospital stay, it’s not unusual for them to need inpatient rehab services to continue their recovery. If this is the case for your parent or spouse, you may have questions about what to expect during the rehab process, as well as how family and patient communication will be handled.

rehab and physical therapyWhen someone is staying at an inpatient rehab center, it’s natural for their loved ones to want to be kept in the loop and informed of their parent’s or loved one’s progress. Family communication at a physical therapy center is a vital part of the healing process. A good rehab center will make sure it’s easy for you to remain involved.

mac post hospital rehabIf your loved one has been hospitalized for an illness, injury, or surgery, it is likely that your physician will order follow-up care in a short-term rehab center. An important part of a successful recovery is finding a post hospital rehab center with a proven track record for rehabilitating patients and returning them home.

caregiver rotten food in refrigeratorDear Tess,

My sister, who lives in the Columbus area, usually helps out Mom and Dad, because my husband and I live out of state. Although we try to visit during holidays, my sister is the one who takes care of my parents on a regular basis.

When we visited at Thanksgiving, I was appalled by my parents’ condition. Both Mom and Dad have lost weight. Mom is really unsteady on her feet, and although she insisted on trying to help prepare the meal, we had to watch to make sure she didn’t fall. Dad refused to wear his dentures, saying they hurt his mouth, and when I tried to persuade him, he smacked my hand away.

Dear Tracy:mac keeping house after applying for medicaid

It looks like my grandfather will soon need skilled nursing. Our family has tried to help my grandmother keep him safe at home for as long as we can, but it’s becoming too dangerous for her to manage. He falls a lot and she is simply not able to help him get back on his feet.

We’ve been researching the costs of nursing homes in central Ohio, and it’s just not feasible for them financially. They live on a very fixed income. Their only real assets are their house and an older car my grandmother still drives. We’ve talked about applying for Medicaid to pay for Grandpa’s care, but we are worried they will take the house and leave my Grandma without a home.

What are the rules about Medicaid, nursing homes, income and assets in Ohio?

Danielle