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

mac assisted living 2Dear Crystal:

We visited my mother in Columbus, Ohio, recently. For numerous reasons, we haven’t seen her since last Christmas.

While she’s been telling us she is doing well, I’m not so sure that is true. At a minimum, she is lonely. She might even be depressed. Some of the other concerns I have are small, but I think they add up to a more serious decline in her health.

I really think we need to get her moved to an assisted living center in the Columbus area. She just can’t go another winter being so isolated and alone.

My goal is to sit down and talk with her when it is just the two of us. But I’d like to have a chance to look around her house and spend time with her first so I have some examples to share with her of why I’m concerned.

What do you consider the warning signs that indicate it is time for a senior to make a move like this one?

Sincerely,

Frances

happy family visitingDear Kara,

My mom and dad recently moved to assisted living. With family celebrations and holidays coming up, I want my grandchildren—their great-grandchildren—to spend time with them. However, like all kids, they can sometimes be noisy and rambunctious.

I don’t want the children upsetting other people there. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Mary
Hilliard, Ohio

mac life in an assisted living communityDear Jennifer,

We are getting ready to move my mother into an assisted living community, and she’s very apprehensive. She doesn’t like change anyway, and even though we toured the community, she’s not sure what life will be like once she moves in. Can you give us an idea?

Sincerely,

Freda

hepatitis cThe aging of Baby Boomers is bringing great changes to this nation. Along with rising worries about safety nets and health care comes a concern about Hepatitis C. Boomers are 5 times more likely to have Hepatitis C than the rest of the U.S. population. 1 out of every 30 Boomers has Hepatitis C.

pill organizerMedication management is a critical service offered in most assisted living communities. After all, 77.5% of residents in assisted living need help with medications, according to one recent study. That same study noted that, on average, residents took 13 medications, 3 of them on a daily basis.

mac assisted living 1What is assisted living?

What kind of care will my family member receive in assisted living?

Is assisted living the best option for my senior loved one?

These are three of the most commonly asked questions by people who are searching for the best living environments for loved ones.

No wonder most people don’t understand assisted living: It’s a relatively new development.

woman and doctor talkingDear John:

My parents have both had fairly serious health problems the last few months. Until then both of them were active and independent. To be honest, we never really discussed how we would handle legal decisions and what their wishes for the future might be.

My brother and I thought, since our parents were in such good health, there wasn’t really a need to worry about having these tough discussions with them. It is quickly becoming apparent, however, that the two of us need to learn more about what we can legally do to help our parents.

Can you explain to us what a Power of Attorney is? How is it different from a durable Power of Attorney? And what are the decisions we can and can’t make with either?

Sincerely,

Vickie