|Written by Cindy K|
Come to terms with the fact that someone is unable to live on their own. You are not the only one that has to come to terms with this decision. It is not easy to just pack up 50 years of your life and move in with one of your children or in laws. Keep that in mind as you go through this process.
Make sure everyone in the home has some type of idea what to expect from having to care for an elderly family member. Then talk to find out if the person needing assistance wants to come live with you or if they prefer a nursing home.
Email your local representative to find out who you can contact to find out what programs are available in your area. There are many programs that are offered that the representatives are not quick to tell everyone about. In Pennsylvania I contacted Voices for Independence and found out about a program that paid a family member $10.00 an hour for caring for their loved one. They allow a certain amount of hours a week. I can tell you that it is enough for most middle class families to quit their jobs and start taking care of their own parents.
Nursing homes are full of neglect. I have seen the home push a tray of food in front of a residence that was dehydrated and could not move.
I have found questionable combinations of medications. Over dosages leaving the patient unable to move out of their chair. I am not saying every home is full of neglect. However it depends on the people that work their. They are not all cut out for it.
Power of attorney vs. care giver. You may want to sign your spouse or another family member as the power of attorney. Many of the programs will not allow you to participate unless you are just listed as a care giver. If you are listed as POA, you can always go to a notary to get it changed.
Make phone contact and follow up at least once a week to assure everything has been received. I experienced many issues cutting through the red tape. You can get your Governor involved, they will help. Stay on top of it, because in this type of situation you never know how much time you have to get your family member settled into your home.
Never take NO for an answer. If they say the program is booked, make sure they put you on the waiting list and call them weekly. Squeak, Squeak, Squeak little wheel and get results.
These programs will even pay for wheel chair ramps and other things you need to make your house compatible for wheel chairs or walkers.