How can we pay for a caregiver to relieve Mom?

5 answers | Last updated: Oct 21, 2016
Whmsally asked...

My dad is in a skilled nursing facility. He is paralyzed from the waist down. He needs constant care with his tracheotomy tube. My mom stays out there all day and has for the last two years. Is there assistance to hire someone to take her place a few days a week? They are both 76 yrs old.


Expert Answers

Mary Koffend is the president of Accountable Aging Care Management (AACM), an eldercare consulting and care management firm that works with elder clients and their families to find the best care providers and services to meet their needs.

Hiring a caregiver to help at the skilled nursing facility with your dad is certainly an option. "¢ Begin discussing the situation with the social worker at the facility and understanding any issues or constraints that the facility has. Identify the issues that the facility may see. Ordinarily your mom should not have to go to the facility to care for your dad. The facility should be able to provide all of the medical care.
"¢ If you wish to pursue the caregiver option the social worker may be able to recommend some agencies that they have worked with previously and have recommendations of an excellent caregiver to work with your dad. The costs of these services vary so ask about options and learn how to maximize your funds. If there are special discounts the social worker would know how to access them. "¢ Also discuss with the staff the best time to have someone assist your dad other than your mom. For example, when does your dad have a bath and other services for which the facility is actively engaged with your dad? "¢ After you have done all your homework, discuss the options with your mom. This may be where you experience the greatest impediments. As tired as your mom is, she may feel that it is her duty to be with your dad. She may have concerns about the quality of care, previous bad experiences, etc. You will need to listen to her concerns and work with these. There are many articles on this website about the issues that caregivers face and statistics about how they ignore their own issues to care for their family member. Be well prepared to have this conversation. Caring for your dad may have become your mom's purpose in life and she may not easily be able to give up on this. Help her to see your concern about her well-being.

Your goal of getting help to relieve your mom is an effort worth pursuing.


Community Answers

Handbaglady answered...

I personally understand your frustration with the situation. I was a long term caregiver for my late mother in my home for a number of years. She received exquisite care, wonderful meals tailored to her waning appetite, love and affection all administered to her with her dignity intact.

last summer she had a stroke that required her admission in what we were led to believe was a superior nursing facility. The second night she was in the facility I received a phone call at 2 am informing me that mom was on her way to the emergency room of the local hospital. They told me she had fallen on her way to the bathroom, I was astounded! She had been unable to walk unaided for the last two years. I was down there at 8am when the only R.N. for the facility came on schedule. I informed her I wanted to view the incident report in her presence. First of all there was NO incident report on file and what I found was appalling. My very modest 88 year old mother (who, by the way had no dementia or alzheimers) had been assigned a young male aide) who had left mom unsupervised on the toilet for over 30 minutes in the middle of the night. She had just had a stroke two days earlier and was scheduled to enter an excellent rehab facility the morning of her accident. This accident resulted in a concussion, broken arm and wrist and two black eyes and numerous bruising. Her primary care physician transferred her to the Rehab unit later that day and I never left her side until she was in the bed in her new room.

I have spoken to several people who have had similar experiences of neglect outright abuse while in the care of a skilled nursing facility. Months later when I was making her final arrangements at a funeral chapel, the funeral director offering her condolences told me she had recently just lost her father-in-law after two years in such a facility. They had employed a private nursing aide for her FIL after witnessing numerous incidents of neglect and borderline abuse. Perhaps that is why your mom feels the need to be your dad's constant companion. Why don't you ask her if her presence is there as asn advocate rather than a wife?


Handbaglady answered...

I personally understand your frustration with the situation. I was a long term caregiver for my late mother in my home for a number of years. She received exquisite care, wonderful meals tailored to her waning appetite, love and affection all administered to her with her dignity intact.

last summer she had a stroke that required her admission in what we were led to believe was a superior nursing facility. The second night she was in the facility I received a phone call at 2 am informing me that mom was on her way to the emergency room of the local hospital. They told me she had fallen on her way to the bathroom, I was astounded! She had been unable to walk unaided for the last two years. I was down there at 8am when the only R.N. for the facility came on schedule. I informed her I wanted to view the incident report in her presence. First of all there was NO incident report on file and what I found was appalling. My very modest 88 year old mother (who, by the way had no dementia or alzheimers) had been assigned a young male aide) who had left mom unsupervised on the toilet for over 30 minutes in the middle of the night. She had just had a stroke two days earlier and was scheduled to enter an excellent rehab facility the morning of her accident. This accident resulted in a concussion, broken arm and wrist and two black eyes and numerous bruising. Her primary care physician transferred her to the Rehab unit later that day and I never left her side until she was in the bed in her new room.

I have spoken to several people who have had similar experiences of neglect outright abuse while in the care of a skilled nursing facility. Months later when I was making her final arrangements at a funeral chapel, the funeral director offering her condolences told me she had recently just lost her father-in-law after two years in such a facility. They had employed a private nursing aide for her FIL after witnessing numerous incidents of neglect and borderline abuse. Perhaps that is why your mom feels the need to be your dad's constant companion. Why don't you ask her if her presence is there as an advocate rather than a wife?


Whmsally answered...

I think momma is there for both reasons. She does not trust them.


A fellow caregiver answered...

handbaglady...I too was/am caregiver for my 81 year old mother. I brought her home from the'resort' after I found missed dosages of medications, on record as well as being there first hand when she was overlooked/forgotten for evening meals, five times. Bathing was a nightmare for her, should be a pleasure but not this place...I was appalled at the lack of concern or well being for her, and she was/is cognizant...heaven help the poor souls that have no ability to fend for themselves...they are at the mercy of the 'employees'...and I use that term loosely. God help those poor people. I may be there some day...but I certainly hope no one, ever has to depend on that kind of place, unless no other options are available. I am sure there are good homes, but I question the rest. You should also. Just an FYI