How can I get help for my dad while he's still at home?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 30, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My Dad has lived home with us for 4 years after mom died, he is 83 years and has diabetics,takes Meds for depression, he is very stubborn with eating the right foods at the right time. I started noticing hes memory has gotten a little shaky. Hes very independent and drives still, but after an accident were he got lost after leaving a store and went the wrong way at night, we were so worried and 8 hours later we received a call from the police, luckily he only had a few scratches but the car was almost a total.He looked OK for a few months, but last week he asked me questions about things that he totally new about and he was very confused, and then we need to renew hes insurance and he had totally forgotten the accident.I'm very worried to go out during the day, he dosent eat, he takes the car.He gets about 1,200.00 a month from retirement and medicaid,but has some bills to pay too.Is there a way to get help for him at home? can you help please!!!Thanks

Expert Answers

Merrily Orsini, MSSW, was a pioneer in the business of providing geriatric care managed in-home care. She currently serves on the board of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice and is Chair of the Private Duty Homecare Association. She holds a master's degree in social work and is a nationally known writer and speaker on aging, elder issues, and in-home care.

Your story is all too familiar, and the problem is that there needs to be some planning for in-home care, and some professional assistance in so doing.

  1. have your father checked out by a geriatric specialist to see if his periods of confusion are diabetes related, based on an imbalance,(food or medicine) or if he has some dementia. If it is a diabetic imbalance he needs to be compliant so he is safe to drive. If it is a dementia, he is not safe to drive. Harming himself or others falls into YOUR responsibility if you know he is unsafe and you do not take precautions to stop him from getting on the road. A geriatric physician can help you take the keys away. It will make him mad, but he is currently in danger of harming himself and others if he is getting behind that wheel.

  2. Based on his income, unless you can supplement, or unless he is a veteran that served during war time, the only help is either from a Medicaid program or some other charitable funding that provides home care. Check with your area agency on aging, county aging services, your church (if applicable) or pay a geriatric care manager to assess and make recommendations.

search for "area agencies on aging" and "geriatric care managers" to find help or is a direct link for finding the area agencies on aging and is a direct link to find a geriatric care manager.

Community Answers

Dlalylu answered...

He has medicare not medicaid and we are in Florida. Thanks again.