Where do I start in planning care for my parents, who have dementia?

1 answer | Last updated: Mar 28, 2016
Jaki420 asked...

My mother-in-law has dementia and other health issues. She is 82 years old and will no longer get out of bed. My father-in-law, who is 83, is starting to have dementia and can no longer lift her to help her with even the most basic things. I have no idea how to help them. They have Humana HMO and are low-income. I do not know how or where to start to help them. any advice for home health care of assisted living would be appreciated.

Expert Answers

Dan Tobin, M.D. is the CEO of Care Support of America, a national service providing telephonic and local nurse counsel to adult children caring for aging parents. Dr. Tobin is the author of books and articles focused on the practical and positive aspects of family caregiving.

You are already doing the first thing you need to do to help them. You are showing interest in their welfare; surely they are isolated enough from the world already but you are minimizing that isolation. Please do not underestimate how much your contact probably means to them. The next step is to problem solve around your mother-in-law's immobility. She can benefit by having a home care nurse to assess the situation from checking for skin breakdown to her outlook on life. If you inform her doctor about the immobility he has a number of options to choose from, one of them is to order home care. Being bed-bound usually fits the criteria for "skilled care" in the home. Skilled care is typically covered by payors and their low-income status is unlikely to be a barrier to obtaining a home assessment visit. Keep up the good work.

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