How to submit a comment or a story on the Community Forum.

Community Forum Guidelines

Helpful Homecare Info
May 21, 2017

Being Near to Mom's Caregiving Needs: I had no choice.


Edited: May 22, 2017

Through no choice of my own, I became the primary caregiver of my elderly, chronically ill mother following the 2013 death of my father in a neighboring state. Within weeks, I realized that my mother hadn’t been apart from my father for 60+ years; clearly, major changes had to be made. For many reasons, including geographic, greater access to better health care and more appropriate, same-campus facilities for the elderly, I moved her to a suburb of the metropolitan city that I had called home for 35 years.

Fortunately, assisted living facilities offering a continuum of care were available in my state. This solved the overwhelming problem of having to move from facility to facility, depending on her health, and provided much needed stability. Initially, I selected the least dependent service arrangement for my mom, thinking I had learned my independence from her. To the contrary, it meant that I became responsible for everything from medication disbursement to grocery shopping. That routine quickly gave way to exhaustion so I adjusted accordingly with the service provider. The commute to and from the facility also was another hardship, so my husband and I sold our home in the city where we had lived for 20 years and bought a house to be closer to her facility. Meanwhile, I continued to manage my consultancy practice, with my mom eventually becoming my largest pro bono client.

The team approach of caregivers was helpful. Researching what your loved one may be eligible for is worth the time. From the Veteran’s Administration to Medicare, this may be the last generation who will benefit from federal assistance. Medical professionals, case workers and many others are typically more than willing to help.

Three Lessons:

  • Establish boundaries early on for yourself and your loved ones. Stick to it.

  • Delegate anything and everything you can to other professionals, including home care services, transportation, healthcare aides, financial experts and legal counselors.

  • Research eligibility requirements for various healthcare assistance from government entities of all levels.


  • Take care of yourself first. If you don’t, you’re not able to care for someone else.

  • Rely on your own support network, longtime group of friends or whomever can be there for you to listen and empathize.

  • Learn from others’ experience. For example, I had never used online subscription services to order regular products delivered to loved one until someone else told me about it.

  • This may be the one and last time to get to know your loved one, bring closure to a situation, unload a burden, or forgive a past deed. Take advantage of that if needed.


Nashville, TN

New Posts
  • Helpful Homecare Info
    Dec 5, 2017

    by Carolyn Rosenblatt Whether you're two hours away or across the country from aging parents, you may be helping in all ways that are considered caregiving. It's not just the hands-on work that makes a caregiver. It's paying attention, paying bills, watching over finances, offering transportation or even taking frail elders in your life on vacation with you. Rosalyn Carter once said “There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.”  I think she was right about that. These days, with aging parents of Boomers living into their 90s and beyond, most Boomers who still have parents are doing some kind of caregiving. And with our generation of 73 million Boomers also aging (they call us "the youngest old") some of us are starting to need caregiving too. Families are often scattered far from their aging loved ones. Here at, we have advised clients who have a parent in the U.S. and the adult child client lives in another country. We frequently speak with adult children who have parents in one state, siblings in another state and the responsible person in yet a different state from the others. This can create communication issues, different opinions about what aging parents need and want, and in the end, frustration and fights. Here are four strategies that can help. Rather than go willy-nilly into caregiving as often happens, it pays to have a plan. Essential elements can be these: Be sure that aging parents have gotten their legal paperwork together and updated. Appointed people on documents can change, move or pass away, leaving a problem if a parent becomes disabled or unable to speak for himself. They need a will, trust, durable power of attorney for finances and advanced health care directive, also called a living will or medical power of attorney. The latter two can be gotten at no cost online in their state. Preparation of basic legal documents is not particularly pricey, as most are a kind of form the lawyer helps flesh out. If their affairs are complex, they can afford a lawyer so urge them to see one. Call a family meeting by phone, video conference or in person and consider the "what ifs" together. What would happen if a parent had a sudden health crisis, such as a fall, a stroke or a heart attack? It's not as if those unpleasant subjects are unlikely or impossible. They happen to millions of people every day. What would you/ your family members do? Who would be in charge? Who is the point person for others? It's best to figure this all out as best you can when you are not in the midst of a crisis. Your aging parents' wishes need to be made clear to all who would be in the caregiving role. They need to participate in a family meeting and be invited to say what they would want in the event of disability of any kind. You need to ask them questions that go beyond the nearly universal statement that "I'd like to stay at home as long as possible". That's only a first step. What else would they want? Cost of care needs to be discussed too. Yes, we all think we won't need it, but at least a third of us will need long term care in some form eventually. The longer we live, the higher the likelihood of needing long term care. Since Medicare does not cover it at all, families need to figure out what assets parents have to pay for it. If they are low income, the other family needs to be straightforward about who could contribute financially or whether aging parents could move in with available family. Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Elder Law Attorney, Healthy aging and protecting our elders, , "The Family Guide To Aging Parents, written by a nurse-attorney will help you with practical answers to your aging loved ones' legal, healthcare and financial issues." Click HERE to buy your copy
  • Helpful Homecare Info
    Aug 18, 2017

    My dad started dialyses treatments at around 80 years of age. They lasted for several years before he ultimately passed away. Dialysis is a life draining experience for the elderly. At that time I lived over an hour from my parent’s home. My cousin (who lived with my family during her childhood and was more like my sister) lived ten minutes away. She was an RN and a compassionate caregiver. She visited my dad and mom at least twice a week to manage their health issues. My mom remained in her home for about a year after my dad passed away. She was becoming very needy and relied on my cousin for health related issues. She decided to sell her house and move into an elderly apartment complex providing her meals daily. This was a very good accommodation until my mom’s mobility began to fail. She moved into an assisted living facility for several years and gradually increased her level of care over time. She passed away at 94. Throughout all of those years my cousin was there to provide extraordinary care and affection. Countless trips to emergency rooms at all times of the day and night. While I regularly visited my parents she was the first responder. I don’t know what I would have done without her. I thank her to this day. I was very fortunate to have my cousin willing and able to care for my parents. God bless her and all caregivers that give unselfishly of themselves to care for others. And God bless the staff at her assisted living facility who provided excellent care until her passing. John Massachusetts
  • Helpful Homecare Info
    Jun 8, 2017

    Ira W Yellen is founder and managing director of the Aging In Place Essential Toolkit™. His lifetime related to family caregiving responsibilities has provided him a wealth of information and ideas that has led to the creation of this product. This is his story. We will die and will also be a caregiver in our lifetime, but healthcare our system is a confusing maze for many family caregivers that leaves the responsibility in making life and death decisions a stressful experience. My experience with the healthcare started when I was 15 years old. That is when my father died at 42 years old, and most recently when my mom died at 92 years old in Florida from a fall from a femur leg bone that gave way. Over a period of 10 weeks, my sister (lived nearby) and I (lived in Connecticut) had to deal with: 2 hospitals, 2 nursing and rehab facilities, Hospice care, 7 doctors, 5 social workers, 4 case managers, 2 insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid, State of Florida, and over 50 support staff. the end of her life, the deteriorating condition was too much for her, given that she had to overcome an C-Diff infection and poor rehab decisions and actions that shorten her life. She wanted to die peacefully at home, and at least we were able to do so, but that was a terrible for her and our family to the end. At same time, I was in the middle of building The Aging In Place Essential Toolkit, an online service to help families who are looking for caregiving support. Recently, I was co-chairing a patient care initiative at a large urban hospital. Hospitals to home care agencies have been clients for over 30 years. It did not matter. I thought I knew the health and home industry. It was a frustrating experience, is putting it mildly. No family should have to go through a system that is not family-centric based. These very stressful moments create the rawest of human emotions. It is like a different kind of battle zone that millions of families face everyday. It does not matter the wealth, connections, and knowledge one may have managing a loved-one's constant daily living attention and decisions. For the most part, the clinical care our medical professionals provide us is appreciated, and at times life saving, but once it is needed, millions of families become part of an unpredictable and incomprehensible system of care, especially post acute care at home or with an unexpected health situation. Once a loved one leaves a hospital or a rehab facility is when important decisions have to be made about their assisted daily living needs. Many times, this is where the health care system fails our families. My caregiving experience along with interviewing hundreds of family caregivers and their stories is why I have created this online toolkit. Major issues include: Where does a family look to for help? Are they equipped to provide sustained daily caregiving? And what does that take? These questions and many more have to be dealt with in caring for a loved one.Contact us with your caregiving situation or by visiting one of sections that corresponds to your experience. Thank you, Ira

Sign up for the Caregiver E-Newsletter »

The Aging in Place Essential Toolkit™  addresses the challenges that individuals and families face in caring for a loved one or themselves. It is a one-stop resource of practical advice, services, and support that helps people plan for how they will live a good life as they or a loved one age.

Tips for taking care of yourself or a loved one.




  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle
  • LinkedIn - Black Circle
  • Pinterest - Black Circle

Call 774-377-5818

© 2019 iNeedHomecareNow, LLC All Rights Reserved
Aging in Place Essential Toolkit is a registered trademark.