Finding In-Home Elderly Assistance

My widowed aunt was living alone and as she was getting older we began to see some telltale signs that she might need some type of senior assistance.   Her home wasn't as clean as it once was, she seemed to be eating less and less, and she was becoming a bit unsteady on her feet.

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After taking her to the doctors to make sure she was all right, we began searching for affordable resources. We learned that there are programs we could look into, and according to her income, she might get some help from Medicare.

Her family purchased an emergency service plan that provided a device that allowed her to call for help in case of a fall.   Who hasn't seen the commercial with the woman falling and crying "I've fallen and I can't get up."  We've all felt her dread and hoped that no one we knew would ever be in the same position.

As corny as the commercial might seem, the gizmo has been helping many to remain independent at home longer than they may have without it.  Living closest to my Aunt, we were first on the in-home care company's notification list and were happy to help her get back up after a fall or get her to the hospital when necessary.

After following the Medicare Guidelines, we began investigating the various senior care programs and found our own state's agency via The National Association of State Units on Aging.  We discovered a program called Passport that provides assistance in the home and help seniors remain independent as long as possible.

Some of the services available include:

  • personal care
  • home delivered meals
  • adult day care
  • homemaker
  • medical equipment and supplies
  • social work counseling
  • nutritional counseling
  • independent living assistance
  • medical and non-medical transportation and community transition

There were other programs we learned of and it was comforting to know that there was a great deal of support we could turn to if needed within our community.

During one of my aunt's later falls, she broke her ankle and after a brief hospital stay, we learned she would need physical therapy.  The family was delighted to learn that Medicare paid for the therapist to come to her and they wouldn't have to worry how they were going to get her there.   This type of elder care service was a great help for her immediate needs and the therapist helped her to learn how to maneuver safely in her own surroundings.  He also made some safety suggestions for improvements around her home.

What type of in-home elderly assistance have you needed and found?  Do you have any tips you would like to share?

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--Mary Nix

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