mac assisted living coupleDear Sarah,

My mom and dad have been together for more than 40 years. Last year, Mom had a stroke, and now, she has difficulty walking, bathing, dressing and even eating.

Dad’s done a terrific job of taking care of her, but we can tell it’s becoming more and more difficult for him. He’s already told me he’s concerned he’ll fall while he’s trying to help her.

We’ve tried everything to help them stay in their homes. Right now, we have home health care aides coming in four hours a day (their minimum), and Mom doesn’t need that much. We’ve also contracted for someone to mow the lawn, shovel the snow, and do odd jobs. The costs are mounting, and I’m not sure Mom and Dad are any safer or happier.

They’ve never been separated, and we’re concerned about the effect on Dad if Mom went to a nursing home.

Can you help us?

Sincerely,

Joseph

man relaxing on a benchDear Sarah,

My father has always been an outdoorsman—hunting, fishing, gardening. However, since our mother passed on, he’s become more and more frail. Recently, when my sister stopped to drop off some food, she found him trying to hoe the garden. When she asked why he was limping, he told her he’d fallen earlier that day.

This isn’t the first time he’s fallen and hurt himself. We’ve decided Dad needs a safer place to stay, but we don’t want him stuck inside a nursing home away from nature. Are there other options?

Sincerely,

Theresa
Hilliard, Ohio

macintosh medicare skilled nursing and rehab

Dear Polly:

My husband will be facing a fairly complex surgery later this month. His surgeon wants us to tour skilled nursing and rehab centers in central Ohio before the surgery.

We are a bit confused about his Medicare benefit. A relative told us Medicare only pays for 20 days in a rehab center, but my husband’s doctor told us he will likely need to stay for several months.

Will we have to pay the entire expense for all of the days he is there beyond day 20? I’m just not sure we can afford that!

Grace

senior man outsideDear Janice,

After trying for years to help my dad stay at home, my wife and I have determined he’s not safe in his home. We’re moving him to memory care at West Park in Columbus.

However, he doesn’t want to move from his home. How can we make the move easier on him?

How can we make him more agreeable to the move? Should we move all his things and just take him there?

Signed,

Gary

seniors enjoy assisted livingMost of us want to stay in our homes for the rest of our lives. After all, we raised our children there. We have great memories in our homes. We know the neighborhood. And then there’s the issue of going through all our stuff if we want to move...not a pleasant prospect.

But is staying at home good for us? New research indicates it may not be.

nurse helping older woman walkWhen a central Ohio senior you love is hospitalized for an illness or injury or planning for an upcoming surgery, understanding what Medicare will cover for rehab to help with their recovery is important. Older adults and adult children may not have had any experience using their Medicare benefit beyond physician appointments and outpatient testing until now. This quick overview should help give you a basic understanding of the benefit.

T Woods 2015Dear Tracy:

It looks like my grandfather will soon need a nursing home. Our family has tried to help my grandmother keep him safe at home for as long as we can, but it’s becoming too dangerous for her to manage. He falls a lot and she is simply not able to help him get back on his feet.

We’ve been researching the costs of nursing homes in central Ohio, and it’s just not feasible for them financially. They live on a very fixed income. Their only real assets are their house and an older car my grandmother still drives. We’ve talked about applying for Medicaid to pay for Grandpa’s care, but we are worried they will take the house and leave my Grandma without a home.

What are the rules about Medicaid, nursing homes, income and assets in Ohio?

Danielle

tbailey JNW5259Dear Tacy:

My mother moved back to the Columbus area this summer after having spent the past 9 years living in Florida. Now she is close to my wife and me so we can help her out when she needs it.

Since it’s been so long since she’s had to battle ice and snow, we are trying to plan ahead and determine what we can do to keep her safe. She is a walker and plans to continue walking as much as the weather will permit this winter.

Do you have any tips we can use to help prevent her from falling?

Darren

Expert CassieHauberDear Cassie:

My father will be having hip replacement surgery later this month. I’m trying to figure out how much a nursing and rehab center will cost and how much of it his Medicare will pay for? He lives in Central Ohio just outside Columbus.

Can you help? It all seems so confusing!

Renee