Family caregivers have access to a lot of information online–the problem is, it’s not always easy to find.  Here are some of the resources I’ve found especially helpful:

 

  • Medicare and Medicaid-Programs Explained For Each State
    • Scroll down the list of states on this page for links that explain the options for these programs that are available in the state where your parents live.
  • Find your local Area Agency on Aging
    • As part of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA), the federal Department of Health and Human Services distributes funds to individual state Area Agencies on Aging (AAA).  Follow this link, enter your zipcode, and you will be directed to the AAA in your community where you can learn about the services available to individuals over the age of 60.
  • Nursing Home Ratings and Inspection Reports
    • Finding the best long-term care solution for your parent can be difficult.  Each state conducts periodic investigations for care facilities and measures their compliance with state and federal regulations.  CarePathways.com provides a search feature to find these reports for facilities you may be considering.  They also have a service that assists in interpreting the reports if you desire assistance.
  • State Ombudsman for Long-Term Care
    • The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center provides contact information for state agencies responsible for assisting consumers who have concerns about the level of care they or a loved one are receiving in a care facility.  The ombuds can assist patients and family members with issues that cannot be resolved with the facility management.
  • Long-Term Care Costs in the United States
    • Genworth has compiled a state-by-state analysis of annual long-term care costs.  Simply click on a state to find the average cost of care there, as well as for selected local areas within that state.
  • Life Story Questionnaire
    • Caregiving for elderly parents offers opportunities to spend a lot of time with them, and sometimes it can be hard to know how to fill that time, at least when you’re not “doing” for them. This questionnaire provides some questions you can ask about their lives and is particularly useful for engaging those with dementia in conversations they are more able to participate in. It could also be used to create a family history, and if the time comes that they require facility care, is a way for the staff to get to know them as people, not just patients.
  • Veteran’s Administration
    • Is your parent a veteran?  This link to the Make the Connection resource page for the VA can connect you with services as well as a crisis line for  urgent assistance.  Whether you need to locate a VA hospital or find information about services available for veterans, you should be able to find what you need here.
  • National Elder Law Foundation
    • NELF certifies attorneys to practice specifically in elder law needs.  Some of the services these attorneys provide include planning ahead for Medicaid to preserve assets when possible, creating legal documents such as powers of attorney and advanced directives, assisting with determining whether an elder is legally competent to make decisions, and other services. 

      To find a CELA-qualified attorney in your area, select your location and a list will come up.

  • 10 Suggestions On How to Discuss Driving With Your Parents
    • Starting the “driving” conversation with aging parents is not for the faint of heart.  If the need for this conversation is becoming apparent, here are some helpful tips on talking to your parents about continuing to drive.