How to Manage Your Caregiving Responsibilities

Elinor Ginzler answers caregivers' questions

Comment From Sharon: My mother has given me medical power of attorney. My question is: Does this also cover situations such as deciding to move my mom closer to where I live so that I can check on her every day if she were to be in a hospital or a nursing home? What if she needed around-the-clock home care? Does medical power of attorney cover that?

Elinor Ginzler: Medical power of attorney appoints you to make medical decisions for your mother, should she become unable to make or communicate medical decisions for herself. Medical care usually refers to treatment by physicians and other medical professionals — often in the hospital setting.

If she is still able to talk reasonably now, this is the time for you to talk with her about what kind of care she wants and what living situations she would be interested in should she need help in the future. The more you talk together before a crisis, the better off you will be if there is a crisis.

Comment From Donna Jones: Does Medicare provide any monetary assistance for assisted living or memory-assisted places?

Elinor Ginzler: What a great question, Donna. It is so important to understand that Medicare does NOT cover assisted living residences of any kind. It only covers short-term stays in nursing homes after being in the hospital. Many folks don't know this.

Comment From Angela: Can I get paid for caring for a parent? I worked in CNA dementia care for five years, been retired two years.

Elinor Ginzler: It is unlikely that you can get paid, but there are a couple of possibilities. If your parent has long-term care insurance, the policy might cover paying family. For more information, check out our article, "Can I Get Paid as a Caregiver?"

Comment From Joanne: Elderly people can be very stubborn. How do you deal with a person who won't cooperate when I'm trying to do what's best?

Elinor Ginzler: Let's face it — all of us can be stubborn. And it is hard sometimes to figure out the best way to work with an aging family member. Think about if there is someone who's best suited for taking on this conversation. And as the saying goes, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. You might also find this article helpful on the "Six Ways to Work on Someone's Denial."

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