Perform Complete Needs Assessment
Perform Safety Evaluation in the Home
Develop Individualized Action Plan
Discuss Placement Options
Review Benefits Eligibility for Seniors
Assist with hiring/ educating Caregivers
Review Necessary Legal Documents
Support with End of Life Issues/ Hospice
"I could NEVER have figured all of this out on my own. Even with all the info and a plan, it is overwhelming, but without all of your experience and resources, it would be completely impossible. It is going to take me a while, but at least I feel better moving forward now.
"Margaret has been such a big help in getting us through this ever-changing time with our mother. First, when we had to move Mom back to the Chicago area from Arizona, Margaret helped us figure out what to look for and what to ask about when researching and touring assisted living and memory care facilities. When issues arose during and after the move, Margaret was able to assist us in addressing those. Then, when Mom had to be hospitalized following a fall, we again called on Margaret to help us navigate through that situation and to find a skilled nursing/rehab facility. I know I can rely on Margaret's knowledge and expertise, as well as her comforting words, to ensure that we are doing the best that we can for our mother."
How do I keep track of my older parent(s) when I live out of town?
Having a local healthcare professional who can monitor your parent's well-being by making regular visits is a huge relief for adult children who live out of town. I will keep track of their medications, assess their safety issues, monitor their caregivers, and give feedback to you after my visits.
If my parent wishes to stay home, what are my options?
The trend now is to "age in place," and if this is your parent's goal, I will make recommendations for modifying their residence to make it as safe as possible to remain in the home. This may also mean hiring a caregiver, which I can assist with as well. To prevent social isolation, I can connect your parent with local groups and activities, and arrange transportation for them to enjoy social events.
What if I need to find placement for my mother/ father?
Sometimes, an older loved one's needs exceed even what an in-home caregiver can provide. If your parent requires 24 hour nursing care, I can make suggestions based on my experience. If you prefer to make visits to residential/ skilled care facilities, I can accompany you and provide a list of questions/ guidelines to use in evaluating placement for your parent. Once your parent is relocated, I will make regular visits to assure their needs are met and they are getting the care they need. Again, I will communicate with you after every visit.
How can I stay updated on doctors' visits?
My services can include, if you wish, transporting your parent to doctor visits, and communicating directly with the physician/ NP/ nurse about your parent's situation. As their advocate, I can raise questions or ask for further input. I will need to be given permission to be privy to their personal health information, and I will keep this information absolutely confidential. I will inform you of any changes in the plan or recommendations made by the physician.
I need a break! How do I get some time off from fulltime caregiving?
Respite care is essential, if you hope to prevent burnout. You will need to take breaks periodically, as caring for an older parent is hard work, both physically and emotionally. There are several options for respite, from hiring a caregiver to come to the home for a few days, to a short-term stay at a nursing facility. We can review all of your options and decide what suits your needs the best.
How can I stay on top of all of mom's/dad's medications and their side effects?
I can sort your parent's medications and organize them into pill boxes every week. I will prepare an easy-to-follow chart for taking the medications. During my visits, I can make sure they are taking their medications appropriately, as well as monitor them for any negative side effects. If there is an issue with medication, I will contact their physician, and follow up with you. I can also take care of renewing prescriptions and having them delivered to the home.
How will I know when it's time for hospice?
If your parent is having pain, anxiety, or other symptoms associated with a terminal illness, having hospice support is a huge benefit. They will ensure that the goals of comfort and dignity are met through regular visits and evaluations. I will work closely with the hospice team and make sure everything possible is done to keep your parent comfortable. If you have questions about hospice or other end-of-life issues, I would be glad to discuss them with you & the family at any point.
There are so many forms and documents to complete. How will I know which ones are essential?
In my initial evaluation, I will ask about which forms you may already have: (e.g., Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, DNR/ POLST). I can provide you with explanations of these forms and refer you to an elder law attorney who specializes in this area. Elder law attorneys can also provide you with information on how to protect your parent's assets. I will also provide a document called "Five Wishes," which your loved one can use to detail what their wishes are toward the end of life. Once this document is signed & witnessed, it is a legal document.
What resources are my parents eligible for? Is there any assistance available to them?
Seniors may be eligible for additional help, depending on their situation. Whether through Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Services, or through state/ community programs, I can work on getting them all the benefits they qualify for.
If you would like any of these services, please call (224) 808-2210.