• Help for my mom, in home care

    Asked by PaulasMom on Sunday, February 24, 2013

    Help for my mom, in home care

    My mom lives in Michigan city, Ind and we had cna's come into her home a few hours a day. Last Wed.they told me that Mom needs 24/7 care. We promised Mom she will stay in her home as long as we can(money). We just started to look for help but everything so expensive. I need direction and can any agency help us. It breaks my heart that I can't provide that myself, I live 2hours away, and i have 2 sons in college that I support. Its very hard always being the strong one for my sister( she lives close, but she has her own medical issues) Thanks for reading. Paula

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • CAS1's Avatar

      Try and meet with the social worker at the hospital to learn about aid and resources available.They varry in levels of assistance so you might have to talk to a couple of them to get the information you need. Also try and meet with an ACS person at a cancer center near you to also assit you with information on help available. My Mother lived 2 hours each away also. I pulled my kids out of school 9 and 10 years old at the time and I home schooled them so i could have flexability in my schedule to go and care for my Mom. I am so glad I did this since I hold onto that time and I have no regrets because i did all I could. And my children learned that caring for family is the most important thing in life..I have a sister who lived just 5 minutes away but she wouldn't do a thing for my Mom. And her two grown up daughters have not learned what family is about and this breaks my heart also.
      Perhpas your college sons can get some flexability in their schedule and thier work to help you care for your Mom. I know its hard but this is a life lesson time..something they will carry with them. Consider other relatives too.

      This is a very important segment of your life. Take a deep breath and think carefully about the entire picture and how your Mom can be best cared for. My Mom did not die of her cancer. She had a stroke and she passed very quickly. I thank God for that and letting me be with her right to the end.

      over 3 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear PaulasMom,

      I think it's an excellent idea to meet with the hospital social worker to find out what avenues are available to your mother and consequently to you for her care. I'm guessing that she's the patient with lung cancer and not you?

      I have a different take on your situation than the one offered by CAS1 which is what you want (not mine) but a concensus so that you can see different ideas and then get your own idea (when your're feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by a situation). It's much easier, as my late mom said, to deal with someone else's problems than your own. She's right!

      Everyone has their time in life. The fact that life is short is what makes it precious. Having said that, it does not mean necessarily that everyone is able to just spend every moment of every day with an elderly ill person. I think that's unfair to everyone. I did not live with my mother and brother, but I was a caregiver about 4 days per week.

      My family and I look at things differently. School (for children), no matter what grade (or year in college) is considered their Job (my father and I were teachers and I'm also a trained [retired] Medical Librarian. It's very important that your children stay in school. (I have one friend who homeschooled her children but she was also a licensed teacher so it was a bit different). When my mother was ill and dying, my daughter (it was only myself, my brother and my daughter) was in school to become a Paramedic, and my daughter had Statewide and National exams. We (my brother and I) knew that my mother would not have wanted my daughter to sacrifice her profession and lose out by missing these tests - they're only given once a year (my mother had a Cerebral Hemorrhage and was in hospice for a month), so we encouraged my daughter to stay her course and come to the hospital when she could. My mother was comatose. But she would have felt the same had she not been (she was also a dementia patient so we factored that in as well).

      You could ask your sons if it's posssible for them to get work/study at their school or get part time jobs that wouldn't interfere with their studies - perhaps on campus (I did that in college [that way if they have an exam or paper it's usually easy to take time off and make it up]).

      You mention that your sister has a medical condition and lives nearby. I don't presume to know what condition she has, but maybe it's possible (with help from the hospital social worker) for your mother to go stay with her (maybe not) and have them share CNAs.

      Would you be able to take your mother into your home? I don't know if there's property involved, but again, that might allow you the option of selling it to care for her at your home (or yhour sister's) or keeping it. If she owns her home and it has not been put into your name and your sister's, a nursing home will likely end up with it. I know these things because of my mother.

      My brother and I and my daughter were very fortunate to be able to care for my mother in her home until she became ill (had her cerebral hemorrhage). But we thought she'd have to go to a Nursing home because she was clearly deterioriating (i.e., couldn't recognize us anymore nor listen to instructions and things were becoming dangerous for her). They'd have taken her entire estate.

      Some of these issues are ones (if she has property and finances especially) that you might wish to discuss with an ElderCare attorney. It's not crass, it's sensible.

      Wishing you the best of luck in a difficult situation. I also understand the pain you're going through right now. We're not always necessarily able to keep all the promises we make. We can only do our best!

      Warmest wishes,

      over 3 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar


      Wanted to add this bit - contact CancerCare. They have Oncological Social Workers who may be able to give you more direction about specifics as well. There is also a group called the Patient Advocate Foundation. Their URL is:

      Hope this is helpful.


      over 3 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Sorry, the URL for the Patient Advocate Foundation is www.patientadvocate.org


      over 3 years ago
    • alivenwell's Avatar

      Is there a Visiting Nurses Association in your area that may offer some help? Respite care with assisted living can take her assets away.

      over 3 years ago
    • cand2012's Avatar

      I was just talking to someone who works for the Minnesota Dept of Heath. She said that they have an assessment program where someone (medical social worker type) will come out and do a needs assessment. They then can refer you to services that are available, giving you direction depending on your ability to pay. I need to research this for CA where my parents are, but I wanted to pass on this information.

      over 3 years ago
    • PaulasMom's Avatar

      Thank you everyone, I feel blessed that I found this spot. I also found a non-profit for the aging in South Bend. That will be my 1st call tomorrow. My sister is bi-polar so I try not to add stress to her, she wants my mom to live with her. Right now my mom in the past 3 weeks her depression is so much worse. and her dementia has also gotten worse. Well we have a few dr's appts. this week. One Day At A Time Paula

      over 3 years ago
    • bbay65's Avatar

      Wish I had some magic to help you. Things may seem overwhelming, but they usually work out. There must be some local help for you. At some point many of us have to make tough choices for our parents. Your Mom appreciates what you are going through. Good luck.

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      In NYC the Visiting Nurses services provide excellent in home hospice care. I think this is a link for the one that services IN http://www.vnsi.org/ also try
      Visiting Nurses Association
      901 S Woodland Ave
      Michigan City, IN[phone number redacted]
      Tel:[phone number redacted]
      Web: http://www.vnaf.org

      over 3 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      I would just like to add to this post the facts about Home Schooling. Home schooling is growing by more than 25% a year. There are so many on line school education programs that are all for free. Bill Gates gave 2 million dollars to the Khan institute ( He holds 3 Phd.) to expand his on line education program ( for free) available. I used a software program that offered my children 330 beautiful interesting courses..It cost just $20.00. We worked just two to three hours per day and in one year both of my children wrere two grades ahead. This is common..Home schooled children are 25 points higher on SAT scores on average. There are many Ivy league college courses available ( for free) on line. Some of the best teachers in the country offer math and science education on line for free and you can stream right to your T.V. It dosn't get better than that.
      My Husband holds a Phd in economics and two masters degrees and I hold a degree in business and my sisters hold degrees from Yale ( my sister designed the crest for the 13 th college at Yale) and we all totally support home schooling. I joined a home school group where we all met each week at a gym for our kids to participate in art work and music and the law states that the public school must allow them to participate in after school sports activities

      over 3 years ago
    • LuvinSis' Avatar

      If your sister wants to take your mom in it may be therapeutic for her. Many people who are diagnosed bipolar are able to work full time and handle stress as long as they keep their own conditions /medications under control. Thus if she cares for your mom she can use respite care to have time off from caring so she's not on duty 24/7.

      From a financial perspective, your sister caring for mom is much more reasonable, perhaps only needing a nurses aide for some personal care if your sister can't do those tasks. We considered having my FIL move in with us when he became ill. I don't work due to severe spine issues so I knew I couldn't do personal care for him. He had no assets so we'd have used his SS and pension to retrofit our bathroom for walk in / roll in shower. Then those same funds could be used for hiring some home care workers. Facility care is pricy and we learned Medicare doesn't pay for nursing home care unless someone is in rehabilitation to improve to go home.

      over 3 years ago

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