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We drove 8 hours to bring Mom to our home because the insurance was cutting her off and the rehab facility was releasing her even though she could not walk unassisted, get out of bed on her own and has urinary/bowel incontinence. Brother can't take care so we stepped in. Boy are we not prepared. Sister and I work but my niece is home during the day though that won't last. Got Mom a walker and a local doctor, but we are stressed sinced Mom is up 6-10 times a night every night, requires that we manage a plethera of medicines/insulin, changing adult diapers, cleaning up all sorts of messes, etc and doing this with no budget. There is nothing left to hire help and though it's been less than a month, I am feeling overwhelmed. We can't keep this up for long. There is lots of advice out there but it all seems centered around having $$$ to manage help. Nothing for where to get started when you are broke and taking care of an elderly parent who needs contstant care. Any advice would be appreciated

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AARP Expert

Hi @el302 , and thanks for your post.  I completely agree with you that many of the resources I see (and how caregiving families are often portrayed in books or on film) are based on the idea that families have lots of money to take care of each other, hire help, and so on.  In movies, they always have nice gardens and live in a home that has a dock.  That is not the reality for most people, however.  I can't shake the knowledge of the statistic that 63% of Americans do not have enough savings to pay for a $500 emergency.  We do need to be talking about what we can do when caregiving emergencies happen for this 63%.


I'm sorry you're feeling overwhelmed.  You are doing a tremendous amount of work and medical tasks that you probably don't have the professional training to do.  Like so many of us, you're winging it because that's the best we can do when there's no one else available to help.  I have a few questions that may help myself and the people on this board brainstorm some ideas with you on how we can keep your mom safe and healthy and you sane.  First, does your mom have any sort of diagnosis?  If so, what is it?  Also, to what extent have you discussed the need for her to reside in a facility where she will receive the proper level of care?  Have you thought about or researched Medicaid in your state and facilities that accept Medicaid? 


Okay, I don't want to bombard you with questions.  Take care, and keep posting.  


P.S. And, by the way, I think "Boy, Are We Not Prepared" would be a super title for a book about caregiving.  At least, in my case, it would be appropriate!

Amanda Singleton
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This is a very familiar scenerio for me on a daily basis as 
I lend assistance to families in the same situation as yourself in the Las Vegas area

There are many questions to answer in order to gain a better perspective on the assistance needed.  It seems that your mom needs 24/7 care, alot for families to take on. So, If she has medicare,pension,retirement medical coverage? There are care services included for each of those benefits. Reach out and request an evaluation with a care coordinator; contact number can be found in the back of the card.  

Community resources which provide assistance with care needs: Helping Hands of Las Vegas,  is also a helpful organization for seniors.
These are organizations / online resources I use and have services which are very helpful.   Apply for medicaid assistance for her (Home Health Care RN visit, equipment, medications) it can be done online. Request emergent and expedited response for the medicaid app.  All of the above will require your time for initial contact and follow up. I hope this information helps and I am not being to forward. . 
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