Technology has the power to transform caregiving. Learn about caregiving's new wave.
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Question Where do I go to sign up to care for my parents and get paid?     Answer The first place to start depends on what state you live in. Here in Florida, the Senior Resource Alliance is the place to start. Find your state's equivalent to that. Your loved one will have to qualify for what is called a Medicaid Waiver. So, once you find your state's equivalent to a Senior Resource Alliance, you call them and tell them you are looking for a "home and community-based Medicaid waiver for a long-term care program" for your loved one. They will walk you through the process from this point.
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Question My sister and I are struggling with juggling the caregiving schedule.  We both live an hour away from our mom and are looking for a way to share a calendar and a To Do List. It seems like there should be an easy-to-use tool for this. I'm not looking to recruit volunteers, etc. We just need to be able to look at the caregiver schedule and check in on our To Do List.   Any suggestions?  I haven't found anything online that looks user friendly.   Answer I wrote a column about this! "Apps to Help Caregivers Stay Organized" here on the AARP Family Caregiving website. Lotsa Helping Hands focuses more on coordinating a lot of volunteers, and CaringBridge has an emphasis on providing updates to a wide number of people who are following the care journey—but also has shared calendar and task options. Carezone is a bit more focused on managing various aspects of caregiving and includes a shared calendar and task list, as well as medication lists, automatic reminders, and many other features but you can choose to use just the features you want to use.   I'm partial to apps and sites that I can use both on my computer and on my phone and tablet. There are many "to do list" apps—I use Wunderlist for a task list, and you can create lists that you do then invite other people to, so they can also add tasks and also check off tasks. You can assign tasks to people as well. I use it for my personal, work and caregiving. For a calendar I primarily just use my iCal on my Apple products and send my sister mtg invitations and vice versa. Then we both have the appointments in our personal devices that we also use for the rest of our life. I have color coded so that I can easily see which appts are for me, those I'm caring for, work etc. Google calendar is very similar.   I provide more tips in my column, "6 Tips for Choosing Family Caregiving Technology"!  
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Question How do I protect my mother's financial assets from irresponsible or abusive relatives?   Answer  Contacting the bank sounds like a good idea. Your mother may need to be present, as it is her account. You may want to be added to her accounts or she can appoint you as her "Power of Attorney".     Many states have laws in place to protect their senior residents. Elder financial abuse and exploitation are not taken lightly, and often come with higher criminal penalties. If there is imminent danger to your mother, 911 is always the first course of action. Theft of any kind should be reported to law enforcement. You may find helpful information through your state's Adult Protective Services, and any local or state social services agencies. Your state should also have an elder abuse hotline that you can find through the National Center on Elder Abuse (https://ncea.acl.gov)   The bank should be made aware of this situation ASAP, whether it is through the authorities or through you. Just please know that the bank will probably not speak with you about much detail unless your name is on the account or your mother designated you as her agent.
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