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My parents have retired a few years back and moved in with us. My mom always has headache as far as I can remember. She went to quite a few specialists but none of them could diagnose the problem. All they did was switching her medicine one after another for 30 something years. Since they retired, they have traveled to Asia and back to US about every 6 months. This last time her health deteriorate a lot. Dad took her to an international hospital, because of some language barrier I could not understand completely. It was something to do with her brain or blood vessel in the brain swollen. They did some procedure by using a laser going through her foot the the brain to cut or release something. After this her condition just gone south. Now she is having problem remembering current things just minutes later, but she can still remember things decade ago. Sometimes she does not recognize people. She forgot dad and thought he was thief. She accused him of trying to kill her. She yelled at people. She could no longer control her muscle movement and go toilet wherever. I think the doctors and relatives over there just don't not know what to do for her anymore. I think she has some kind of dementia possibly vascular dementia. Anyway, she is coming back next week which would be quite a task to get her back here. I am supposed to find a doctor and hospital to diagnose her condition. After that I guess find her a facility that can take care of her. My father is even older than her and I know he is very tired. If this keeps up, I think he might be gone before her. They have a small retirement saving and social security that might last awhile only if both of them are healthy. That was one of the reasons I took them in so they would not worry about extra expenses. But my family is not equipment to take care of her like this. I suppose no families are really equipment to handle this disease.

What kind of specialist and where do I look for them in Austin, Texas ? How much does it cost per month for put her in some sort of nursing facilities ? Does medicare in Texas cover it ? Would it be cheaper to hire someone at home to watch her ?

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She needs to see a dementia specialist. It sounds as though your family can't handle this at home - most couldn't, so please don't feel guilty. I'd set up an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible since she's on her way home. It may take time to see a specialist, but from her history, it sounds as though any doctor can help you get her into a care center. If their assets get used up, they would go on Medicaid and her care in a nursing home would be covered.
Your dad needs a break. Maybe he can stay with you, while you mom goes to a facility. You are right that he may die before she does if this stress continues.
Try www.ltcombudsman.org for the local long-term care ombudsman in your area.
They are skilled at finding the right type of facility and can point you in the direction of a great deal of help.
Also, your state website under "aging" will likely have helpful links. Each state is different, so things get kind of dicey when looking for a "one size fits all" answer.
It does seem to me that you ombudsman is a good place to start (and a doctor appointment, preferably with a geriatrician, but any doctor for a start).
Take care of yourself. You've got a lot on your plate.
Carol
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You probably want a comprehensive geriatric assessment, and I'm findng more resources for that in Houstaon than Austin. Try this link: http://www.baylorclinic.com/services-specialties/geriatrics/our-services.cfm

and also cosnider getting a neurologist with special expertise in working with elderly patients:

UT Physicians Neurology is the clinic where physician faculty members of The University of Texas Medical School at Houston’s Department of Neurology provide patient care. Representing the best in their fields, UT neurologists bring special expertise to their patients in all aspects of neurology including stroke, cerebrovascular disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, movement and neuromuscular disorders and geriatric neurology.

It is a steep learning curve. Medicare covers very limited services post-hospital in skilled nursing and rehab facilities, then its private pay or Medicaid if you qualify on the basis of low income and assets. See if there was an long term care insruance (probably not) and power of attorney papers. I hope there is medical management that can help - often ther is, and someitimes, there can be dramatic improvements if soecifc medical issues are found to be contributign to the problem, though that is not as common as we all would hope. You have come to a good place for support. If you do find yourself looking for home health or facility care, Elderlink and A Place For Mom are good starting points, but we also found good places just by looking around the neighborhood. God bless!
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UT Health Science Center in San Antonio (has a medical school) has a whole gerontology department and is excellent. Just a short 1 hr drive from Austin and just think you may be able to stop in San Marcos at the outlet mall (yeah, sure!).

I'm sure there are doc's in Austin but the big advantage of a health science center
like the UTSA one is that all the departments are co-ordinated and if say she needs to go to a neurologist then you get fast tracked to be seen as she is in the system. There are 30 MD's in the geriatrics program too.

It takes about 6 - 8 weeks to get an appointment so call now and get one as early in the morning as possible. 210-450-9100. There are alot of hotels in the area too - many of these are 100% occupied by people going to the medical center. Both by the medical center and right off I-10 between Callaghan Rd and De Zavala or right off 410 by Babcock Rd. Driving in from Austin staying on 410 will be easier. There is a Super Target at 410 & I-10 too.

They will be able to narrow down the type of dementia she has.

What would be helpful is to do a year by year history of what she has gone through and what med's and procedures she went thru with MD names. If you can leave Dad at home in Austin, that might be best.

Regular Federal Medicare will pay for seeing the MD's. If she is on one of the many Texas Medicare HMO's you need to find out if UTHSCSA is on their system. If not you need to disenroll them and have them on regular Medicare before you have the visit to have Medicare pay for it.

I think you need to find out what type of care she really needs before placing her in a NH, then find a NH with a skilled nursing unit that fits her needs. What you don't want to do is to move her somewhere only to get the letter in 2 months that they cannot provide the level of care she needs and you have 30 days to move her. Good luck.
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You have so many issues you need to write down all your concerns and then take them one at a time. Do you have young children? Do you have finances to care for your parents? Will Mom cause turmoil in the home? If you have concerns about cost contact her insurance make sure you have list of problems and see if they will cover homecare or coverage in placing her in a facility. You may also find small home settings care. In my area they call one Beehive. The home is limited to the # of residents who have need for supervision 24/7. They have home like setting instead of nursing home. You can check out the possiblities. They also have adult day care in my area which picks up person 3 days a week and they do activities for adults( kinda like Boys and Girls Club for kids). this would keep her active and they are staffed with medical staff and activities to keep them busy. You have to make sure your home is your safe haven. You cann't take on more that your able to do or you will surely burnout and that would not be good for anyone. If your Dad is still able to make decisions have a family meeting, discuss the issues and make group decisions as to be healthy decisions for all involved. When people stay at group homes they can still go out to dinners, holidays and special events. These evens are judged by is she having a good or bad day would this be a good time to take her for a visit with family, if not then know that your doing the best for the family and when she is better you can enjoy her visit instead of causing termoil. You are not a bad daughter for wanting what is best for your parents. If keeping her safe, confortable and in a place where you can visit and enjoy time together then this is what you should do. If you want to try to keep her at home then look into homecare someone who will provide both with bathing, feeding, light house keeping, conpanionship. If you need to hire on temp then then move to full time this is tax deductible for care of disabled person. Make a list of what you need then find a person who will follow your instruction and give you the time needed to still have a life. Your health is most important if you are stress, overwhelmed or tired you are no good to yourself or your family. Good Luck and God Bless You. Remember you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. One day at a time. Speak to your spouse see if this is what he feels you all can take on at this time. Give everyone a chance to voice they thoughts. Are you taking away from your family to care for Mom then at what cost does your family go through.
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Social Security checks last until you die, unless the government revokes it. The money belongs ot them, not you. It has nothing to do with staying healthy.
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N1K2R3, I don't think she was saying their social security would be cut off or that she wanted it. I think she was saying that they could cover their expenses with their savings and social security unless they were both unhealthy and had a lot of unexpected medical expenses.
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Tadpole, vstefans has given you excellent advice. Start with a thorough medical evaluation. Having it done by experts experienced with this kind of condition is extremely valuable and worth the inconvenience of going out of town, in my opinion. Once you know better what you are dealing with you can explore all of your options for caring for mom and try to arrive at the best quality of life you can not only for her but for your father's remaining years as well. Best wishes for your family as you deal with this difficult challenge.
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If your parents do not have any assets, your mother might qualify for medicaid. Your father's income will be protected. If you cannot afford a lawyer, seek legal aid. And take a deep breath. You can do this.
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