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I am caregiver for husband/myself,he's not good health facing surgeries/me both knees 2 b replaced,only have each other,start where 4 help ? Have Medicare/supplemental and savings to back that up, need help and don't know where to start, he wants to stay in home and I can barely walk and after his lenghty surgery on shoulder I will take care of him, his wishes. After that I need both knees replaced and won't be able to take care of him (he has copd, bad hip too). I don't know where to start with people I can trust to come into my home, help with housework/cats sandboxes/ grocery shopping etc. We are running out of time and I can't get him to see the forest for the trees. Any leads would be greatly appreciated, live in So. California and as I said, we have only each other, no children and relatives only bring old conflict into home from issues they will not let go of from 20 years ago. I have very little medical support except for what is needed at time to treat immediate problems, no one I know long term, all retired or no longer in area. Where do I begin to get help I can trust and evaluations so Medicare will help with costs? I'm lost and in pain and don't know where to begin, any help in pointing right direction greatly appreciated, thank you.

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I forgot... check references too.
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Dharma..... You can do this....Feeling overwhelmed is no fun. We found care for my mother in law through word of mouth/church. First figure out how many hours/day you need help. Then you need to come up with what tasks you want an aide to do. Everything you are having trouble doing is a good place to start. Laundry, meals, lighthousework(list what that means to you), change beds, dishes,errands, accompany to doctors office, clean any medical equipment, assist with bathing if applicable etc. Check with your church or local churches. There are people who are willing to do this kind of work. During interview get copy of driver's license and copy of nursing/home health certification if available.
I suggest you ask them what they expect to get paid. They will usually give you a lower rate than what an agency woulkd charge. You need to inventory your belongings....(.in our case it was my MIL's daughter who stole from her). If someone is going to do shopping do you expect them to use own car? If they use your car, have them record mileage. It is not right for someone to use your car/gas for their own use unless you give permission. If this person will be a live in you need to set house rules.( We found out after the fact the aide had intended to babysit her newborn grandchild while supposed to be taking care of my MIL. We nixed that.) We also were upset the aide's family/ friends were visiting and felt very taken advantage of. So if you set these guidelines up front there are no questions. You need to have relief for their time off. Sometimes they may know others who can fill in when they have off. Having a new person in your home is a huge adjustment. It will be best to have this in place before you get your knees done. You should be in rehab after your surgery. I would also talk to your husband's pulmonologist to find out the extent of COPD and his prognosis. This helps in decision making.
Hope this helps!
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You might want to contact the discharge planning department of the hospital where he's having his surgery and explain your predicament. At the very least they can give you the names of the agencies that they recommend for in home nursing and therapy services. Have you considered doing the surgeries at the same time?
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Wow, you have a lot going on. Don't panic, you're going to get some great suggestions here.

Have you considered a nursing agency? Most of them employ not just nurses but caregivers who will come to your home during the hours that are most convenient for you. They will help with your care and do very light housekeeping. There are some agencies that are better than others, maybe you have a friend or family member who can refer you to one or you can do a little research and find one. Most agencies have ratings and comments online that can help you find one that's trustworthy.
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You poor honey! I really feel for your pain and need for direction. Is there anyway that your husband's doc or minister can get him to reason...that you are BOTH going to need rehab and probably assisted living?
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Start with a call to your county social services. They will help you find answers. Your doctor can send you to rehab and him to respite care.
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