I got a call back from the AAA to do an assessment for my mom. It took about 45 min and I listed her diagnoses and current needs.

The girl asked about my mom’s income & money in the bank, but my mom doesn’t qualify for Medicaid (at this point) so the girl said she would still qualify for federal assistance, which doesn’t take income into consideration.

My mom’s biggest need right now is companion services because of isolation.

I have a feeling my mom will be on the waiting list for a long time because others have more needs? The girl did say I could call her back at any time if something changes.

I’m just curious about other’s experience with the AAA.

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my wife was primary cae fiver to both her parents this organization was very helpful. you do have to be proactive, ask good questions
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Ours went well. My Mom qualifies for Community Care Service Program. She lives with me but husband and I work. She has an aide that comes in and helps her with showering and meals from 9-2. She cannot do any self care as she can’t bend to change her “pads/adult diapers” if they are soiled or change clothes. She can’t carry stuff with a walker so meals are brought to her etc. She also had an aide from an Alzheimer’s group but she sucked so I told them no thank you. She gets Moms meals as well. Good luck 🍀
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That’s right. They do offer classes too. They had exercise, arts and crafts, bingo, etc.

I encouraged mom to go and even offered to go with her to a class so she could meet other seniors but she wouldn’t go.

When she was younger I got her to do some things.

I signed us up for an interior design course at a nearby university because I knew my mom would be a natural at it. She was extremely creative. She loved it.

Mom lost interest in a lot of things after her Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Looking back I think she was depressed but wouldn’t admit it.

She wouldn’t even try the senior activities at the senior center.

She would say silly things like, “My walker will be in the way!”

I told her, “Mom, it is a senior center. Do you really think that you are the only one with a walker?”

I hated that she was self conscious of using a walker. I bought her a fancy walker to use!

Her mom, my grandmother was the exact opposite.

She never even needed a cane but couldn’t walk long distances and she was never embarrassed for me to push her in a wheelchair.

She was always happy to get out for awhile. I adored her.

I took her out quite a bit, to a restaurant, the bakery or a park. She enjoyed it.
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In my county it is The Office on Aging. I have been very satisfied with their resources. A lot of time, they don't handle the problem/need themselves, but they can refer you to others. I have taken their 12 week class twice, it was informative. They occasionally get grants for respite care for caregivers.
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It was fine for us. We did not take advantage of everything but I can tell you about our experience.

We had an aide for a limited amount of hours. They helped mom bathe, fix light meals, light housekeeping, played card games with her, watched television with her, etc.

They also offer shuttle rides to doctor appointments. I took mom to the doctor but I saw the buses all over town.

Mom did not use the Meals on Wheels program but lots of people do.

All and all we were pleased with this service. Try it!
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Imho, my mother's town's COA (Council on Aging) was truly a Godsend since my mother demanded to live alone in her own home. They provided her with rides for a nominal fee of $3 per event to the grocery store, retail shops and doctor and dental appointments. In addition, they had on site a certified public accountant, who prepared her income taxes pro bono. They also had a bookkeeper who balanced my late mother's checkbook monthly, which again was a pro bono service. As well, they had an elder care case worker AND a social worker on staff. These individuals provided well being checks for all town elders living alone. My mother also qualified and received rebates of fuel assistance, historic home, real estate tax and a lot more. The town also held FREE FOR SENIORS Easter dinner, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas party, etc.

When my mother became not physically able to live alone, I had to move there from my own home 7 states from her's. But I will tell you that the town's PHENOMENAL services let my mother live alone until 93 YEARS OF AGE.
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ExhaustedPiper Nov 2020
That is amazing! If you don't mind saying where did you mother live?

I'm glad she had such great support. I wish it was like that everywhere. It seems to me that many seniors that are living at home could really benefit from the type of support your mom had, especially the free dinners and parties.
Barb, this is the services page from the AAA in my area, and you will see "Companionship" is on there.

That's what I was going for when I first called a couple weeks ago. The first lady I talked to was from the main office, I think in Tallahassee, and she was the one to give me the local number. When I told her that my mom didn't qualify for Medicaid and I was looking for community resources for companionship she told me the Federal Programs don't consider income, it's paid for with grants (maybe something else too I can't remember). She also told me very nicely- "Honey your mom's needs will increase, get her on the wait list now".

So that is what I tried to do, and I think I did accomplish that, but I have a feeling it's going to be a long wait.

Before I called anyone looking for AAA services I looked at the private pay companion options. There is Visiting Angels and a private company close by that offer companion services that sounded great, but it's close to $30 an hour and they had 4 and 8 hour minimums per day.

I'm not paying for ANYTHING, I just wanted to see what was out there to help my mom's isolation.

Thanks for the suggestion of having her PC doc talk to her. She has an appointment coming up on the 27th of Dec. I have a good rapport with the PC doc so I plan to have a long convo with him prior to her appointment. You are right, let him make the suggestions.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in. I'll update here if/when my mom gets any services from the AAA in case that may help others in Florida.
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sjplegacy, not the auto club AAA is Area on Aging Agency.

You gave me a good laugh, thank you Sir!
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EP, I am wondering if having your mom's PCP order a needs assessmebt by absocial worker or RN affikiated with her/his office might be a better tact to take.

Mom needs someone (not you) to explain to her that the time has come for her to spend her resources on HER needs and what those beeds objectively are. If you have the convo with the doc, you can explain that you are not availabke to meet all of mom's needs to be out and about so that when your mom says "oh my daughter will do that" the DOCTOR can do the pushing back.
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I'm afraid my last 3 contacts with them were far from satisfactory.   To their credit though, they have over the years sponsored very well planned and executed elder care expos, with a wide range of services, ample literature, and of course, good coffee and treats!

First disappointing experience:   I contacted their stay at home program (I don't remember the specific title) to have some yard work done, actually trimming overgrown areas of the garden.  That's it.   The "estimator" decided that several small unwanted trees needed to not only be cut down, but bases removed, stump ground, and that other chores needed to be performed as well (I don't remember everything he wanted to do.)   He quoted about 8 hours of work and $500 cost.  Ouch!

He became testy and feisty when I told him I didn't want everything HE wanted to do, just a trimming, a standard weed whacking.  He became even more testy until I told him I wouldn't need his services and walked away.  

I eventually hired a landscape company which did it for about 1/4 (can't remember for sure) the price of the AAA quote, and perhaps a little over an hour. 

Second experience:   An "RN" came out to assess Dad's situation and recommend in home care.    I don't know what kind of nursing she did, but she lacked in two critical areas:

(1)  She didn't know what psychotropic drugs were.; and
(2)  W/o tradesman/woman qualifications, she concluded that the living room needed $50K (yes, $50,000) in repairs.   That was a general conclusion, w/o specifics, and was absurd as well as way beyond her area of expertise.

Bye, bye, Nurse.   We won't be needing your "advice."

Third:  I called AAA, different office, for something else but I don't recall now.   After asking my name, the receptionist left me on hold until I eventually just hung up.   It was something like 5 minutes or so; this was several years ago, and there was no reason why someone should be left holding for that long.  I had the feeling that my name might be on a "disregard" list.

I never contacted them again, and don't plan to.

Errata:  I don't recall whether or not the "nurse" got into finances but if she did, she learned nothing b/c I always advise any inquirer that we're handling it and don't need advice, which was true.  Medicaid was not in the picture.

This has happened with 2 nosy social workers, both of whom insisted that they needed to be seen the first week of at home therapy to assess Dad's needs.   What they wanted, and insisted on, but didn't get, was specific financial details.

I would understand if Medicaid was in the picture, but it wasn't, and I knew it, so there was no reason for revealing personal financial information.

When you called, was it only for financial assistance advice?   I think that the AAA direction and focus changed a few years back, with the attempt to maximize the stay at home program, or, perhaps to "assess" someone's financial situation and make recommendations.   As far as I know, it's still a nonprofit agency though.  

I would ask the same questions as Barb as to the nature of the federal assistance, and how a needs assessment can be done w/o meeting the patient, as well as the same observations as Siplegacy.

BTW, did the "girl"  indicate that she was a nurse, or any kind of medical professional?  If she didn't, I don't know how she could be qualified to make any physical needs assessment.   

She might have been searching more for the financial information, e.g., to get one of their attorneys (which I'm assuming they have) an opportunity to handle a Medicaid application.
Helpful Answer (1)
jacobsonbob Nov 2020
Is it possible that local Area Agency on Aging works as sort of a "broker" for local businesses (presumably without receiving commissions), so when they visit they try to sell you on getting more services than you really need or want?

Come to think of it, the American Automobile Association is always advertising certain businesses, and trying to steer their members into patronizing them.

It looks as if you should have just called a "handyman" instead!
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Area Agency on Aging does a "needs assessment" when requested.

I question, frankly, a needs assessment that is done over the phone and not with the patient present.

And what sort of "federal assistance" is available for companion services?

EP, your mom needs to use her own resources to hire a companion/driver.
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An auto assn asking to assess your mom??? Assess her for what? Did you give out any financial info? You better call AAA and ask if it's on the up and up.
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jacobsonbob Nov 2020
Maybe they actually thought the mother had a problem with alcoholism! :-)
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