She's physically disabled and slightly mentally disabled (number processing and some mild memory issues). She wants to get a job, but I don't want that to affect her Medicaid since I worked so damn hard to get it and it covers all her medical, eye, and dental bills. I asked her if she would rather volunteer somewhere to make a real difference since she has the financial capacity to do so. She said whatever as long as she has something meaningful to do.

So what would be a good option for my mom who needs help going to the bathroom and walking/transferring to wheelchair?

In my dream world, she'd go to an adult day center so they could care for her daily needs but she could help the nurses and aids out by helping the really old folks with puzzles, games, activities, etc. My mom owned an assisted living in her hay day, so she'd be so good at helping the old folks at the adult day center while still receiving care. Originally she wouldn't go because she didn't want to feel like she was at day care, but if the workers there could get her involved maybe my mom wouldn't feel like she was babysat??

What have you done for your loved ones who are still "all there" but are too disabled for a normal job??

My mom had multiple strokes, and vascular dementia. She mostly used in electric scooter, and or a wheelchair. When they ask her, for Make-A-Wish, her wish was to have a job. So because she was on a closed unit, I started buying greeting cards for everyone on her floor. A few one day, a few another day, the rest another day. You can get them at the dollar store.
I would address them, write a little note, and the activities director would 'help' my mom deliver the mail everyday. They had a name tag made for her, and she was thrilled.
Not only did she have something to look forward to every day but she got to know everyone else on the unit, and vice versa, and everyone loved getting a card. It was a game changer.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to dejawog

It's so nice that your mom wants to contribute her time and efforts. It's so important that our seniors feel valued and appreciated. Still, it's challenging to find a place that can accommodate the needs of someone with physical and mental disabilities and be responsible for them as a volunteer.

I used to visit the mother of one of my good friends in her nursing home. She would always ask me, in very serious way, if I knew if anyone who was hiring. She asked this before she went to the facility as well. I couldn't figure out just how she planned to work, since she was bound to a wheelchair and not able to care for herself. Later, I discovered that she was totally not able to work a job, (she had dementia) but, her mind was set on it and she would not give up on working again one day. I always took her crossword puzzles, and even if she couldn't do them anymore, she loved to get them.

When, my LO was in regular AL, the social director of the facility, would ask her to help out with handing out papers, keeping scores, etc. for their activities, in order to make her feel needed. I thought it was nice and it did help for awhile.

I hope you find some activities for your mother. Does she have a church that might help? Would she be able to cut out newspaper articles or coupons for others or for her church.

I saw a story on our local news that really inspired me. This senior gentleman VOLUNTEERED, to call everyone that he knew, (mainly church members) on their birthday and sang them Happy Birthday. It kept him pretty busy as he kept a log and he did this for many years! Everyone just LOVED it!
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Reply to Sunnygirl1

A friend of mine placed her husband in Day Care and called it "work".
The arrangement she made with the staff is he would be given tasks (I forgot what his profession had been) that he was able to do. At the end of the day he would be given an envelope with cash in it. (My friend had given the envelope to the staff earlier in the morning.) He would take his "pay" and eventually my friend would get it back and give the same envelope to the staff the next time he was there. I think he was there 3 days a week.
As short staffed as some Memory Care facilities are you could check to see if they have a Day Care and she could help out as well as being tended to when she needed it. But any Adult Day Care would probably love to see someone so involved.
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Reply to Grandma1954

aj6044, you have a great idea and I think you should pursue it.  We love our Adult day center and the participants love it here, too.  We assess each person ongoing to see what they like to do and what they are capable of doing and we find them things to do that they like and that fulfill their needs to feel useful and engaged.  Please check it out.  We allow a free visiting day so that people can see what we do, the kind of people we have and see if they might like to try it.  We have people that come 5 days/week, some 2 days, some 3 days. It's what works for the person and their family.  It will alleviate the boredom of sitting around the house with nothing to do.  Especially when the weather gets bad.  Most of our people come on the transportation bus.  They can come in their wheelchair and not have to try and get in and out of a car.
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Reply to Nursesforever

If she is still active in her church, you could talk to the pastor to see if there are some tasks she can do for them. My MIL who was 93 when she passed in March had been helping her church with small tasks she could do at home until last year. Sometimes it was proofreading the program, helping update member info, etc. Is she able to join a social group like Red Hat Society? Or maybe check with the local lodges (Kiwanis, Lions, Elks) to see if they have programs she could volunteer to help with. I read a story about an older gentleman who volunteers at a local hospital in the nursery basically holding and feeding the babies receiving care. Animal rescues also sometimes need help at their shelters (not the county run facilities) to help socialize and care for animals. I volunteered with my husband at a Best Friends facility one weekend and spent three hours holding and playing with cats and kittens. There are lots of organizations that wouldn’t turn away help. Just my random thoughts.
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Reply to Gabbygirl

I think it would be great for your mom to volunteer at a facility. However, you would have to meet with the director and explain her limitations to see if it’s doable. Since she would not be an official resident of the facility, Staff would not be allowed to assist her with transfers or toileting for insurance purposes. Maybe she could volunteer for just a few hours a day. Would it be possible to hire an aid to be with her for those few hours? If she has funds, she could pay for one.

You had a good idea with this. I always thought my sister-in-law should have volunteered at a facility. She is mentally challenged but was always so wonderful with the elderly.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Ahmijoy
aj6044 Aug 1, 2018
I think you misunderstood. The adult day center isn't a facility you live at. Adults go there for the day, get care, and return home at 5ish. My mom would qualify to be a volunteer and also a person who receives care. I just don't know if it's the best option.
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You won't know if it is the best option until you give it a try. Sounds like many of us think it is worth pursuing.
Helpful Answer (4)

I think it's a great idea!
The cost is generally reasonable and your mom would get the assistance she needs for transfers and help out with the others. The day center that my mil goes to is in a facility but there are also those that come for the day.
We explained to her, as she does have dementia, that some need more help and some will be great for conversation, which is what she desires most.
I don't know, to be honest, where else your mom could get the care she needs with the experience she wants. I say go for it!
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Reply to MARRAM

I think it's a great option. Give them a call and see if it can be worked out. They could have her hand out the bingo cards, and stuff like that. It wouldn't hurt to talk to them about it and your mom would be going to her "job" instead of feeling like she's being baby sat.
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Reply to whaleyf

If your mom can knit or crochet or sew, there are many opportunities for volunteering. Our local maternity hospital gives hand crafted blankets and hats to newborns, the senior center has a group that makes lap blankets for those in wheel chairs, there is a group that makes fun and fancy hats for women whose hair has fallen out due to medical treatment. Local churches have volunteers who go to the hospital and nursing homes to pray with the patients or residents who sign up to be contacted. Should your mom not be able to attend crafting meetings, there may be some folks who could come craft with her. Generally those who make crafts are a chatty, social bunch!
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Reply to Longears

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