How does one go about getting a nurse to come in to care for my father. My mother is 89 and it is too hard for her to keep caring for my father. He is in the advanced stage of cancer but is walking with a cane/walker and has good days and bad days(only gets up to use the bathroom, take medication/eats very little) We would like him to stay at home rather than go to a nursing home. Is it more expensive to stay home and have a nurse come in? Is home health care covered by medicare/insurance? When does one start with Hospice? Is that covered by medicare or secondary insurance. I would like to start looking into this but do not know where to start.

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Hospice is fully covered by Medicare. In my experience, they provide very worthwhile services, and this would be a great place to start. My husband had hospice care in our home, and my mother had it in a nursing home. Both experiences were more than satisfactory. I advice starting with hospice as soon as he is considered eligible. Discuss this with his doctor.

That may not be sufficient help for your mother, though it is great support. Help her determine what kind of help would be most beneficial. I suggest relieving her of mundane chores like housecleaning, if she is still doing it herself. Nearly anyone can scrub a toilet; only your mom can communicate in a special way with your dad. If cooking for him is a task she sees as serving him love, get her support to do that (shopping, cleaning up the kitchen). If it is not meaningful to her, arrange for meals on wheels or other shortcuts. What care tasks are there? How often do they need to be done? For example, how is he bathing? Would a bath aide be helpful? Also discuss with the doctor the kinds on in-home help you think they need. The doctor can order various in-home services if they are medically necessary.

If 24-hour care is required, it is generally more expensive to arrange it at home. If care is at a lower level that changes the comparison.

Manners29, my heart goes out to you. I hope you can be successful at keeping Dad home with Mom. Realize that sometimes that just is not possible, and it is Nobody's Fault.
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