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Moving her to Denver. My mom is 73 and has had a couple strokes over the past 7 years.. she is experiencing the beginning stages of dementia... walking is difficult and (i believe) she has become lazy and uninterested in improving due to having 24 home care for the last 8 months... she doesn't eat properly and rarely exercises... I honestly don't know where to begin once we get her home... when choosing a topic in the next section, about 7-10 things applied but my first step is to find her a doctor and order her a bed... we will be in the south Denver area.

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If you are moving her from one state to another you will need to set up all her insurances and SS first. Go to Social Services or Dept of aging and see what she qualifies for. It will take time if you work full time as I do. Once that groundwork is done then check to see what MDs are on her plan. Go from there.
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Here in my area vast majority of the doctors have electronic files... thus they can automatically email each other, instantly send files, instantly send x-rays, so there is communications between the primary doctor and the specialists.
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And once one Dr was overseeing almost everything we were able to drop some med too.. this was a blessing . I like one dr knowing what is going on, instead of several trying to guess what the others are doing.. Both folks are doing well with this
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pamzimmrrt, great idea, thank goodness some of my parent's doctors are the same that I have... back to back appointments means one less day off from work for me, and one less car ride :)
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When I moved my folks in I set them up with our family Dr,who is a geriatric specialist as well. I had all thier records sent to him. He can handle almost all thier needs (diabetes, ALZ etc) we only needed to get an eye dr, cardiologist and podiatist ( cause I am NOT dealing with those toenails!) Boy oh boy did we get rid of alot of extra Dr apts, they were going somewhere every week! Life is much better without trying to fit Dr apts in with work, etc! And I make all our eye dr and dentist apts for the same time.. yeah for me!!!
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Thank you all for the helpful information!!!
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I would ask her current doctors if they can recommend someone of their own standing in the new city. You might get a former college classmate of that doctor, thus he/she will know that person quite well :)
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If your mom has a social worker....contact them and tell them what you want to do. In my own personal experience, this is where I started. I moved my mom to my home after having her in the hospital, for 4 1/2 months, 5 hours away from my home. We were able to find the doctors, the hospital and was able to work with both her insurance and medicare. I was my mother's caregiver the last 3 years of her life and I would not trade having her near me so I knew that she would be taken care of. You will not regret taking the time to get your mom near you.
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Your first step is contacting her insurance company and get a list of doctors in the new area. Since your mom is 73, she is probley on Medicare and should have a secondary insurance company. You will have to notify Medicare of her change of address, so ask for a list of doctors in her new area. When you notify her secondary insurance the change of address, do the same thing get a list of doctors. I have found that getting a primary doctor first is best. Then you can get referrals to any specialist.
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When we moved my folks in with us I too had to find a new doctor in our area. They had been with their doctor for almost 20 years and were reluctant to change. I found a senior care practice at a local hospital. It is wonderful and totally geared to the specific health needs of seniors. It has made such a difference in the care they are receiving. What I thought was going to be a challenge has turned out to be a real blessing. Even their furniture is geared to ease of standing and sitting. Mom and Dad weren't very excited about seeing a new doctor, but his level of understanding of what they are facing won them over.
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I moved my Mother to Virginia with me a year ago, first I found my mother a neurologist Dr. and they had me to get her medical information from other doctors so I had them to fax her folder the doctor looked at her file and then started sending her to referral doctors and it went on from their. My has moderate dementia and she is doing much better since she been living with me. She help clean the house fold clothes she even make her own bed the only thing she can not do is cook, doing chores give her the excise she need and make her feel useful. Bringing your mom is the best thing you can do for her.
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I suggest you look for a senior-specific clinic or a clinic with good infrastructure. Here in the Bay Area, I've referred a lot of people like your mother to Kaiser Permanente, because they are well organized.

You can also look up Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which is an excellent choice for people with dementia. If you look here, you'll see there are 3 programs in Colorado:
http://www.npaonline.org/custom/programsearch.asp?id=209&title=Find_PACE_Programs

Lastly, I highly recommend you come to your mother's first primary care visit with her laboratory results, radiology results, and as many former records as you can. (You'll probably have to request these from her previous PCP.) Otherwise, it's very common for primary care doctors to NOT have past records available when they first see a new patient, which means they won't provide as much help during that first visit...if they don't have the right information at that first visit, it can take weeks to months for them to get up to speed on your mother's health situation...and that could delay her getting the care she needs now.

good luck!
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Call the local Area on Aging, any healthcare agency which specializes in getting you and mom the help you require. If you are in the Pueblo area there are great resources. Just google it or look it up in the phone book under health care agencies. You can do this. Do not panic, and help is available. Good hunting!
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{Q} she is experiencing the beginning stages of dementia... walking is difficult and (i believe) she has become lazy and uninterested in improving due to having 24 home care for the last 8 months...{End Quote}
You have a lot to learn about dementia. start by reading Jennifer Ghent-Fuller's paper "Understanding the Dementia Experience"
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Check with the hospital that you would likely use in case of an emergency. They should have a physician referral service. The hospital we use in Michigan always gives us three names when I have asked for a referral. I have called each one and ask them my list of questions. Once she sees a doctor, she may be able to get home health care prescribed to help with exercising. You are also going to need a dentist and an optomitrist who deal with the elderly. The primary doctor may be able to help there, or contact the local Area Agency on Aging for referrals.

If you don't have POA for medical and financial issues, get those in place as well. You will also need to set up a new bank account. The bank my parents have their money deposited in from pension and SS will even come to their apartment if necessary for documents to be signed. Same with their attorney.

I have been caregiver for my elderly parents (now 95 and 99) for over five years. While they don't live with us but live in senior housing with assistance, all of these things had to be accomplished right after their move. And I had to set up a filing system to keep track of everything. I have two multi-slot folders, one for financial and one for medical. I keep my POAs in each folder so if I have to do any transactions (like emergency room visits), I have the paperwork I need with me.

Hope this all helps you get started on this road. It is very demanding. Be sure to plan time for yourself in all this. As a friend recently pointed out, I am actually care-giver for four people: my parents, my husband (who has cancer), and me. The bottom line is I have to take good care of me so I can do everything else. So take good care of you, too.
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If you have Assisted Living places near you, find out if they have doctors who are affiliated with their centers, these are usually internists who specialize in older folks, some are geriatric certified. You should also look for an adult day care center, where she can socialize and exercise.
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Find a good Family care Doc with a focus on geriatrics, also speak with your local council on aging they often have great programs.
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I would look for a good primary doctor whose practice has a sizable portion of senior citizen patients. He/She should know treatments which would help her come back from the strokes. She will need to eat well and have people to socialize with to regain her desire to improve. If she rarely exercised during her adult life, it will take time to establish that routine. Perhaps walking with her as much as she can and build from that type of exercise. I had an exercise lady come to the home for my father 2 x a week and this improved his walking when he was over 90 years old (much older than your mother). Key is they need to like the exercise person and look forward to their visits, then we did some exercise each day when the lady was not there.

Good luck. Expect to center your life around her life, caregiving is labor intensive.
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