What are my options in VA for parents that need help to be driven to their doctor appts when no family member is, can or will take them? - AgingCare.com

What are my options in VA for parents that need help to be driven to their doctor appts when no family member is, can or will take them?

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I am the POA with a full time job, I have 2 sisters both disabled, 1 lives 30 minutes from them and takes any amount of money (cash) that is given to her (there is not set amount, no receipt). My sister is demanding she be their medical POA just because she takes them to their appointments. I have been POA for medical and finances for 13 years *My sisters have been jealous of that and I asked My mother if she wanted to change it and she said ABSOLUTELY NOT THAT MY SISTER DIDNT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING *this is true nor does she keep me informed on their visits, medication changes, etc. Then there is the narcotic medications that go missing. In order to find out anything about my parents health i must call each doctor when all I ask is that she kept me updated. I need to know how I can obtain information from her without constantly calling each doctor? My main focus is getting them transportation and a report of the labs, medication changes,etc. Obviously we do not get along. My Mother has been talked about making changes to the POA however with my sister current arrest she falls under the Moral Turpiture which would stop that from happening according to my attorney. In order for my parents to receive transportation in the future what is availiable and what are the requirements as far as income, would they qualify for transportaton?

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Thank you all for the comments, recommendations, etc. I think the VA part of my lengthy post was confused with Veterans and I should have specified the state of Virginia which we do not have cab service in a rural area. Also my parents do not qualify for Medicaid which is required in order to get a transportation service along with many other services offered for Medicaid recipients (SADLY) so I must rely on family or pay an outside source if any are available and trustworthy. As far as physician office portal's I found out that their PCP office offers it but as of now he does not participate in it. (another brick wall) hopefully I will be able to speak to him and work out something and that is just the PCP my mother sees a Nephrologist, Neurologist, Endocrinologist and Cardiologist therefore I will check to see if they offer the Online Portal since I cant seem to get lab results, vital signs, medication changes, etc from my sister who takes my mother but has no idea, doesn't get involved in asking questions or documenting anything to share with me. I have a mess and all of the doctors know about past issues and they also have a copy of the POA It shouldn't be like this especially if We as a Family seek the common goal in the health, well being and longevity of our parents. I do have some more work ahead of me as far as getting my parents help in the future such as applying for Medicaid. there is a 5 year look back and I will do my best to get that for them so they are eligible for many services that would help.. Thanks again for all the answers :)
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Maggie, maybe all of us are 'only's also! As in ONLY ones who care.
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Oh, duh. Didn't even think about Virginia, instead of Veterans!
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Are they able to take a cab?
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I think the geriatric care manager or signing the papers for Medical POA...the HIPPA papers, would help you a lot, if that is possible. I don't if what I do would help or not, but I manage my Mom's care from another town. She does have caregivers now, who drive her to app'ts. I always FAX a note to the doctor with Mom's concerns and my own concerns about what needs covering during the visit. Then, now that there is a care giver with her, I ask the caregiver to call me on the cell from the exam room, when the MD comes in. If the phone is on speaker, I can hear the app't discussion, and take notes, and I can make sure everything gets covered on the faxed list, and I can talk off speaker with the doctor if we need to do that. That way, I know what got said, the caregiver knows what was said. Caregiver makes sure med changes get instituted at home; picks up new meds and sets new app'ts and tells me....but I am involved in the app't. Between both of us, we can reinforce for Mom when she forgets what is suppose to happen. My Mom has Alzheimer's so she is quick to forget, and in the past, she would always distort the app't to have the MD say what Mom wanted to be said. I could never get to the truth of anything...and the MDs are VERY hard to reach by phone or email in between app'ts. This plan has been working out pretty well for me....but as I said, I have the caregiver there, who does want to cooperate with me, not fight with me, so it may not work for you.
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I had POA & Long Term Care would not answer questions about husband then drew up DPOA which takes place immediately & sent to them & answers were immediate.
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If you need someone to help you coordinate your parents' medical care from a distance, a local geriatric care manager may be able to help. Most geriatric care managers offer the service of attending medical appointments with their clients, and often this include transportation. The care manager can help advocate for the senior with the medical system and help keep the "big picture" in mind. The care manager can also assist the senior in following any medication changes, going to follow-up tests or appointments, and reporting back to you what happened. Usually they charge by the hour.

I agree - when my dad was by himself with no local support, it was really tricky to communicate with his medical providers. He couldn't reliably report back to me what happened at the doctor's appointments. He also forgot appointments. We hired a care manager for him and it helped a lot.

To find one, google "geriatric care manager" and your city or region. Or go to aginglifecare.org to do a ZIP code search, to find one in your area.
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I believe poster is talking about Virginia, not the Veterans Admin.

Have you placed your POA with all of her doctors? Or, if they all practice out of one hospital and share on a computer system, with the hospital? Have you placed it at the pharmacy where they get their prescriptions?

You quite obviously can't get the info you want from your sister, and apparently don't trust the information you get from your folks...so you have no alternative but to call their docs and pharmacy.

All the joys of dealing with siblings I read about on this site make me sooo happy I was an only.
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Contact the local VA medical facility and see what their transportation requirements are. I am sure they can tell you what you need to know. If they are not enrolled in the VA medical system, get them to see a doctor. The only requirement is to be seen once a year. Good luck!
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Good question and some pretty good general options have already been offered.

If your parents are going to appointments at a VA Medical Center or a VA outpatient clinic, either the county or a veterans service organization like DAV if not both probably have a van that makes daily trips to those facilities. There is probably a local central arrival/departure point that you would have to coordinate transportation to and from, but you'd have to check. Meanwhile, to keep track of what happened at the appointment, you can also set up accounts for each parents in the VA's online medical portal called "MyHeatheVet" to keep track of their medications, new prescriptions, order and track refills, communicate with the providers, and access doctor notes. Finally, depending on their service connected disability status and maybe their financial status, there is reimbursement available for travel expenses to their appointments at a VA facility.

But, if your parents are seeing "outside" doctors....that is, non-VA doctors and without a referral from a VA doc, that's going to be like the earlier respondents...county transport, taxi, etc. However, even in this case, check with their providers and see if there is not an online portal system that would enable you to have access to what happened at each appointment and maybe even provide secure email to the doctors.

You don't have the best situation with your sister(s), and we wish you the best.
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