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Does Medicare cover those services? My mother-in-law is frail, lives alone, but is healthy. She falls, however, and is forgetful about faucets, stove, etc. She often uses a walker in her home. She had an assessment last year and didn't qualify for Medicare home heath care. Now she is worse. Who do we call?

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Your local Area Agency on Aging likely has lists of home caregiving agencies; I would contact them. Your local Senior Center may also be able to make some referrals.

There's a program, the name of which I can't remember right now, that provides assistance for elderly people to remain in their homes in lieu of going to facilities. You could ask the AAA about that program.

Who did the assessment that determined she didn't qualify for home health care? Was it through a physician's office? I would take her for a visit to her internist or primary care physician and discuss the issue with her or him.

Someone who falls and is somewhat forgetful seems to me like a prime candidate for in-home assistance.

If not, then you may unfortunately have to pay out of pocket. I've found that there are a lot of home agencies that provided various kinds of assistance, but it is time consuming to check them all out. I don't know how much background the AAA has done on any agencies it might list, so you'll have to do that kind of checking yourself.

Are there any geriatric doctors in your area? Sometimes doctors' offices can make suggestions as they may recommend specific agencies for their patients.

You might also want to contact you MIL's primary or secondary insurance carrier and inquire whether they will pay for nonmedical home care, but what little experience I've had has been of friends who've had to pay out-of-pocket. Unfortunately, I don't know how they contacted or found these people, but there were both very good.

If MIL is/was active in a church, there might be a women's relief society or something similar that helps elders. Or the local senior center may also have some type of chore service that could be of help, and it might be just a nominal payment.

Good luck; I hope you find someone who's compatible with your MIL and provides a level of comfort as to her safety.
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