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How can I help out of state isolated mom with care?

My mother lives isolated in her 1 acre property outside of Prescott AZ, we live in Colorado. My father had recently passed 2 Novembers ago, and my mother insisted in staying in home their till she passes herself. I have siblings who can't afford or are not able or willing to assist her financially who live in the same state. She is currently not in talking terms with them for some reason because of some arguments they had between themselves.
Needless to say, I am at wits end on trying to deal with this dilemma financially for care etc. She is supposed to get surgery this October...supposedly out of pocket, and asking for my assistance to help pay for it. She can hardly eat anything solid because of dental issues. Too far out of town to drive for groceries etc. Obviously there will be more issues down the road because of her age and failing health. She says she does not qualify for Medicaid help or so something like that, which I should now learn to understand the difference between Medicaid or Medicare.
Any advice or steps to take would help. Financially, I am limited as well. I don't want to go into debt or broke when my wife and I are almost seniors ourselves.
I want to help, but I can only do so much.

Status: Open    Sep 11, 2016 - 01:02 PM

Medicare/Medicaid, Caregiving

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4 answers

Expert Answers

Sep 15, 2016 - 09:14 AM

Search for Geriatric Care Managers in the yellow pages or online in that area. These are people who are trained to assist with non-legal needs of caring for seniors, but they generally know who the attorneys are who can also help.

Sep 16, 2016 - 08:49 AM

First I would start with finding out who her health insurance is through. If you have Power of Attorney, you can call and get information on her behalf about her medical plan. Not knowing her age, I am assuming she is over 65, she should be eligible for or on Medicare. With her present, call 1-800-Medicare and they can let you know if she has both Part A and Part B, if you cannot find her Medicare card. To see if she qualifies for some form of state assistance, you can call the same number and give her state and ask for Medicaid. Medicaid is a form of state welfare for individuals of limited means and requirements vary by state. There is also a site by the Council on Aging that with her financial information can quickly find benefit programs (state and federal) that could help pay for medications, health care, food, and more.

Sep 19, 2016 - 10:25 AM

I am very familiar with the Prescott area. It is a rural area but does have some good home health agencies that could come in and evaluate the situation. You did not mention the kind of surgery that your mother needs, but it might be one that would justify Medicare paying for the Home health visits. If there is a need for skilled nursing or skilled therapy, Medicare will pay for the visits.

Medicare provides health care services for eligible individuals who are 65 years of age and older, disabled. or has end stage renal disease.

Medicaid is a healthcare program for individuals who live below a designated income level and have limited resources.

Medicare does not cover all healthcare needs, so many Medicare recipients purchase a secondary insurance.

Medicaid does tend to provide a wider range of healthcare, than Medicare, including some activities of daily living care.

Has your mother actually contacted the Medicaid providers to see if she is eligible, or is she just assuming that she is not eligible? It never hurts to give them a call. to know for sure. The name of the Medicaid program in Arizona is AHCCCS (Az health care cost containment system).

It is true that you do need a car to get groceries and go to doctor’s appointments in the Prescott area. It sounds like your mother’s property is even further away from the shopping areas. I do know that there are some Independent Living facilities that provide meals and transportation in the Prescott area. That is if you can convince your mother to consider moving to one of them.

An advantage of having a home health agency make some visits to your mother’s place is that they can provide social worker services that can make her aware of some options for her and help her make some informed decisions.

Please see my profile for more information, I cover Medicare/Medicaid services in my book.


Sep 17, 2016 - 09:34 AM

Caregiver tip #71 - don't argue - do what you know is right. If your mother is unable to do basic activities to take care of herself she isn't safe. That is the first question to ask. A state or local agency might do a wellness check and get you on the road to a solution. I let my mother live in isolation because I didn't want to argue and she ended up very badly. Guilt live with you a long time.


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