Why I Thanked a Caregiver

My older sister Linda Goyer Lane is part of the “sandwich generation”-people who care for their aging parents while simultaneously supporting children of their own. When my parents began needing 24-hour care about a year and a half ago, Linda stepped up in a big way to help me care for them. She and her two sons (one in high school, one in college) have all made sacrifices as she began traveling to Arizona for a week or two at …

Sibling Squabbles Over Mom? 7 Tips for Getting Along

Relationships with siblings can be solid and fulfilling, yet when there are issues regarding aging parents, even the sweetest situations can turn strained or worse. Hot-button issues are almost always around money (your parents’, caregiving expenses and who pays), family possessions, Mom and Dad’s independence and safety, living arrangements or medical decisions. You know what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen…. Or not enough. Your brother and sister might be delighted to leave the caregiving to you. …

GPS Systems Track Loved Ones on Road Trips

Recently, 81-year-old Goldie Hunt and her husband, Vernon Hunt, 91, were reported missing after they set out on a 500-mile car trip from Garnet, Kansas to visit Goldie’s twin sister in Dwight, Ill. The alarming story thankfully came to a happy ending several days later when they were spotted by a law enforcement officer as they asked for directions in Michigan. The Hunts’ experience reminds me of a heartbreaking story several years ago 0f a Pennsylvania couple, William Fresch, 85, and his …

TEDMED’s Great Challenges Day Addresses Caregiver Crisis

Recently, I participated in the first TEDMED Great Challenges day which addressed 20  great challenges (see my previous post about the Dementia Tsunami, one of TEDMED’s Great Challenges). I participated in a breakout group of about 20 people who rolled up our sleeves and dove into a discussion of the “caregiver crisis.” It was an afternoon full of passion and spirit among all contributors. Many of us are or have been caregivers; others approached the topic from a business viewpoint (those who …

Is Your Loved One Really Getting the Care You Expect?

Recently, there has been a great deal of controversy about an employee in an independent living facility in California who refused to do CPR on a resident, citing company policy forbidding her to do so. The resident later died, sparking many questions about types of facilities, the kind or “level” of care provided and their policies. Several investigations have been launched as a result of the incident. The facility at first said the employee followed policy, but later released a statement saying, “The incident resulted from …

Medicare Settlement Means No More ‘Improve or You’re Out’

A federal judge has approved the proposed Settlement Agreement in the Medicare Improvement Standard case, Jimmo vs. Sebelius, clearing the way for thousands of Medicare beneficiaries to receive needed health services to maintain their current level of functioning. The settlement, which represents a significant change in Medicare coverage rules, ends Medicare’s longstanding practice of requiring people to show a likelihood of improvement in order to receive coverage of skilled care and therapy services. The Agreement, which is retroactive to the …