Getting Started

Welcome to my site. I have been a caregiver since I was 16 years old and learned how to drive. It wasn’t until recently I discovered I could get paid to be a caregiver by taking classes to be a home health aide and work for a third party agency. First I had to spend my mother’s assets down which Medicaid calls the spend down program. Once moms assets had been spent on her and the house she lives in I was then able to sign her up to be on the state medicaid program. Once my mother was approved for the Ohio medicaid program I was able to sign her up with the Passport program. This program allows for seniors who live in their communities to be able to stay in their own home without being put in a assistant living facilities or nursing home.

Once she was on the program we were able to start receiving some amazing benefits for seniors. I only wish that I would of known about this kind of stuff when I was younger and taking care of my grandmother. I have had to do a ton of research over the years looking into all the ways I can get help with both my grandmother and mother. It has been a great learning experience.

Now I feel its time for me to start teaching others about all these resources I have found to help me with becoming a family caregiver. As well as providing a support group for people going through caring for their loved one just like me. I hope as I start this blog everyone will be patient with me. I will link all the information I was able to find for Ohio and then I will look into helping others find information based on each state in the USA.

Thank you for being here.

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25 Ways to Make the Home Safe for Aging Parents.

25Home-care safety is important for keeping you in safe in your home, especially for our elderly parents. Here is a list of ways to make it safe.

IN YOUR KITCHEN

  • Keep a multi-purpose ABC fire extinguisher handy.
  • Store heavy pots and pans at waist height or lower.
  • Move items that are commonly used within easy reach.
  • Store knives, scissors and other sharp items when they are not being used in a safe place.

FTC Disclosure: There are links on this site that can be defined as “affiliate links”. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided.

IN YOUR BEDROOM

  • Place a bedside commode next to the bed.
  • Attach side rails to the bed to make it easier for your parents to get in/out of bed.
  • Consider turning a room on the first floor into a bedroom if possible.
  • If a hospital bed is needed consider renting or buying one from a medical supply company.
  • Install a lifting device to help with transferring parent/spouse in or out of bed.

ON YOUR STAIRS 

  • Install sturdy railings on both sides of the stairs. Have railings extend past first and last step.
  • Consider installing ramps for easier mobility and wheelchair access.
  • Consider purchasing a stair lift if sleeping on second floor.

IN YOUR BATHROOM

IN THE REST OF YOUR HOME

  • Make sure floors are clean and dry and nothing is in the way.
  • Have sturdy and supportive furniture.
  • Lower the water temperature on water heater to 120°F to prevent burns.
  • Keep all commonly used items within easy reach.
  • Ensure light bulbs for fixtures are the correct wattage.
  • Keep portable heaters 3 feet from objects so nothing catches on fire and people so they do not get burned.
  • If you smoke, never do so in bed. Do not allow anyone to smoke in your home if oxygen is used and install smoke detectors on all floors.
  • Enlarge doorways if necessary if they are not wide enough for the use of walkers or wheelchairs to fit through.

 

Happy Mother’s Day or is it?

This will be my first mothers day without my mom. It has been 6 months now since my mother joined my father in heaven. I miss her every day. She taught me so much. Mostly how to be strong. She fought like champ through everything she went through. She was beautiful, smart, loving, kind, gentle, a good cook. She was talented.

I found 3 ceramic angels that were unfinished in the basement with part of a ceramic Christmas tree that she had made as I have been trying to clean out our family home. She taught ceramics for many years until it started making her sick. It sucked that she had to give it up. She was so good at it. All of us children get our artistic abilities from her.

So as I continue to clean out her home today and I go through all the stuff in the attic I know all the memories of my childhood will coming rushing back and the tears of love and joy will come flowing through.

So as you celebrate this day don’t forget to cherish every moment you have with your mom. We only get one mom and no one can compare to the woman who gave us life. So as you go though this day celebrating remember that without her you would not be here.

I am grateful for that I got to be her daughter.

Have a Happy Mother’s Day!

Food Services for Seniors

8Is using a food service right for you and your family? What companies offer deliveries of food to your home? What is the cost? Which companies should I use? These are just a few of the questions you may be asking yourself.

As a caregiver you maybe looking for healthy nutritious meals for your loved one such as a aging parent or the senior you are caring for and a meal service maybe a good option for you if they can not cook for themselves or if life is crazy and you just need something quick and nutrious to give them.

Good thing is there are several options for you such as:

  •  Personal Chef to Go
  • Healthy Chef Creations
  • Global Meals
  • Fresh n’ Lean
  • Marthas Senior Gourmet
  • Chefs for Seniors
  • Meals on Wheels 
  • Silver Cuisine by BistroMD

These are just a few of the different meal services that you can have delivered to your aging parents or other senior person who may need meals prepared for them if their still living in their own home. The cost for these services can range from $70 – $500 a week for meals depending on the companies. Most seniors who are on Medcaid usually get the food free depending on insurance companies.

Food Delivery for Seniors

What to consider when choosing a delivery services

Now check your in your community as well. In the neighborhood I live in the the Community Center offers all types of benefits for Seniors and they offer meals as well for seniors and activities that you can take your loved one too. This helps them stay active and social with others.

Seniors live in isolation and may not be able to get out of their homes so delivery service may help with loneliness. So it is important to consider all the options when taking care of your loved one. Delivery services can offer a break from cooking and help relieve the caregiver with daily stress.

What is the cost of meals

 

Choosing a Manged Care Plan

In the State of Ohio after enrolling in Medicaid you will get a letter asking you to choose a care plan and if you don’t the state will pick one for you. They offer five managed care plans to choose from. I recommend that you review each one before choosing a plan to make sure it is the right plan for you. The best way to enroll is online through the Consumer Hotline.

It is just like regular private health insurance. Once enrolled in a managed care plan the insurance company will send you a new permanent card and keep it with you as long as you have this plan. The plan will send you all the information describing your benefits and services.

You can find the same information here on

http://medicaid.ohio.gov/FOROHIOANS/Programs/ManagedCareforOhioans.aspx

Happy New Year!

Good morning everyone and happy new year. I know I am a little late with wishing you one but late is better then never in my book. 

So 2018 is finally here. The last few months have been so hard for me. Trying to decide whether to put my moms house up for sale, walk away, or let it just foreclose and force us out. I did learn something, there is a thing called “cash for keys”. So I guess what this is, is to have the mortgage company offer me money to get me to leave. I think this might be option we may try. Don’t get me wrong I would just walk away right now but we don’t have money saved yet to move and we have to fix our credit scores and blah, blah, blah. 

See we lived with my mom. It was her house and luckly in her name only. But we have 52 years of stuff to go through. Lots of memories in this house. I was never attached to it but I am finding that I am some what. I have spent most of my life here. But anyway its a new year with all new beginnings for us. 

So this year we are clearing out the house,  saving up for a home of our own, and I started a new job with a new career. I use to be a hairdresser until I started taking care of mom but with her gone now I am taking care of someone else now. There will be lots of adventure this year from new job to a new home eventually to a much needed vacation to visit my brother in Georgia. It is time to let God or the universe empower me to build a new life. So 2018 lets get going with lots of  fun and exciting adventures for me and my family.  

Merry Christmas 

Just wanted to give a shout out to my readers and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! 

This has been a very difficult day for my family and me. As we just lost my mother last month before Thanksgiving. 

I wish that my family was all together in my home but this year we were all spread out celebrating in different places. This holiday was not the same.  Every year was spent here in my childhood home. Last Christmas was the last holiday spent in our home. At Easter time mom was in the hospital. When she came home everything had changed. We never did much for Memorial Day or Fourth of July or even Labor Day. But I was always with her. 

Today has been just another day.  My husband and I went with my brother to his daughters house for Christmas this year. I love my nieces for trying hard to make this a special day.  We played a game with dollar scratch off lottery tickets. It was a dice game called “Left, Right, Center”. I won the first round. My great niece won the second round. It was fun coming home with all these lottery tickets to scratch off to see how much I won. No, I didn’t strike it rich but I did win a little bit. 

I pray that everyone had a happy holiday and even though my mom wasn’t here with us I know she is no longer suffering and is at peace with my father in heaven and with Jesus by her side. 

Holidays 

The holidays are upon us and I have no interest in celebrating. I know I should my mother always loved to look at the Christmas tree after I would decorate it. She would tell me how beautiful it was and how I would always do such a nice job in decorating it like my dad use too. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. When my brothers and I were younger we would always look for our gifts and try to get a peak at them. If they were wrapped we would carefully unwrap it and look at what we got and then we would wrap it backup. Oh we where so bad. LOL!

Mom and I  would make so many cookies. We would start in the beginning of November. My favorite is the Italian Christmas cookies that my grandmother taught me how to make. Here is a copy of  the recipe here:

Italian Christmas Cookies

Italian Christmas Cookie

3 Eggs
3/4 cup of Sugar
2 teaspoons of Vanilla
1/4 cup of Baking Powder
4 cups of Flour
1 cup of Milk
1 1/4 cup of Crisco

Beat eggs and sugar for 20 minutes and add vanilla. Then add flour and baking
powder. Melt the Crisco and add milk to cool it off. then mix it all together.
Add more flour if it is to sticky and chill so it will be easier to roll. Once
chilled roll into S shapes or twist knot and place on cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until bottom is a light golden brown.

Icing

Mix

1 cup of Powder Sugar
1 Tablespoon of milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Let cookies cool and spread icing on them and add little color candies
immediately. To keep soft and fresh place in a Ziploc or can. If they sit out
they get hard for dunking in coffee.

I love wrapping gifts but this year there won’t be any. The tree is not going up the cookies are not made and no one is coming to celebrate.  It is very depressing this year. Every year on Christmas eve we would have pizza, susauge, and salad for dinner. Nope not happening. Using the turkey I should of cooked for Thanksgiving this year instead. My husband, brother, a friend who also recently lost her mother too and I will have dinner together. Christmas day we will go to my nieces new home for dinner. The holiday will not be the same. With mom passing away my brothers made other plans. We will not be all together this year. When my dad died everyone did something else for Christmas eve. Christmas day had stayed the same that year but with mom gone now I guess we will have to make new traditions.

Last Christmas was the last holiday to be held in our home as we will probably be putting it up for sale soon. So many things to do. Clearing out a home that I have spent my entire life in is not easy. So day by day I take a baby step moving forward to a new life,  new career, and eventually a new home in coming year. Lots of new beginnings.

Grieving 

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=615446328646559&id=545276182330241Does the pain and sorrow go away? I find myself still crying everyday. Even though I know she is happy and healthy again, she truely is in better place. I try to let that bring comfort to me as I focus on the happy memories.

People always say it will take time and for me to take it day by day. I have done pretty good with that. I am slowly writing out the thank you cards. I have donated her clothes, shoes, and jackets, gloves. I have given some of her jewelry to my siblings, along with my nieces and nephew. Not bad so far. Each day I try to find something to go through in our home.

I even managed to get a job. The agency I had worked for called me up and had offered me a job with another patient to take care of. I am/was a Hairdresser. I never thought that caring for my mom would lead me into a career change. I would say both jobs are hard on the body in a very different way. Being a home health aide has taught me to be more compassionate. Caring for my grandmother and then my mother I know now I did all the right things. I did everything God wanted me to do. I have no regrets. I loved these women with my whole heart. They taught me so much. It is because of them I have become this kind, loving, caring, strong woman. I didn’t just loose a mother I lost a friend, and a home.

Home is what my parents created. It just isn’t a house. It was a home that everyone new that they could go to. It was filled with love. My parents opened our home to everyone. They raised my nephew for the first 11 years. But for my nephew this was always his home. I have three older brothers. I was the baby and only girl. As you could imagine I was spoiled. Spoiled rotten as my family would say. Funny thing was I never felt that I was anymore spoiled then the rest. Sure I got everything I wanted but so did my brothers and nephew. Mom and dad always found away to make sure. We never went without. Now everything we had wasn’t always new we shared a lot of stuff. I use to wear my brothers old jeans, I would get there old stereo, phone, tv, shirts, jeans. They would get new things and I would take the hand me downs. I loved wearing their old jeans. Bell bottoms were the best. All broken in and nice and long.

Oh, I totally got off topic here. LOL

We had a happy childhood. As I clean out the house I will be saying goodbye to a lifetime of memories. Unfortunately, we only have a year to stay in it. The next 50 years years will have to be made in a new place. Where that will be I do not know yet. Praying that the Lord will guide us to make the right decisions.