Monthly Archives: September 2010

Eldercare Communication Tip: Offer Aging Parents Options

Sometimes, more than one solution can keep an aging parent safe and healthy. Deciding which option is best isn’t necessarily the adult child’s responsibility—or perhaps even his or her right, suggests eldercare expert Diane Walker, R.N., M.S.

Walker offers tips on starting the eldercare conversation with your aging parents in a recent article for Dorland Health. Family caregivers should “not to make the decisions for their elderly parents,” she says.

Instead, they should offer more than …Read more ›

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Will Drug Prices Rise Because of Medicare Doughnut-Hole Discount?

If your aging parents are counting on the new 50 percent discount to get them through the Medicare doughnut hole next year, they may be in for an unwanted surprise, suggests an article from The Washington Post. Patient advocates are expressing concern that drug companies will raise prices so half-off won’t be as cheap as you expect. The industry argues that market competition will keep prices down, but, the article points …Read more ›

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Arguing With Siblings Over Eldercare? Elder Mediation to the Rescue

When siblings disagree over how to care for their aging parents, these days, they can turn to a trained outsider for help. It’s called elder mediation, and it’s booming, reports AARP Bulletin.

In this fast-growing field, a trained, neutral conflict-resolution professional—sometimes an attorney or therapist—meets with adult siblings and, if they’re alive and able, their parents, to sort out contentious or unresolved issues relating to Mom and Dad. The mediator’s job is to defuse the …Read more ›

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Tips on Choosing a Continuing Care Retirement Community

Yesterday we covered concerns about continuing care retirement communities and their financial stability. With that in mind, a warning in a recent Chicago Tribune article makes sense: “Just as you would check on the financial strength of an annuity provider, you also need to scrutinize continuing-care communities.” The article offers tips on what to consider when choosing a CCRC, including:

What is the risk: Understand what would happen in the event of …Read more ›

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Concerns About Continuing Care Retirement Communities Persist

People just aren’t sure what to make of continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs, right now. Are they good investments, or do the unknowns, mixed with this down economy, make them too risky?

In CCRCs, residents pay monthly rent and often a large entry fee.  They can then move from a regular home to an onsite eldercare facility if and when they need to. The New York Times reports that “concerns are rising …Read more ›

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Observation Stays for Medicare Patients Increase—Along With Their Bills

Just because you stay in the hospital doesn’t mean you’re admitted. And if you’re a Medicare patient, that little detail can cost you thousands of dollars, reports Kaiser Health News. It can also mean you have to pay for any follow-up nursing home care.

Increasingly, Medicare patients are being held for observation rather than admitted, according to the article.

Observation services include short-term treatment and tests to help doctors decide if the patient should be admitted …Read more ›

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Tough-Love Advice for Aging Parent Who Overspends

At, a reader writes that his mom plans to more to a retirement community she won’t be able to afford in the long run. He laments, “whatever Mom doesn’t spend I’ll inherit, and this makes me feel guilty about encouraging her to economize.”

Leave that guilt behind, respond Jeanne Fleming, Ph.D., and Leonard Schwarz, authors of Isn’t It Their Turn to Pick up the Check? If your aging parent’s living plans put him or …Read more ›

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Tips for When Your Elderly Parent Refuses Help

For aging parents, accepting help can mean letting go of something else—pride, fear, denial, routine. And many just refuse to do that, suggests Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, R.N., B.S.N., P.H.N., author of The Boomer’s Guide To Aging Parents.

To help your aging parent consider home care, assisted living or a nursing home, Rosenblatt offers a few tips at For example:

If feasible, we always encourage a family meeting, including not only adult children, but caring …Read more ›

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Assisted Living: Free Brochures on Choosing and Paying for Care

We hope you’ve had a good National Assisted Living Week and have learned what you need to know about this type of eldercare. If you’d like print resources for reference or to give your aging parents, you can get brochures for free from the National Center for Assisted Living. They offer:

  • Choosing an Assisted Living Residence: A Consumer’s Guide
  • Moving Into an Assisted Living Residence: Making a Successful Transition
  • Paying for Long Term Care: …Read more ›
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The Phantom Vs. the Fox: Atlanta’s Eldercare Fight

To wrap up our posts on assisted living this week, we’d like to point you to a tale of eldercare that’s playing out in Atlanta. It sounds like a fable: the phantom versus the Fox, but it’s a reality that involves “the kind of difficult, emotional question normally posed only within families: when is a loved one too old to live alone?” The New York Times reports.

Eighty-three-year-old Joe Patton, you see, is …Read more ›

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