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Long Distance Caregiver and Assisted Living


Velos

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After his wife died last summer we became the sole caregiver for an elderly family member with dementia. We found a wonderful Alzheimer's facility in his community and he has made great improvements. Up till now we have had a outside caregiver service augment the assisted living and visit with him a couple of hours every day. They are an extra set of eyes for us and they take him out to lunch and for rides occasionally. The service automatically debits our account every two weeks and emails copies of the receipts for the outings.

 

The problem is the service no longer wants to "be the bank" so to speak for the two weeks and is asking we find an alternative. The outings and lunch are probably $200 every two weeks. We don't want to cancel the caregiver service as he is doing so well with the care but do want to monitor the cash flow and we are definitely not moving to his community. They suggested True Link https://member.truelinkfinancial.com/sign-in I have never heard of it before and not sure what we want to do? There is a $10 a month fee for the service for each card.

 

Is anyone else in a similar situation? If so what has your solution been.

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

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Tough spot to be in, but your relative is very lucky to have you in his corner. He is also really lucky to have the means to hire an outside caregiver. Most facilities are quite nice, and I am happy it sounds like you found an excellent one, but there is no substitute for an independent third party serving as your own eyes and ears since you are not local.

 

My one suggestion would be to check out the website for the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers. Geriatric care managers (GCMs) often have nursing and/or social work degrees. Some of their agencies may hire out caregivers, like the one you have used who visits with your family member, and manage them. Some of them can also help with paperwork, billing, mail, and other personal business matters (called Daily Money Managers in the field). If you search the Association's website, you can find care management services by plugging in the zip code where your family member lives. Then just look up their websites to get a feel for what their services and prices are.

 

While a GCM can be expensive, it can be really good to have one available who is familiar with your family member's situation. They can serve as a local advocate with the resident facility, and if your loved one is ever hospitalized, they can be indispensable interfacing between you and long distance medical care. If you find one that also has their own caregiving staff (as opposed to referring you to a third party service), then they will have direct control if any problems arise, or if a caregiver does not hit it off with your family member, easily be able to replace them with another.

 

Sorry for the long, possibly confusing reply. Feel free to email me if you have specific questions or want to talk about resources that can help. Meanwhile, best of luck!

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Not sure I totally understand the dilemma but if getting money to the caregiver is the issue there seems to be some easy answers.

PayPal being one way to easily transfer money.

An automatic bill pay setup from your checking account is another. Simply pay them one week in advance, verified by the invoice they send you then settle up for and differences at the end of each month.

 

For five years we cared for my mother in an ACLF. No fun. I understand what you're going through.

 

Take care

 

Ed

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I'll not offer advice but just say that you have my concern and that I commend you for stepping up to do what is right! I managed my mother's business life for her final seven years so know what you deal with. Just remember that one doesn't have to remember things to be happy and enjoy life. My mother had some good years while living in the home. You have what support I am able to give.

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FYI

 

 

Our outside service is HomeInstead. They are franchises so the services may differ between franchisees but I wanted to share a service that they just started this year that may be of interest to other travelers caring for elderly family membes.

 

It is called their "Family Room" https://hisc729.clearcareonline.com/family-room/login/ The caregivers log on with a smartphone or tablet when they arrive at a clients home and log out when they leave. (This use to be all paper before) They log their daily activities for the family members to log onto the website and review. They also have audio so you can hear comments from the caregiver everyday.

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I'll not offer advice but just say that you have my concern and that I commend you for stepping up to do what is right! I managed my mother's business life for her final seven years so know what you deal with. Just remember that one doesn't have to remember things to be happy and enjoy life. My mother had some good years while living in the home. You have what support I am able to give.

 

Thank you Kirk.

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