Care for Elderly Parents

Updated on January 06, 2013
K.B. asks from Garland, TX
7 answers

Does anyone have any experience with an Elder Law Specialist, Senior Care Specialist/Manager, Social Worker? My parents are in their 80's and we are needing to look at all of their options. My father has long term care insurance, but my mother did not qualify because of her dementia. We are looking at Home Health Care, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing Facilities, etc. It is overwhelming and complicated to weigh through all of the Medicare/Medicaid/Insurance/Legal matters. Unfortunately, I thought their affairs were in order, but some recent situations have come up that I was caught me off guard. My brother was told by his financial advisor that we need to see an expensive Elder Law Specialist to assist us in their situation. My parents are not wealthy and we are not trying to preserve an estate, just be sure that they are able to get the best care they can afford. I am somewhat uncomfortable with this, because it is a relatively new industry. I cannot find anyone that has dealt with someone like this and I am afraid that it is unnecessary for our circumstances, but my brother disagrees. Anyone dealing with this? Have some advice?

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for you suggestions and advice. We decided to go ahead and see the Elder Law Specialist. May be paying more than is necessary, but should be helpful. I am finding lots of good information from several websites, especially the Alzheimer's Association.

More Answers


answers from New York on


Department of Aging and Disability Services

Tel: ###-###-####
Website: Dept. of Aging

Call the above and they will help you with all your questions and concerns for free. You do not need an expensive elder care attorney. You may need an attorney, but it does not have to be an expensive elder care specialist, usually someone familiar with elder law is all you need. And you may not need an attorney at all.
First, Check out the Dept. of Aging and see if your parents are eligible for their services, you can also call the Alzheimer's Resource Association and find out what resources are available to assist your mom. Even if her demenita is not Alzheimer's - they provide resources for people suffering from all types of dementia.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I know a bit from what I have been through with my parents and we did not hire a lawyer. We learned about medicare and there are accountants/lawyers that will help qualify anyone who may be eligible for VA benefits at no charge. Usually Vets that have compassion for their fellow soldiers.

My number one recommendation if your parents qualify for assisted living is The Appletree Court in Richardson. A wonderful facility full of caring people that was within reach financially for my parents. They can recommend someone that will help you free of charge to apply for VA benefits. They might even be able to refer you to someone that could help you understand medicare. i can tell you that you must call medicare with your parents and have your parents give permission over the phone that the folks at medicare can speak to you in your parents behalf to get the ball rolling.

I visited many places in the Dallas area. The Appletree Court was the best in my opinion.

If your parents have not signed the paperwork through a lawyer giving you power of attorney, medical power of attorney, DNR, Hippa Releases..... get that done ASAP.

If your parents needs are beyond Assisted Living we found there are residential homes owned by a wonderful woman that employs caregivers to come in and take care of just a few folks. Message me if you would like her name and I will look it up for you.

I have been through this with 6 elderly family members. I'm no expert but I certainly know the drain of what you are going through. When all is said and done though, it is a wonderful feeling to know you took good care of your loved ones.


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

When my Grandmother needed more care than I could provide her at home (she lived with my and my new baby) - my greatest resource on available, affordable, options was her medical providers. Since she was just coming off a long hospital stay, I spoke with the counselors, and therapists at the hospital in order to identify housing and care options for my Grandmother.

Personally, I would be leery of anyone who charged for medical care advice when there are many free options out there. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging, their doctors, therapists, hospitals first before you begin to pay someone.

If they both have Medicare, that should help offset some of the costs depending on the facility that you choose for them. My Grandmother had Medicare (she was in her late 80s), private health insurance, and a decent retirement income, so I choose a private care facility instead of a state run (or other) that accepted medicare. Her Medicare did cover her regular medical care and durable medical equipment costs.

If you do not have it yet, you should execute Power of Attorney with them giving you the ability to handle all of their medical, personal, and financial needs. Also, you need to decide on DNRs and living wills if you have medical power of attorney.

I found this link :
I don't think this area of specialty was even around when I was taking care of my Grandmother 16 years ago. I think a regular, family, lawyer could answer most of your questions and can definitely set up the basic documents that you need.

It is so hard to make these decisions for our loved ones.

Sending Hugs your way.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When my husband became his grandmother's legal guardian several years ago (he was her only living relative that we knew of, and she had Alzheimers) we got some free assistance from a web site called A Place for Mom ( You input information about your situation (in our case, looking for an Alzheimer's/Dementia care living facility), and they offer suggestions. Their primary focus is finding a place for an elderly parent to live, but they also had in home care and skilled nursing, etc. as options to request information for. But a great bonus was that you are assigned to a local representative who contacts you by email and is available to answer questions and offer advice, and ours also sent us articles that she thought might pertain to his grandmother regarding safety, health care, home options, etc. I saw similar services offered elsewhere starting at $200, but this was totally free. Even if it doesn't get you all the answers you need, it is a nice resource. Also, if either of them is a veteran, there is another group we worked with that helped to figure out if there were financial benefits we could tap into - if you could use this I can look up the name of the organization for you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

We did go the attny. route, it was expensive, and the advice was worth every penny. Both of my parents got the care they needed in the correct facilities for their failing health. I went to someone local to my parents who specialized in the elderly. All my best.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We delt with the Ky state elder care lawyer. If my mil had not been mentally ill, he would have been of benefit. he knew a lot of alternatives, plus every benefit due her by the state.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I think that you could call the elder care services with their county. They would have a social worker assigned to them. I don't think that you need to pay for an expensive elder law specialist. You need a social worker whose job is to help.

Tell your brother that he can pay for the lawyer if he doesn't want to wait for you to talk to social services.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful
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