Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I am again away from home, visiting the ill relative, dealing with some of the “business” that comes up at these times.  That includes negotiating the financial system by poking into the relative’s finances and trying to figure out how to pay the bills, make the money stretch, and then, eventually, get this person “into the system” so that the government pays for the care at the end of life.


[We have, by the way, a government in this country which is committed, at least in principle, for care of the elderly, assuming that people spend their own money first and the family is able to negotiate through the paperwork maze.  I’ve been told that it isn’t an adversarial system, but that if the government people find that the family is trying to hide assets, that’s it, no help.  And I think our elderly would want it that way.  They are usually not the type to want to go on “welfare.”}


So yesterday I was checking into alternatives to the current care my relative is getting.  The big question is, what to do when the money runs out, which place will take the lower payments that the government pays out, which means Medicaid.  Many places won’t take this.  I checked out a very nice care facility yesterday that takes an alternate government program.  The administrator was very surprised that I hadn’t yet been told of this program.  I was too, considering we’ve been to see social workers, a lawyer, and a person in the office of aging.  Then there is talk of the assessment and the long waiting list. 


I know that this is where I have to be and what I have to be doing at this stage of my life.  But it is hard.  I make a 1000 mile round trip when I come here and I’m away from home and my usual activities, and I also have grown children to visit or be there for when they come home.  I don’t know how I will handle this when winter driving is bad.


Then there is the house:  I posted previously that “You Can’t Take It With You” applies to the nursing home as well at to heaven.  This relative never threw out anything.  The relative who lived there previously saved too much as well.  Perhaps there is money to be made in selling some old stuff, but I don’t have an interest in that.  And I don’t need a new hobby. 


Resolution for myself:  Don’t put THAT burden on my kids.


  1. We have an adult respite care facitily at church, so there is plenty of focus on our elderly friends. But one area we are trying to do better is the support for children of aging parents.

    I am currently working with a few others to develop a workshop for just such a purpose. Your example of long distance care is one that is getting a lot of attention and affects many of us with parents (and other relatives) who live far away.

    I pray that God will continue to bless you with patience, wisdom and guidance during this difficult time.

  2. Remember that you are being held in prayer. Caring for a relative that does not live near you must be very challenging, to say the least. Please be sure that you are finding the time to care for yourself as well.



And what do you think?