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Beline Obeid

Common questions about aging parents


July 31, 2014
Q. My mom is 85 years old and lives with me. I take care of her practically 24 hours per day. I have an opportunity for a new job, but I don't know what to do with mom and can't afford 12 hours a day care at my home.

A. We hear stories like this all the time when talking with families. An option that might work well for some seniors and their families is combining in-home care with an adult day center. A professional in-home caregiver could help get your mom up and ready for the day and then take her to an adult day center in the afternoon where she could stay until you can pick her up on your way home from work.

Q. Why should I hire an agency to care for my mother when it seems cheaper to hire an aide directly?

A. There are both legal and personal risk issues involved in directly hiring a caregiver. Some things to consider include: criminal and reference checks, tax withholdings, liability and worker's compensation insurance, bonding for personal property theft and arranging for replacements if the caregiver does not show up for a shift or becomes ill. Professional in-home care companies can help to alleviate these concerns.

Q. My mom is 84 and her hearing seems to be getting worse and she is beginning to withdraw. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Some tips our caregivers use include: reduce background noises, lower the pitch of your voice, slow down your pace of speech, maintain eye contact and avoid shouting. Although these tips will not improve her hearing, they can significantly improve your ability to communicate with your mom. She may also benefit from a visit to a hearing specialist. Additionally, specialized companies serving seniors can provide a professional caregiver to help your mom deal with everyday challenges and keep her more active and engaged.

Brayton can be reached at (313) 885-0600, by e-mail at mebrayton@se

niorhelpers.com, or visit seniorhelpers.com.

The Family Center serves as the community's hub for information, resources and referral for both families and professionals. Its mission is to serve our community through programs and resources vital to today's families.

The Family Center is a non-profit organization, all gifts are tax-deductible.

To volunteer or contribute, visit familycenterweb.org, call (313) 432-3832.

E-mail inquiries to: info@familycenterweb.org or write to: The Family Center, 20090 Morningside Drive, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236.

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