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A Place For Mom Is No Place For Mom

Concentrated elderly woman…Finally, the time has come: Your mom needs to be in a place offering 24-7 care. She has fallen repeatedly. Or rushed to the hospital too frequently. Or she’s begun wandering away from home, lost in a world she cannot remember. It is time to find a place But where? Google “assisted living Phoenix” (or New York, Scottsdale, Miami, doesn’t matter). Among the very first ads to pop up will be for A Place for Mom, declaring that “Finding Assisted Living is Easy, Fast and Free.” Why not trust these good people? Theirs is a heartfelt name, A Place for Mom.  Former Today Show host Joan Lunden declares on their website, “You can trust A Place for Mom to help.” Fill out their internet form with your contact info, and within minutes you will fast learn the nature of that help. Read More

All she wanted was a little sun

Beautiful elderly happy coupleNot long ago, Michael, our advocate in Broward County, Florida, got a phone call from an assisted living facility he worked with.  The manager wanted him to find a new home for one of its residents, a  99-year-old woman who they felt had memory loss and had started wandering out of the facility. As a former nursing home and assisted living manager who had run multiple facilities with up to 750 residents, Michael immediately understood the problem: Wanderers strike fear in the hearts of facilities managers. read more

Finally, Medicare Starts Paying Docs for End-of-Life Conversations

medicare-logoAs of January 1, Medicare and Medicaid have begun reimbursing doctors for conducting conversations with patients about their wishes for end-of-life care. The choice typically addresses the q… read more

I Took Chicken’s Way Out To Stop My Dad from Driving

Dad at 20-30I admit it. I took the chicken’s way out. My father, 87, had always been an erratic, fast and dangerous driver.  One terrifying trip in particular down the Georgia mountains trying to catch a plane in Atlanta ..read more

Family Conflicts Make Death Worse

By Tony Polk

donna leggere sedutaEarlier in her career as a Senior Placement Advocate, Candy, our advocate in Palm Beach County, faced one of the most difficult aspects of senior placement — conflicts between family members regarding what’s best for their parents. Candy had worked with the family and the primary caregiver, a daughter who lived near her parents, to address the end-of-life issues faced by Mom and Dad who were still together after 70 years.  Dad’s health was in deep decline. His kidneys were failing. He was bipolar, increasingly subject to periods of searing depression.read more

When Families Don’t Have “The Conversation”

icu crowdedDr.  Angelo Volandes, of Harvard Medical School, tells   a cautionary tale of a family that did not have The Conversation with their mother before she sunk so deeply into Alzheim…read more

Alzheimer’s Caregivers Most Important Decision

bobby demarco new pic

My friend Bobby DeMarco is a hero of mine and one of the great caregivers I know.Bobby seems the most unlikely of caregivers.  A street smart kid from Philly — read more

No Solutions For Old Age

Tony, author Andrew and his mother, Marian Schlesinger, 103WHAT MOTHER LIVES to be 103? Maybe Rose Kennedy and the Queen Mother. How could I be so lucky? We tried an assisted living situation recently, but she did not like being ..read more

All in a day’s work … make that months and months

By Tony Polk

Old couple at the restaurant and having a good timeNot long ago,  Cecil, our advocate in Tucson and Southern Arizona, got a phone call from a Tucson area Behavioral Health Center which needed help placing one of its patients.  Loretta was 66-year-old woman who had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.Visiting a behavioral care center is not for the faint hearted.read more

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