My grandfather loved getting mail from Publisher’s Clearing House (PCH). Though he occasionally bought a few of the advertised knickknacks in hopes of a big sweepstakes win, I’m thankful it never went further.
Unfortunately, many seniors find themselves the targets of scams that are much bigger — and way more financially damaging — than PCH.
According the National Council on Aging, the top ten scams impacting seniors are as follows: health care/medicare/health insurance fraud, counterfeit prescription drugs, funeral and cemetery scams, fraudulent anti-aging products, telemarketing (i.e. fake accident policies or fake charities soliciting funds), internet fraud, investment schemes, homeowner/reverse mortgage scams, sweepstakes and lottery scams, and the grandparent scam (i.e. a phone call from a grandchild asking for money via Western Union).
Here are a few tips for preventing the financial harm that scams can cause:
Tip #1: Ask questions. If a piece of mail seems fishy, an email suspicious, or a call bizarre, then it’s probably not legitimate. Ask questions of the sender/caller to learn more about the nature of their request and the so-called company they’re representing. If it’s a scam, they’re likely to get nervous, hang up quickly or drop online communication once you start investigating further.
Tip #2: Be on your guard. You don’t want to be so cautious that you become paranoid. However, it is important to be vigilant, to be aware of your finances, protective of your identity, and the way your personal information is shared. Unfortunately, many financial abuse scams involving seniors happen at the hands of family members or close friends trusted with highly sensitive personal data. Be sure that the person you choose to manage your family’s finances has been thoroughly vetted and is held accountable by an objective third party or other trusted family member.
Tip #3: Don’t give out sensitive personal information. On the phone, on the internet, in the store: whether it’s your home address or Social Security Number, it’s almost always unnecessary for retailers, vendors or others to have this information. If someone asks for this data, ask questions (as per tip #1) as to why it’s necessary, and if the answer is vague (as it’s likely to be), cancel your order and walk away from the transaction.
Tip #4: Research their credentials. Along with asking questions, it’s important to dig a little deeper on the experience, track record and background of the person or business promising great things at a great price. This is especially true in the case of purchasing, renting or installing mobility equipment. Don’t just go for the cheaper rates. Work with a recommended, experienced professional company or individual to be sure that the equipment is safely and properly installed.
Tip #5: Beef up your online security efforts. If you are active online — even just for a few hours here and there — make sure all your systems are secured. Change your passwords often, backup your important documents, do regular virus checks, enable a spam filter on email, and stay away from spammy sites.
A number of great scam prevention resources (184 articles total, to be exact) are available on the Better Business Bureau website via this link. Also, find senior- and caregiver-specific scam prevention tips in this recap of a recent #ElderCareChat conversation, a real-time Twitter forum for elder care professionals, caregivers and advocates.
On February 13th, 2013, students at the University of North Carolina Wilmington hosted the 19th Annual Young at Heart Social. More than 100 seniors from the community came to UNCW’s campus to socialize and dance with UNCW’s student volunteers.
Due to our local presence in Wilmington, we felt that this is one event that our team needed to be involved with – so we went and tried our best to keep up with the seniors as they danced the jitterbug, waltz, and electric slide among many other dances. In between favorite songs, we seized the opportunity to speak with the local seniors.
Meet the musician who jammed all night long, from jazz to blues and other classics – this band man was the cat’s meow!
When asked if they were married, the woman with the flower in her hair exclaimed, “Of course we are married! Look at how I am matching his tie!” The couple has been married for 45 years.
This 73 year old dancing queen was a bell of the ball, she enjoyed herself throughout the night and was an amazing dancer. Her words of wisdom were simple, “Always dance.”
Gertrude in the red and Joe in his vest have been happily married for 60 years. Gertrude immigrated from Holland in 1948 and fell in love with Joe. They both danced throughout the night, teaching others how to box step.
This young man politely asked this beautiful woman to the dance floor. She tapped her feet on the hardwood as he scooted her around. After a song or two, the young man knelt down to both knees at eye level. They are pictured sharing an embrace after several songs, both delighted!
This is Maureen Parks. She has had Parkinson’s for 18 years and can’t stand without assistance or assistive technology. Our Marketing Director, Joel Brenner, had the pleasure of escorting Ms. Parks to the dance floor. Joel describes the dance,”She was able to stand as long as I held her and we danced, she told me that dancing with me was the first time in a long time that she didn’t feel old or Ill. She trembled in my hands as the music played, and she was nervous I think about being judged, but we just made a dance out of it and laughed together. When her caregiver came to tell her it was time to go she got sad… I begged the caretaker to wait for the end of the song and she obliged. That caused one of the best smiles I’ve seen.”
“We met in Brooklyn and been married for 50 years!” exclaimed Richard. When asked what has held them together, Betty gushingly says with a smile, “He’s a really good guy.” Richard responds, “She has always been patient with me!”
It was our pleasure to be involved in such a fun-natured event that helped to bridge the gaps between generations. We saw everyone whether they were wheelchair bound or not, young or old grooving to band’s jazzy tunes and smiling. Our belief is that more needs to be done to bridge gaps between the generations. We all have a lot to learn from each other and we can all contribute to making our communities a better place. Happy Valentines Day!
We are active members of our communities. Click here to reach out to the 101 Mobility location closest to you!
101 Mobility St. Louis opens as the city’s only nationally branded full-service sales, maintenance, and installation provider of a complete line of mobility equipment, including stair lifts, auto lifts, ramps, porch lifts, patient lifts, power wheelchairs, scooters and more. Owner, Brad Kolhbrecher proudly represents 101 Mobility’s 23rd franchisee.
101 Mobility’s national partnerships with trusted brands will enable families across St. Louis to choose from diverse mobility product lines manufactured with specific considerations in mind ranging from dexterity issues to limited space. In a city of stone steps, narrow staircases and turn-of-the-century homes, Brad Kohlbrecher knows that customization is key. His goal is simple,
“There is a great need for mobility solutions in St. Louis and my hope is that we can safely help keep people in their homes.”
As a former Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) of eight years, Brad Kolhbrecher has seen firsthand just how devastating the lack of awareness for mobility solutions can be.
“Throughout my years of experience as an EMT, we’ve had many people have to return to the hospital soon after they were released because their homes were not equipped with what they would need to recover. I’ve seen a lot of senior citizens go to nursing homes as a preventative measure or to recover from a fall. They would go for temporary rehabilitation and end up dying in there. Most St. Louis families simply don’t know that there are products out there to keep their loved ones safe at home. They don’t realize that something like a stair lift costs the same as a month in the nursing home.”
Brad’s own mother-in-law was sent to a nursing home for knee-replacement rehabilitation. She was so unhappy in the facility that she refused to stay. His mother-in-law’s dissatisfaction led him to search for alternate solutions. Simultaneously, Brad was also researching entrepreneurial opportunities when a franchise consultant brought 101 Mobility to his attention. His personal experiences combined with a degree in BioMedics made opening a 101 Mobility franchise in his home of St. Louis a no-brainer.
“It was pretty clear that 101 Mobility made the most sense, all the pieces fit into place.”
Brad and his team of mobility experts will strive to help St. Louis residents maintain their independence and enjoy a high quality of life. 101 Mobility St. Louis is employing an aggressive online marketing strategy joined with focused grassroots efforts to spread awareness about options to increase accessibility for those who are aging or living with a disability.
“We aren’t just selling products but reliable mobility solutions that work for the customer. We will go out of our way to provide solutions for any challenges that a customer may have.”
We’re thrilled that Gordon Raney, a Certified Aging in Place Specialist and the co-owner/operator (along with wife, Jennifer Raney) of 101 Mobility franchises in Tulsa and Dallas, has shared his expertise about choosing the best stairlift in a three-part series here on the blog.
In part one (read it here), Raney talked about the cost of a stairlift, how it would attach to your staircase, and other fundamental basics. In part two (read it here), Raney covered the difference between curved and straight stairlifts, and what power options are available.
This last post in the series is focused on lift modification options and how to measure for stairlifts.
Can you modify a stairlift if needed?
Raney: If there is a special issue or circumstance regarding stairlift use, an individual should not hesitate to contact a reputable dealer. Manufacturers of some lifts are willing to modify the units in order to meet the needs of their customers, and it’s possible that they’ve developed a solution through their years of experience. At 101 Mobility, we are currently working with one manufacturer to retrofit a larger seat and footrest combination onto an older lift in a customer’s home.
Items such as the stairlift controls and different seating and restraint devices can be often modified to suit a customer’s needs.
How do you measure for a stairlift?
Raney: Measuring for a stair lift is something that should be done by a professional who has experience in performing installations. I would be wary of groups that offer discounts for taking the measurements yourself, as doing so can lead to disastrous situations. A knowledgeable dealer can also help determine the best location and which side of the staircase may work better for an individual’s home.
Measurements that are generally needed are as follows:
- Total length of the staircase, also factoring in the appropriate amount of rail overhang at the top of stairs in order to ensure proper seat height.
- Net tread and rise of the stairs. Several measurements are needed, as not all stairs within a staircase are the same. These measurements will determine the angle of the stairlift rails and also help determine the appropriate amount of additional rail overhang needed to add to the total rail length.
- Width of staircase should be considered. Instaircases narrower than 32” it becomes difficult to install standard units. Depending on which unit is needed or selected, a wider staircase may be required to allow for proper rail placement and seat clearances.
NOTE: For curved stairlift applications, many manufacturers have developed camera systems that will allow the dealer to perform exact measurements on challenging (i.e. spiral) staircases. This will ensure the best fit and that the stairlift is optimally placed within the staircase.
Browse our selection of stairlifts here.
Nick and Elizabeth Lopez are proud to announce the opening of 101 Mobility Chicago. Nick and Elizabeth represent 101 Mobility’s 21st franchisee. The husband and wife team have always dreamed of starting a business that leverages their combined experiences while contributing something more meaningful within the community.
With backgrounds in business and finance, Nick and Elizabeth’s skill-sets are well balanced to start and grow the 101 Mobility business that will service Chicago and surrounding areas. Nick brings twenty years of progressive marketing and sales operations experience to their new venture, gained working in the mobile-telecom industry. Familiar with working in a small start-up environment, he understands the importance and power of true customer service. Elizabeth, with skills in project management and accounting manages the financial operations of 101 Mobility Chicago. Both continue to volunteer and lead in their local community school programs.
The Lopez family makes it a point to stay engaged in their children’s schools and with local community events.
“We’ve always shared with our children the importance of following your dreams, working hard, to love what you do and find ways to give back to your community. So when we found that a 101 Mobility franchise system was available in Illinois it was immediately clear to us that this is a business we wanted to be part of, launch and grow in the broader Chicagoland area.”
Nick and Elizabeth recognize that residents of Chicago and surrounding suburbs are becoming increasingly concerned about the thought of having to leave their home as they age. This means leaving behind familiar faces, comforts and precious memories.
“A certain amount of control is lost when one leaves home and this control provides the underpinning to our feelings of dignity, quality of life and independence. Home provides a strong sense of security. But the incidence of limited mobility in our communities is far more common than most people realize and when a solution is needed to restore personal mobility, 101 Mobility should be the first on the list to contact.”
101 Mobility Chicago is a one-stop shop for accessibility solutions. Nick and Elizabeth Lopez are committed to providing customers with handshake style customer service paired with a variety of quality mobility products ranging from wheelchair ramps to stair lifts. The top-notch product offerings are matched with friendly, local authorized service technicians to ensure things are done right the first time. Day by day, the Lopez’ are increasing their reach with a focused marketing campaign and building community alliances with non-profits, state agencies and other organizations concentrated on improving the lives of Chicago’s aging and disabled population. They invite people to call and to ask questions about their mobility or accessibility situation – the 101 Mobility team is there to listen first and offer guidance second. Nick and Elizabeth further explain,
“We are small family owned business that relies on referrals and we welcome calls from people to ask questions, share stories, their comments and suggestions.”
Call 312.462.0430 or visit http://chicago.101mobility.com/ for assistance or additional information.
It’s no secret that the population is aging, and even those who don’t want to admit they’re considered seniors — or baby boomers — will likely need to take advantage of these small business service offerings at some point in their future.
But maybe, some of these seniors, boomers and younger entrepreneurs are thinking of senior care franchises for another reason: a new business opportunity. From in-home care and medical equipment to incontinence supplies and mobility aids, franchise opportunities for those who want to help seniors age gracefully abound. A recent article from CNNMoney, Golden idea: Quit and start an elder care business, writer Josh Hyatt affirms that it’s a prime time to do just that.
Ready to begin?
This eHow article shares the 12 steps to starting a senior care franchise. We’ll summarize and highlight a few of them here:
- First, decide what type of franchise you want to launch. Senior care is a broad field, so there are a number of opportunities from which to choose. Check out what franchises are for sale via this list from Entrepreneur.com, which includes the business name and service offerings, startup costs, and in some cases, a link to request more information.
- Get the appropriate license(s) and zoning permit(s) required for your franchise (check into local, state and federal policies and regulations here).
- If you will be accepting Medicare/Medicaid clients, you’ll need to apply for Medicare/Medicaid certification.
- If you’ll need other staff besides yourself, start hiring. Choose carefully, as you will be in the business of caring for people, and will therefore need employees who are competent and trustworthy, but also compassionate, warm and friendly.
- Get liability and business insurance policies to protect and preserve your franchise.
- Register the business with the state and IRS; apply for an Employee Identification Number (EIN) if need be.
- Choose an accounting system to keep your business records, expenses and revenue organized. There are several types/brands of franchise accounting softwares available; choose the one that best suits your needs and those of your company.
- Start marketing. Spread the word about your new franchise. Many people need senior care services, so figure out what makes your business unique and set apart from the competition for more effective marketing.
If you want to do things your way, as opposed to buying a franchise, consider these resources and insights from the Small Business Administration (SBA) website, Starting a Senior Care Business.
Greg Slepecki, Franchise Owner and his son Brad are proud to announce the opening of 101 Mobility Pittsburgh. These Pittsburgh natives are committed to helping Western Pennsylvania families improve their mobility inside and outside of the home. 101 Mobility Pittsburgh represents 101 Mobility’s 22nd national franchise opening.
101 Mobility Pittsburgh is a locally owned, family operated business. The Slepeckis were born and raised in the Pittsburgh area and understand the unique mobility needs of residents from the rough, hilly Pittsburgh terrain. They explained how most homes in the area are two to three level homes with upstairs bathrooms and downstairs kitchens, making stair lifts a must-have for those who plan to successfully age in place.
This charismatic father and son team have seen first-hand how people with mobility challenges have become an under-served demographic. It is their goal to provide the reliable mobility solutions that every Pittsburgh resident should have at their fingertips. Greg adds,
“The residents of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas are good people, blue-collar families who just want to stay in the home that they raised their children in.”
Greg recalled a personal experience with his late mother to describe how his parents relied on a stair lift to age comfortably in their home,
“My mother was nearly blind to the point of counting steps…she would count each step as she climbed the stairwell. We searched everywhere for something to help and there was no go-to name or business for mobility equipment in Pittsburgh; I think there is a general lack of awareness for what’s available.”
Prior to joining the 101 Mobility family, Greg Slepecki worked in one of Pittsburgh’s oldest companies as the President of Matthew’s International Architectural Group. He ran seven international manufacturing plants from Australia to Canada, California and New York. From constructing the memorial for Elvis Presley’s grave to engraving super bowl trophies, Greg has been a part of it all. Son, Brad Slepecki is experienced in disaster restoration/construction with a talent for exemplary customer care and relationship building. Brad will join the service and sales teams as Greg oversees the operation. The Slepeckis are also happy to have Primio LaLama join their 101 team as the top sales and technical person. Primio has been providing Pittsburgh families with 101 Mobility products for over three years.
Brad and Greg believe that their broader breadth of mobility products ranging from wheelchair ramps to porch lifts and more, in-depth product knowledge and franchise support system which allows for more ingenuity, will give them an upper hand over any competition. This Pittsburgh duo is working hard to brand themselves as the number one source for accessibility solutions across Western Pennsylvania with the goal of becoming a household name.
Call 412.428.9485 or visit http://pittsburgh.101mobility.com/ for assistance or additional information.
by Michelle Seitzer
Gordon Raney, a Certified Aging in Place Specialist and the co-owner/operator (along with wife, Jennifer Raney) of 101 Mobility franchises in Tulsa and Dallas, shared his expertise about choosing the best stairlift in this prior post. He talked about the cost, how the lift would attach to your staircase, and more.
What is the difference between curved and straight stairlifts (and what works best)?
Raney: For a majority of staircases, a straight rail stair lift should work appropriately. This scenario assumes that there is no turn in the stairs and that all stairs are of the approximate same height and tread width.
Should a staircase turn in any direction, have irregular-shaped stairs, or have any intermediate flat landing areas, a curved rail stair lift would be needed.
Curved rail stair lifts become a custom order job as no two curved staircases are the same. Because of this, detailed measurements need to be taken of the stairs, which will then be given to the manufacturer to custom build a stairlift rail specifically to fit the unique needs of an individual’s staircase. This process obviously adds additional time (approximately 1 month from start to finish) and the costs can range from $8k – $12K for a reputable branded curved stair lift.
Is there a more cost-effective alternative to a curved stair lift?
Raney: Given the cost and production lead time involved with a curved stair lift, we often get asked if two separate straight rail lifts could be an option. There are several things to consider in order to make an accurate determination:
First, you must determine whether the landing area where the transfer will be made from one lift to the other is an appropriate size. Remember, these lifts will extend beyond the top and bottom steps to which they are attached.
Another important question to ask is this: is there enough room on the stair landing to be able to have both chairs on it at the same time, while giving the individual the appropriate amount of room to make the transfer safely? Generally, the landing platform for a 90-degree turn in the staircase does not provide enough room for this. A 180-degree turn has a much larger (rectangular) landing area and could potentially be a safe option to install two straight stair lifts.
The most difficult part for many of our customers is finding a comfortable and safe way to appropriately swivel the chair away from the stairs upon exiting the lift. Having two stair lifts obviously increases the number of times the customer will need to perform this operation. I always ask customers to not only consider the present, but also to think about 5 to 10 years down the road: do they believe they will continue to be able to make multiple stair lift transfers? If the transfers are difficult, then a curved option that will take the individual all the way to the top landing should be considered rather than two straight stairlifts.
What types of power options are available for stairlifts?
Raney: Several manufacturers include additional “power options” that can be added to certain base models of stairlifts. These options include power-folding footrests, power swivel seat options, and even power-folding rails. These options can remove some of the obstacles an individual may face with using a stairlift and make the entire experience more enjoyable.
Learn more from Gordon Raney about measurements and lift modifications in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!
Browse our selection of stairlifts here.
Stairlifts, wheelchair ramps, power scooters and walkers. They’re available — and quite affordable when compared to the home care or assisted living costs — but many seniors would rather not use them. In fact, the mere suggestion could provoke a disagreement that adult children and other relatives would rather avoid.
Whether it’s a parent, grandparent, sibling, or spouse, there is a right way and a wrong way to recommend the use of a mobility aid. Consider these tips for approaching your senior loved one in a way that will empower, not belittle, their capabilities:
Tip #1: Emphasize the increase in independence that use of the aid affords. And no, threatening a move to assisted living if a walker is not used is not the way to accomplish this. If Mom needs your help every time she has to go upstairs, explain that a stairlift may allow her to do so without you. If Dad is experiencing increasing difficulty when he gets up from the couch and walks to the kitchen or elsewhere in the house (prompting the need for a boost or your strong arm), suggest a walker or cane for balance and support.
Tip #2: Talk about other options. If the health, safety, or general well-being of your parent or relative is compromised as a result of their mobility challenges, talk about the options. Would they prefer the assistance of a home care provider? Would they prefer a transition to assisted living? Sometimes hearing about the least desirable options makes the ones that were initially suggested (a power scooter or wheelchair ramp, for example) sound a whole lot better.
Tip #3: Let the individual choose. When you’ve reached an agreement about using a mobility aid, let the person who will be the primary user of it choose the make and model. Equip your mother with the resources (web-based, catalogs, or print materials) to research the options and make her final selection. This will solidify a sense of ownership, rather than a sense of “my kids made me get this thing.”
Tip #4: Get a professional’s opinion or guidance. An occupational therapist can be a tremendously valuable source of wisdom when it comes to incorporating mobility aids. Read about the many ways that OTs can assist with senior issues such as aging in place, Alzheimer’s, fall prevention, stroke, low vision, and more here. Or, for information about the different types of mobility aids available (and how to rent/purchase them), contact 101 Mobility.
Tip #5: Do a trial run. Find out if there is a way to test the aid first before buying or renting, giving the individual time to become more comfortable or familiar with its use. (Think of it as a test drive for a new car.) This may not work for something as large as a stairlift, but check with local assisted living communities, senior centers or churches that may have this type of a lift and ask if you can check it out.
Though everyone has moments of loneliness — whether they live alone or in a house full of people — seniors who are aging in place alone may experience it more frequently than others.
Granted for some seniors there are legitimate challenges to leaving home: loss of a driver’s license, problems with incontinence, anxiety, grief, doctor’s orders and more. As many would rather not burden their family or friends with transport requests, they opt to stay put.
Isolation doesn’t happen overnight, but simple choices (i.e. the mail can wait until tomorrow, I’m too tired to go to the hairdresser, etc.) add up quickly. Before long, the less time a person spends “out and about,” the more difficult it becomes to get out.
The Risks of Solitary Living
It’s important for seniors who live alone to regularly invite friends, neighbors or family members to join them for a meal (or go to a local restaurant, if possible, for the opportunity to engage socially). Eating alone too often may increase the risk of malnutrition, illness, infections, loss of appetite or even mental confusion, says this article from A Place for Mom.
Hoarding is another issue that, like isolation, can sneak up on a person gradually. It doesn’t take long before a few days of unopened, unsorted mail transforms into a heap of paper, or a few days of unwashed dishes or unemptied trash begins to smell, collect mold, or attract bugs. Again, the longer things are left undone, the harder it is to DO them, no matter how urgent the need.
The presence of mobility issues increases the risk of falling or sustaining an injury while trying to navigate through the house. Lifeline systems and medical alert bracelets are lifesaving tools that should be utilized by all seniors who live alone (regardless of mobility concerns).
Tips for Preventing Injuries
If you or someone you know is currently (or soon to be) aging in place alone, help them do so successfully. Consider these suggestions for creating a safe environment:
Make sure your home is barrier-free. Stay ahead of the hoarding curve by removing clutter throughout the home: in closets, in drawers, in cabinets, on tabletops, and in frequently used rooms. Then, clear paths for smoother, safer travels (whether by walking or power scooter); move/rearrange bulky furniture and remove trip hazards, like lamp cords and high-pile rugs.
Can you get in and out of the house with ease? If the answer is no, ramps or vertical lifts may be a worthwhile investment. 101 Mobility offers a number of options; check them out here.
If you travel outside the home, plan ahead. If you use a cane or walker, don’t leave it behind. Auto ramps and car lifts are practical solutions for seniors who want to leave the house on a regular basis. Check out our article on driving safety tips and car modifications to ease your travel woes and worries.
Is the bathroom safe? A majority of injuries and falls among home-bound seniors take place in the bathroom. Integrating non-slip surfaces and barrier-free baths, tubs, showers and other safety bath equipment, such as grab bars, make the bathroom less of a hazard.
Modify the home to better support aging in place. Widen hallways to accommodate a power scooter or power chair. Install countertops with rounded edges. Put lever-style handles on all doors. There are a number of things you can do to make the home mobility-friendly. Learn more here.
(NOTE: Many of these modifications can be expensive. Read our post, “Where the Heart Is: How to Pay for Home Modifications” for grants, loans and other available payment options.
Tips for Preventing Social Isolation
Be proactive against isolation or loneliness with these practical tips:
Set a routine; establish boundaries. Keep up with regularly scheduled appointments as much as possible. If getting together with friends or family happened sporadically before, make an effort to be more consistent about meeting now. You can say no to a dinner invite or a neighbor’s offer to drive you to the store on occasion, but don’t make it a habit.
Go outside. Unless you are physically limited to staying inside the home, try to get out — even just for a brief walk or to read a magazine on the porch — at least once a week.
Know your community resources. Visit or call your local AAA (Area Agency on Aging) office to find out about public transportation options, Meals on Wheels programs, nearby senior centers (most serve hot meals and provide daily activities), and other community-based support services.
Have people over. Can’t leave home but want company? Invite friends, family or neighbors for lunch, or to watch a favorite TV program together.
Stay connected. Skype, online forums, Facebook, email, and the good old-fashioned phone or letter: there are plenty of options for staying in touch from right where you are (you can even have stamps delivered directly to your mailbox).
Hire a companion. Most home care agencies offer companion services. Companions can help with errands and housework, assist with bill paying and letter writing, provide transportation to appointments, or simply come to visit and chat.
Hire a housekeeper. Maybe your Mom doesn’t need company, but she’s overwhelmed by housework. Bring in a cleaning service once a month, once a week — however often the services would be helpful — and prevent the home from becoming unsanitary or unsafe due to clutter.
Consider a roommate or pet. Use your best judgment here, but sometimes there is just no replacement for human companionship. Though a pet may be more work than help, a roommate (perhaps a friend who recently lost her spouse, or a grandchild who just moved back home after college) might be a desirable solution — and one that often benefits both parties.
- Michelle Seitzer
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