Dear Marilyn


Suzanne answers Marilyn’s question:

Your problem feels irresolvable because it is. You can’t leave your medical care. Your mother has the right to refuse to move to a climate she doesn’t wish to tolerate. You can help her a great deal as a long distance caregiver. Contact the Area Agency on Aging   They are an excellent first contact for referral to services in Reno. They will connect you with agencies in Reno who will visit with your mother, make an assessment of what she needs and set services into place for her. They can set up transportation, free grocery shopping and delivery services, meals on wheels, suggest senior centers with social activities that may interest her and on and on and on. If their assessment finds her an “at risk” senior, they will set up in-home caregiving or work with you and the courts, to move her into a living situation where she can get the nutrition and caregiving she needs. Money is not an issue. The services are on a sliding fee scale, from no charge at all, to a fee her income can afford. The Area Agency on Aging is a federally funded program, existing in every county in the country. It is an excellent place to start researching the multiple services for the elderly.


I know you would rather be her caregiver, but please let go of the things you can’t change. Life happens. Get some support from Adult Children of Aging Parents. Call the Social Work Department of any large local hospital. They have extensive lists of support groups for family members. You will find that taking action for yourself, as you contact services in Reno for your mother, will alleviate a great deal of your stress…which is probably exacerbating your own physical problems!