WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE IS ABUSED IN A NURSING HOME: A PERSONAL STORY

My sister opened the door of our mother’s nursing home room one afternoon just in time to see the nursing assistant hit her. It was a real haymaker that snapped Mother’s head back.

“Why did you hit my mother?” my sister asked.

“I asked her to sit up and she didn’t,” the young woman replied. Our mother was....

….FULL ARTICLE

MARRIED COUPLE MEDICAID ASSET PRESERVATION USING RESOURCE ASSESSMENTS

Medicaid Resource Assessment are an important tool to understand and utilize when one spouse is in need of long term care. A portion of the Medicaid rules is designed to protect the community spouse (spouse at home) from impoverishment and unnecessary dissipation of family assets. Only the institutionalized spouse (spouse in a facility) is required to have assets of $2,000 or less and a pre-paid funeral.

….FULL ARTICLE

CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUPS: IS THERE ONE THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU?

If you’re a caregiver, you may have already read articles about the importance of preventing burnout. Usually these articles include a suggestion to join a support group. Perhaps you’re reluctant to do so because you wonder what caregiver groups are all about and whether joining one would really help you.  The overall goal of caregiver support groups is to enhance participants’ coping skills through mutual support and information sharing. Objectives may include:.....

….FULL ARTICLE

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Money has to be the top problem for most second-time-around parents. Food, clothing and medical expenses suddenly increase enormously, but the Social Security check does not increase. Yet many grandparents would not have it any other way. They do not want strangers raising their own flesh and blood.


In Kentucky, relatives parenting children not their own may want to contact Legal Aid of the Bluegrass at (859) 233-4556 to get help. This would include information on the Senior Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) that assists seniors in accessing Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps and other government programs.


Substitute parents may also find helpful information by attending the low-cost, one-day Grandparents As Parents (GAP) conference held each March in Lexington. Call (859) 257-5582 or go to www.gapofky.org for more information.

Usually, having to take full parental responsibility for your grandchildren or other children not your own comes with little warning. Grandparents often cartwheel into a world of child neglect and abuse, court proceedings and drug addiction they never knew existed. Grandparents need fast, accurate answers to their questions.


In sorrow and love they take in the little refugees created by military deployment, fatal accidents, incarceration or mental illness. However, 80 percent to 90 percent of the cases where grandparents find themselves raising their children’s children happen because of the biological parents’ addictions to drugs and alcohol.


One of the first things grandparents or others stepping in as fulltime parents should do is go to family court and prove to the judge that it is in the best interests of the child for someone other than the birth parents to have custody and to be awarded that custody. Custody has two components: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody means being able to make decisions for the child – where the child goes to school, what doctor the child sees in case of illness – or to give permission for the child to play a sport at school that might result in injury. Physical custody refers to where the child lives, eats and sleeps. Sole custody, sometimes called full custody, gives you both legal and physical custody of your relative child. With full custody, grandparents

GRANDPARENTS AS PARENTS

have the complete say on everything.


One important effect of having full custody is lowered stress for the child. Many of these children live in fear they will be abruptly dragged back into the abusive situation they have escaped. If a court has awarded the grandparents custody, the natural parents cannot show up without warning and say, “He’s my kid. I’m taking him now.” At least there will have to be a hearing first.


Children coming out of neglect and abuse sometimes need special parenting methods. Little children often conclude from their experiences in the chaos of a dysfunctional home that adults cannot be trusted, that adults never do what they say they will do. Sometimes children who move from the custody of drunken and/or drug addicted parents to Grandma’s are amazed to find that she doesn’t live in her car and they come home to the same house every day. They are surprised to learn when Grandma says, “We will have dinner at 6 p.m.,” that is when they eat. Sometimes imposing a rigid schedule, at least at first, is helpful in parenting a young child who has been abused or neglected.

MARTHA EVANS SPARKS

Martha Evans Sparks is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

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