Letter: Frustrated with 'system' for elderly

Karla Sibert

When my mother passed away from her battle with cancer and my father has had dementia for over five years, where does one go for help? My mother’s wish was to stay at home with my dad as long as possible. After her passing, we tried not to change his norm by keeping him home in familiar surroundings, which seems to help with the confusion of dementia. I reached out to his physician, social workers, elderly agencies, visited endless memory units, to no avail for “immediate” help for my father so the family could grieve my mother’s passing.

How does this happen? Our elderly pays taxes their entire life and when they are at their “end of life” there is no immediate help for them nor their families? Children have “foster care.” There is the Department of Human Services when a child needs help. Where is the help for our elderly?

I’ve lived through elderly fraud with my parents in the past few years, with $44,000 taken from them. Hospice was wonderful for my mother’s “end of life.” Where is the support for my father and dementia? Memory units within nursing care are $5,000 a month, minimum. Respite care is available, but it takes a minimum of 48 hours and the cost is $175 a day. I reached out for “in-home care” that cost is $20 an hour.

I will take cancer any day over dementia and I’m sure we are not the only people living this pain.

Karla Sibert


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