Helping Elders Accept They Can No Longer Live Independently
Archived Q&A and Reviews
- Dealing with Aging Parents' Unsafe Housing
- I've been caring for my parent, need to leave now
- My mother is trying to care for my very ill father
- Aging & ill parents not accepting how life has changed
- My 80-year-old aunt needs to move from her home
My parents have lived in the same home for almost 50 years. My father has always taken a ''Do-It-Yourself'' approach to home repairs and yard maintenance - he has always had a distrust of contractors and other professionals who he assumes try to rip homeowners off. He is a skilled enough carpenter/basic plumber that he has generally kept their place in adequate shape over the years. However, in the past few years the house has faced several major repair issues (electrical wiring, dry rot in the foundation, leaking roof, collapsing deck, etc., etc.) that he is simply incapable of fixing himself and his increasing age makes even some of the basic repairs more difficult. Despite this, he refuses to allow outside professionals address the issues.
Simultaneously, my mom seems to struggle with hoarding-type tendencies. It is not to the extreme shown on same cable TV ''hoarders'' shows - the house never has molding food or animal excrement - but it is simply filled with boxes and boxes of items and huge stacks of papers and piles of clothes on every surface. In some rooms you can only walk a narrow path through all the clutter.
I am increasingly worried about the safety of their living situation. When I or my sibling have tried to bring up moving to an easier to maintain home my mom gets EXTREMELY upset saying she knows moving will make her lose a lot of ''important papers.'' Offers to sit with her and go through every piece of paper to ensure it is filed and moved only agitates her more. Similarly, when we offer to vet and supervise professional workers to address the urgent structural repairs my dad becomes angry and dismissive.
I have expressed to both parents individually and together how concerned I am for their safety. The response is generally some form of ''thank you for your concern, we know there are a few things that need to be addressed, we are doing the best we can, now drop it.''
Has anyone here faced similar issues? Do you know of any resources that might provide guidance on how to approach proud but aging parents and help them accept that they need to make significant changes?
Very Concerned Daughter
If it wasn't for the fact that my dad has just gone through the next chapter of your story, I would think that we might be talking about the same family. I have almost the exact same situation with my father, except his wife isn't my mother (weird but my mother also had the same hoarding tendencies that the second wife has). So, what happened next, to them, was the wife got very ill. An ambulance came and they/my dad got reported to the health department. Basically, the house was uninhabitable (due to the delayed maintenance caused by the piles). The wife was not released back home until it was fixed and went to 'rehabilitate' temporarily in a hotel. It took my 84 year-old dad over a year to remove the piles and piles of junk (clothes and papers) enough so that a contractor could come in and fix the structure. The entire time the wife stayed in a hotel but complained bitterly about her stuff being moved/removed. Between the cost of the hotel (which she demanded) and repairs there is no longer is any equity in the house. My dad, who was not wealthy to begin with, is on the verge of financial disaster. The point here is that regardless of how difficult it may be, you need to take action. As your parents get older it will only become more difficult. I would confront each separately (with siblings) and explain what needs to be accomplished simply to assure safety. Since hoarding is really a mental health condition it may be helpful to consult with a therapist (with hoarding experience) to know the best way to approach your mother's piles. Perhaps renting a storage space and letting her know she can sort through it later will allow you to move it out. Good luck. Anonymous
You have two issues: the need for housing repairs and the hoarding. I think that your county's adult protective services office could give you advice on both, and make referrals to your county's resources. Hard to say what to do about the house repair situation if your father refuses to let anyone else do anything. If they're low-income, they may be eligible for some free repair services, but they'd have to say yes first. On the hoarding, I think most counties now have hoarding task forces. Start with adult protective services and see where they send you. good luck
The hoarding sounds really unpleasant, but you don't mention anything specifically unsafe about it. I'd focus on the maintenance issues. Could you find someone you like to do the work, and have him or her help you present it to your dad as a way to give someone work who really needs it? I found it extremely difficult to get my aging father to do anything that involved spending money on his home - it was always me being wild & crazy with the cash, in his opinion. He also hated feeling helpless. Trying to present it in a way that spared his pride (dad, you are helping someone else!) made a couple of things a little easier. Also just begging him - telling him that worrying was keeping me up nights - just indulge me! have it fixed! - helped a little.
That said, getting aging parents to do anything is really, really hard. Just wait until you have to get them to stop driving. . .
You are never going to talk your dad into allowing help with maintenance, or your mom out of hoarding. It's just not going to happen, so don't be too hard on yourself. My mom lives in a 1 bedroom apartment. She has a path from her front door to her bedroom, and another one from the bedroom to the bathroom, but you have to turn sideways to get through. There are no surfaces that are not piled high, except her tiny bed and the toilet. There are no interior doors that can be closed because they are blocked by boxes and things on hangers. Her oven is full of stuff and only one burner does not have stuff piled on top of it so her cooking is limited to that. She is a smart independent woman, but she just does not see this as a problem at all. She sees it as temporary - she is working her way through the papers, books, piles of mending, broken appliances, etc.. Most of this stuff has been acquired fairly recently - it is not family heirlooms or things she has cherished over the years. She collects stuff that other people in her apartment complex have thrown out. She can't pass anything up.
A few years ago she fractured her shoulder and could not navigate her apartment with her arm in a sling. I came over, at her request, to help her clean up a bit. She became so angry when I tried to move stuff around that she screamed at me to leave or she would call the police. Another time, when she had to be hospitalized for a couple of weeks, she was weak enough not to protest my offer to clean up her apartment, since she'd be using a walker for a while after she got back. My husband and I spent 2 weekends loading junk into our van (broken chairs, multiple microwaves, old sets of encyclopedia) and transporting it to a storage unit. As soon as she was back and feeling better, she had everything moved back in, and she makes it a point to frequently lament the half-empty bottles of 25-year-old condiments I threw out.
You are right, it is a health and safety hazard, but our parents are just not able to see it objectively. You have to bring the law down on them, I'm afraid. Thankfully, in my mom's case, the management at her apartment building conducts fire inspections every 6 months, probably for precisely the reason that hoarders create a great risk to themselves and their neighbors. It takes my mom about a month to get ready for one of these inspections. She drives many carloads of junk to the Goodwill, and she repacks all her boxes so they will fit into corners, on shelves, or in her spacious storage pantries and closets. You could do something similar. I imagine if you call your county health department and your local fire department they could tell you how to set up an inspection. It really is a safety issue, and having an inspection is probably the only way you can get your parents to the point whether they are not a fire risk. I can assure you that gentle urging and reasoning is very unlikely to work! local mom
Unfortunately, no matter how good your intentions are, you can't make your parents do anything they don't want. Can you afford to pay for some of the repairs? That might sway your dad. Off to pay for some small job and try to find a contractor that you and he can develop a relationship with. Someone with a small outfit who is there doing the work - not a contractor who negotiates the paperwork and then delegates it all to a crew.
It may be good to have a professional talk with them - that might carry more weight than you and your sister. Do they have a physician? can you ask him or her for a referral to social work for a safety assessment of the house?
just telling them to get stuff done doesn't seem to be helping. you can express your concern for their safety but you also need to follow up with practical hands-on support in the form of time and money. Even then it will probably be an uphill battle. it hard to accept help, it's hard to admit the loss of ones independence. try to make is seem like they are doing you a favor by allowing you to relax a bit about their safety. good luck
Concerned Daughter, you are not alone: 70 percent of people over 65 will need care from others at some point. If it seems that parents can't take good care of their house and belongings, it's time to ''have the talk'' about planning for the future.
You are right, a cluttered, neglected house in disrepair is a broken hip waiting to happen. But maybe that is not the way to start the conversation. The way you approach the topic sets the direction that your talk will take, and how parents react.
A wonderful, easy-to-use resource for adult children is the guide, ''10 Conversations to Plan for Aging with Dignity and Independence.'' Web: thescanfoundation.org/10-conversations-plan-aging-dignity-and-independence
Also, consider making an appointment with the family doctor. Bring your mother. Describe your observations and ask the doctor outright if your mother is safe to remain at home without help. People in her generation usually listen to doctors.
If you do an internet search on the phrase ''having the talk with aging parents,'' a slew of results will give you other ideas and approaches. Linda
Wow, your story is like deja-vu. My sibling and I were feeling totally overwhelmed. Then we hired Steri-clean (http://www.steri-clean.com) last year with our parents' house just as you describe. They specialize in hoarding, and the pictures on their website are amazing. They came by to assess the place, then came the next day with 4 big guys and 3 big trucks (donations, trash, recycling) and between 8 am and 6 pm they cleared out the clutter, including the garage that had boxes piled to the ceiling. It was unbelievable!! Yes, it cost a couple grand, but we could never, ever have done it ourselves, and certainly not in that timespan. Highly recommended! So relieved
I've been assisting my aging parent through a hip replacement surgery. I live in the home, but need to get back to my own home and life in another state. Its going on two years and my parent is going backwards. My parent has less mobility. My parent would otherwise be living alone. Safety is my main concern. My parent insists on driving and living in a huge home that requires lots of up keep. My parent is not capable of taking care of it (nor am I). Can anyone suggest where I start? Whatnow
Where do you live? We had similar non-cooperative parent problems several years ago and got a lot of helpful advice and resources from the Redwood Caregivers Alliance which serves the North Bay and I'm sure they could refer you to something similar in your area. By the Way-some of the denial and rigidity might be a symptom of early dementia. In our case Grandpa had been having numerous tiny strokes before a big one hit. Sometimes, also you have to just leave and let things fall apart before an older person will accept they need help. No one person can cope with everything. Don't feel guilty. Been there.
Oh, I have walked in your shoes. I spent 5 years commuting long distance to take care of 2 elderly parents, and have spent the last 5 years up here doing the same: one crisis after another, months of unpaid labor (goodbye career), years of anxiety. I have been to hell and back.
1--For practical guidance, contact Family Caregiver Alliance (http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/home.jsp) and see what they recommend.
2--now comes the hard part. All of the practical guidance you get will still mean lots and lots of work on your part. Maybe it will work out and maybe it won't--accept that. Changing your mother's mind and getting her to move is likely to be an uphill battle. Do your best, express your love and your concerns, then LET GO. Tell your mom what the consequences of her behavior are likely to be--i.e. if she becomes disabled, you'll make a choice that is convenient for you, rather than the choice she'd make given the chance. (That's what I did.)
This is the mirror of your parents watching you go through your teenage years, except your parents are indeed going backwards. Your mother's power is waxing, and that's terrifying. Growing old and infirm with grace is something very few people are wise enough to do. Your mother would be safer in a care home--but that means losing privacy, independence, mobility, many of the things that form part of our identity. You can help her with this journey but only if she lets you. Set boundaries, do it on your terms, don't let her dictate everything.
In my case, my mom has continued to make poor choices and leave it to me to clean up. It's hard to grow old; it's worse not to live your own life because you're trying to make a crazy situation functional. Now, after multiple crises, I've had to step away just to live my own life. I still love my mom; I just accept that I can't fix what's wrong with her. --Wish I'd Taken As Much Care of Myself as of My Mom
Alameda County Aging and Adult Services provides free Information & Assistance by telephone (800-510-2020 or 510-577-3530). Contra Costa County also has a similar office.
The Center for Independent Living (Berkeley & Oakland) may be able to give you some advice - they are people with disabilities who advocate living independently. http://www.cilberkeley.org/contact_us.htm If you don't live in Berkeley or Oakland, ask them for the phone number of a similar office in your area.
Ask them about transportation and getting an application for paratransit, too.
If driving or taking the bus is a problem for her, you should probably fill out a ''paratransit application'' for her right away stating that there are certain circimstances and times that she cannot take the bus or BART, and describe those times and circumstances. Then she will qualify for some paratransit services which provide subsidized rides -- not free or as convenient as it sounds, but helpful. And it takes a while.
Senior Centers are worth contacting. You didn't say what town, but there are some in Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward, and I'm not sure where else. Carolyn
You should call Amy Pieri, who is a certified Geriatric Care Manager in the East Bay. Her phone number is 510 507 0788 and website is http://www.eldercarespecialist.info. Amy managed the care of my Dad from 2002 until he died in 2008. We were at our wits end, trying to figure out how to look after a 90 year old man with Alzheimer's who had just lost his wife after nearly 60 years of marriage. She was an invaluable help, compassionate, competent, available whenever we needed her. You can't do better. Leo
Rossmoor? Another place? Another idea? Where do I go from here? My parents live out of the area. My father is sick, and needs help with everything - bathing, eating, going to the bathroom, walking, etc. He will not get better. My mother is in good health and has been his sole caretaker for nearly 2 years. She is, of course, tired and depressed but working her tail off with pleasure to help my father. She also stubbornly does not want to move out of their 2-story house (they haven't been upstairs in the 2 years). Insurance covers someone from a home care organization to come in and help with bathing, but the hours are not right. These home care orgs. can come once during the day for a 4-hr block. This is not what she needs. She certainly needs someone in the morning, and someone in the evening, but also during the day. Home care orgs. do not offer split shifts. She also needs a nurse as she is taking my father's blood sugar and making (random?) decisions about administering his diabetic medicine (home care orgs. do not send RNs). Further, she needs someone to talk to. They have no friends in the area. Basically, my mom needs a nurse and a wife in one! I would love to have them closer - does Rossmoor offer this type of service (wife joke aside)? Is a retirement facility right for them since my Mom is in good health? Is there an agency they can contact to interview live-in nurses for their current home? Anyone else out there ever deal with this? I'm at a loss for ideas! Thank you! Only child at a loss in Berkeley
it maybe helpful to look into speaking to a private care manager in the area your parents live in (you maybe able to google this). they will know all the resources of that area. If you are considering moving your parents out here i would consult with someone out here as well or call or look on the website of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform for a complete list of facilities in the area. good luck
Depending on where they live, there can be many ways to support aging parents to 'age in place' which is what most people want. It is not always the best idea to move people away from all the informal support (neighbors, grocery stores, friends, church, etc) they have to be near family that may not have much time for them. They have a great resource in this house of theirs -- an extra story that someone can live in, someone that can provide help. Every city should have some kind of Area Agency on Aging, some social workers that can assist in assessing the situation and creating a plan. Many cities have Catholic Social Services or Jewish Family Services, etc. With just a bit of help (day programs, meals on wheels, a respite worker, a live in...) people can stay in their homes safely and happily. Your mom is an adult -- what does SHE want? Does she want to move? If so, there are people/agencies here that can help with that decision and if not, then it just sounds like she needs to be shored up! Not easy to worry from afar, but moving them here has its own problems, too. Good luck! Nancy
I empathize with what you're going through with your folks. Unfortunately, Rossmoor is probably not a good choice for them, as it caters to active elders who are able to live (mostly) independently. A lot of people hire caregivers, of course, from within the community of residents as well as through agencies. As I understand it, the Waterford at Rossmoor provides a bit more attention for residents, so you might check that out, but it sounds as if you'd do well to start looking at assisted living facilities with graduated levels of care. A good place to start is http://www.newlifestyles.com/, which offers great information about the different types of facilities and a comprehensive data base of places in the Bay Area. Since your mom is, understandably, having a hard time letting go of her home, you might arrange for her to talk with a good social worker (try the senior service agencies or the area agency of aging -- www.eldercare.gov -- where they live) who has a lot of experience working with seniors. My dad rejected everything I suggested and was minimally communicative but was amazingly forthcoming and responsive to a professional. I wish you well as you help your folks make this transition; get some support for yourself, too, as it can be really tough going. Good luck. Been there
Linda Wurth, of Better Care Choices, sounds like the resource you are looking for. I have met her personally a number of times and have heard a lot of good things about her. If she doesn't do specifically what you are looking for, I'm sure she would be able to guide you in the right direction. http://www.bettercarechoices.com/ 925-932-1400 -- Greg
Have you looked into The Redwoods in Mill Valley? They offer a continuum of care options (independent living, supportive living, and skilled nursing) that works well for couples when they have differing needs. In the past they were also much more affordable than Rossmoor, but I don't know if that is still the case. I've visited there several times (looking for a place for my grandmother, among other times) and always got a really good feeling. The people who live there seem to feel a real sense of community. Part of the Sandwiched generation
I recently helped my healthy (now 80-year-old) mother who was the primary caretaker during a protracted decline in my father's health. (He had a stroke that obliterated his expressive and receptive speech and complicated existing chronic medical conditions that included diabetes and a heart valve defect that was only partially assisted by a replacement valve that involved life-long use of blood thinners.) His care was complicated by obesity as he became less mobile.
My mother did not want to leave her community or home where she had lived for 50 years even though she frequently expressed rational doubts/fears about her ability to adequately care for my father in their home. And at times, I doubted her ability to make good decisions for herself and my father. Now that we have come to the end of a four year struggle to care for the needs of both parents long-distance, she has strongly rebuilt connections with her friends of many years and regained a vibrant life with pride at her ability to support and care for her beloved husband through his death at home. This wasn't easy for her or for me.
These are resources that made this possible:
1. My father's excellent primary care physician who gave straight information about his health, the required care, what his insurance would and would not provide, and a smattering of paid care resources in my mother's town. In order to get reliable information, I went to significant appointments with my parents. I'd help my mother form a list of questions she wanted addressed and added a few of my own. Then I'd make sure we covered the list, recorded the answers, and made sure my mother understood the implications before we left the appointment.
2. The Senior Center had excellent information about local resources, support groups for caregivers, infrequent ''days off'' for caregivers and lunch. This was an important starting point for my mother to develop a network of advisors, friends and paid assistants (who could build a low cost ramp? who was a trustworthy night time assistant?) and free or borrowed equipment (like a hospital bed).
3. Adult Day Care whose bus picked up my father three days a week and strongly supported my mother's needs paid for with my father's Social Security. It was very hard for my mother to feel comfortable spending the money and to require my father to go when he was unhappy (which he frequently was). But without it, she could not have managed his care.
4. A neighbor who gave my mother permission to call him if my father fell in the middle of the night and she was unable to lift him up (her worst fear). She asked the neighbor for help twice in four years. Her fallback was calling 911.
5. A trustworthy financial advisor who thoroughly understood my parents' financial situation and the available funds to spend on my father's care. My parents used his advice to set up their living trust, living wills and potential powers of attorney. My mother is still in a strong financial situation for the rest of her life.
6. Me. I started by listening to my mom and finding out how she wanted to manage this time in her life. Then we set up a means of organizing support and structures that would give her the help she needed. She actually did most of the work but I followed through on my part. I also listened to my needs and built that into our lives as well as I could. But my primary goal was not to take over from a capable woman who had built a strong partnership with my father over many years. I tried to become a partner, too. When my mother talked about her fears and how hard physically and mentally it was to care for my father, it was hard. But I let her take the lead. During those years, she needed a lot more phone and face time from me. So I cut back on activities and spent time and money visiting her. In some ways, it's been hard now because she doesn't need me as intimately in her life anymore.
While my family's solution may not be best for your situation, I'm glad I trusted my mother to know what her capabilities and limits were. She is now in the right place for her life in the community where she belongs. If her health slips, she trusts me enough to move to where I am. I know this is a difficult and uncertain time. My heart goes out to you and your parents as you work out the tough decisions for this time in your father's life. Wishing you the best for the road ahead
First, UC has a web site that provides basic information on arranging care for elderly parents. http://workandfamily.chance.berkeley.edu/ If you are a UC student or employee, I have also found that the UC CARE service has counselors who can help with specific questions, and with finding distant resources. It sounds like your parents are in a similar situation to where my parents were starting 8 years ago, until my Dad passed away 4 years ago. My dad became disabled, my mom cared for him, and he did not want to move. OVer time, we got the word across that we simply couldn't travel 600 miles every weekend to help out, and they very gradually added help, first a lady who came in about 12 hours/week in 4 hour blocks, then night-time help (but they only agreed to that when insurance covered it), and finally the 12/hr/wk person offered to live-in for less than all the night time people cost. My mom continued to have this companion live in after my dad passed away, which has turned out to be a blessing for all, because she now needs round-the-clock oversight herself. WE did investigate other living situations. There are some places that recognize that couples may need a combination of care, and offer apartments for a couple to share with assisted living attached. Hyatt has a string of places like this--none in the Berkeley area, but one at Stanford. There are undoubtedly other providers that offer something of this type.
Good luck with this difficult transition, and help your mom find some help! Sandwich generation
I'd start with the Family Caregiver Alliance (head office in SF) and see what they recommend. 800-445-8106 http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/home.jsp
Perhaps they can refer you to a Geriatric Social Worker in your parents' area who can do an assessment, and who can put them in touch with appropriate caregivers (such as an RN). Probably your mother needs a good training session in diabetes care as well.
If your parents aren't willing to move, getting help for them is all you can do (provided you can figure out how to pay for it).
I have no personal experience with Rossmoor but was told by someone more knowledgeable that they are oriented towards ''Independent Living.'' Sounds like your parents are ready for Assisted Living. If you move them here, I would look for a Continuing Care Retirement Community, such as Piedmont Gardens, that offers Independent Living, Assisted Living and Nursing Home Care. That way a resident can move up and down among the various levels within the same community. Good Luck
Hi -- our family faced a very similar situation: parents in Southern California, Father debilitated with Parkinson's, too large a house, mom and dad in denial about the extremity of my dad's illness or their ability to take care of themselves without help, Mom a ''do-it-all-do-it-alone'' with growing resentment, stress, and effect on her health. They ended up moving up the Bay Area to a multi-generational Cohousing community, and my mom really whipped into acton finding support services. This was a few years ago, and my did has since passed away. I asked my mom for some advice and referrals. You do not have to be the primary caregiver to avail yourself of these services. I would suggest a consultation with:
1) Family Caregiver Alliance in San Francisco--1-800-445-8106 or (415) 434-3388 and/or
2) Eldercare Services 1808 Tice Valley Blvd. Walnut Creek, CA 94595 Phone: (925) 937-2018 (They also have an office in San Francisco).
#1 above is great for supplying information and resource lists. #2 is a highly respected agency which is about 18-20 years old which does geriatric management, but also does consultation and support to families as well. They are experienced and knowledgeable. They also offer workshops and provide support groups. Sara
A quick thanks to everyone that wrote in with advice for elder care. Good advice and contact information for places I had not heard of. Your kind words and advice helped me so much. Thank you!! Only child at a loss in Berkeley
Can anyone here share experiences and make recommendations on how to aid aging and ill parents? My parents-in-law have aged significantly in the past year due to my father-in-law's (FIL) battle with cancer. My mother-in-law (MIL) retired from her job and was almost immediately faced with the near death of her husband and new role as caregiver. My FIL had to quickly retire from his job in a business he co-owned (and which was in debt) and has undergone a number cancer treatments. As they begin 2007, my MIL is exhausted, depressed, suffering from her own health issues that she has completely neglected, and worried about finances. My FIL is in remission now, tires very easily, but is already itching for his independence, so is doing more than is recommended by his doctors. Despite their offspring being local and doing all we can to help them, they are not communicating with us and are in complete denial about how life has changed, what they are capable (or incapable of), and what they should probably alter to make life safer and more comfortable as they move on from here. Can anyone recommend services, therapists, activities for adults who have rapidly aged (or been ill) and not fully accepted it? Can anyone suggest an in-home nurse we might be able to hire to check on them and counsel my MIL through her emotions about all of this? What about a group therapy we could encourage her to join? We are trying to be as sensitive to their needs and feelings as we can, so any techniques we can use to push them through their barriers in a positive way would be extremely helpful. Thanks in advance and happiest wishes for 2007.
daughter in law feeling helpless and frustrated!
Sounds like you need the services of a professional elder care manager. The one I've heard of is the Cohen Cormier Group, website is eldercaremanagers.com
I am sorry to hear about your in-laws' struggles. It is great that their children want to help, but it is a shame that they will not accept that help. They probably want to maintain their independence and privacy, which are, of course, important concerns for people in their age group. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot you can do without their consent unless they are in truly dire straits.
One idea is to speak with their respective doctors. A doctor may be able to recommend therapists or household helpers, and your in-laws might accept the idea better than if it came from family.
If you are in Alameda County, you can get an idea of what kinds of services are out there by checking with the Alameda County Area Agency on Aging (1-800-510-2020 or http://alamedasocialservices.org). Other counties have similar agencies. They might be able to give you further advice about what to do in this situation.
Probably the best thing for you to do is to let them know that you care about them and that you are there for them. anon
My 80-year old widowed aunt is not really capable of living by herself in the Berkeley hills any more, and has some difficulty in realizing and adjusting to that fact. Does anyone have any recommendations for decent local living situations for someone in her position? She has some 'haziness' of mind and judgement but not a diagnosed dementia of any kind; she has some health issues but is not bed-ridden. She owns a house in the hills that could be sold to pay for some years of hopefully decent, caring living in a managed situation. Any advice would be appreciated
There are a number of good options for your aunt. As Leanne mentioned: in-home support services are available which includes people live in or individuals who can come in on a daily basis to do chores, cook, be a companion, drive and whatever is needed.
here are some other options
- Assisted living facilites in the area.
- Hiring a geriatric case manager who can do an assessment of your aunts situation and provide referrals and assistance on an ongoing basis. Some caregivers at UC Berkeley have found this service extremely useful.
- The woman who wrote the book Moving Mom and Dad, Donna Robbins works here in the Bay Area and is available for Consultations to caregivers for a moderate price, she also will do onsite Lifestyle evaluations she helps with moving plans etc. should you decide to go that route.
Em Gomez, Elder Care Counselor