90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:

Offering Help When An Elderly Parent Is On The Decline



If you have an aging parent, maybe you wait nervously for that phone call. The one that tells you your elderly mother has fallen and broken her hip. Or that your declining father — who probably shouldn’t be driving any more — has been in a car accident. Or that one of your parents has had a stroke.

Or maybe you’d been through this already and had no idea what to do. Maybe you’re going through it now and you’re still not sure what to do.

A new local organization wants to change that. It trains people who’ve been through these tough situations to help other people going through them for the first time. It’s called the Chronic Care Community Corps, and you might think of it as domestic Peace Corps for people who care for the elderly.


  • Ned Rimer, founder, Chronic Care Community Corps
  • Wendy Valentine, Chronic Care Community Corps trainee
  • Tina Bloom, Chronic Care Community Corps beneficiary

Other stories from this show:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Sarah

    What a great topic today. Another great resource is a recently published book “Don’t give up on Me” by Jan Simpson and published by Circle of Life Partners in Concord, MA. I hope the group on which you are focused today is also aware of sites like www. Manyhelpinghands.com for setting up needed support in the community.

  • http://masshomecare.org Al Norman

    There is a broad network of Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) and Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) that are keeping more than 10,000 people today out of nursing homes, out of a total service level of 40,000 + elders we work with. This extensive network of community-based agencies is one of the reasons why nursing home patient days in the Commonwealth have plunged 25% since 2000.

    This system has been around for 35 years, and we also engage in chronic disease self-management, which teaches seniors how to manage their own health.

    Any family who is considering placing a loved one in a nursing facility has the right to a free “Options” counseling to examine what alternatives are available. Our counselors are also visiting nursing homes every week to identify people who want to return home.

    To find the Options program in your area, dial 1-800-AGE-INFO and press “1″ to be automatically connected to our member where you live.

    Our goal is to help keep elders and younger individuals with disabilities to live in the least restrictive setting possible, at their highest level of functioning possible, for as long as possible.

    Al Norman, Executive Director, Mass Home Care Association

  • http://www.hearthside-homeinstead.com Laurie Bender

    It’s wonderful to see this grass roots effort to share experience and knowledge. My concern, as both an adult child who has been there, and an owner of a large home care agency, is that not all experience can be globalized. I’ve seen many examples of kindly meant poor advice based on limited experience. It is fine to listen to others but then check with the experts. Al’s advice is what I always tell adult children-call your local ASAP and the Council of Aging in your parent’s town. Also, there are “professionals” out there called Geriatric Care Managers (GMC). These are trained, Licensed and Certified Social Workers or Nurses whose role is to assist seniors and their families through the maze of decisions and options. To locate a GCM go on line and search National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers.
    Laurie Bender, Owner of Home Instead Senior Care

  • Sarah B

    Many people out there, too many to even count, have not considered the what if’s for when the time comes that their loved ones will need help and they will need guidance on where to turn. The American way is “stiff upper lip, all will be fine,” but we are talking about our loved ones, our parents, that need help-all may not be fine. There are medical, financial, housing needs that must have answers and we do not want to be shooting from the hip. Have the conversation NOW before you are making decisions in a rash manner. Don’t Give Up on Me! is a wonderful book that starts the conversation, and truly a must-read for all of us in the sandwich generation.

  • http://www.dontgiveuponthem.com Jan Simpson

    Last October, I participated in Ned’s seminar co-facilitated with Dr. Loring Conant. It was superb! Having cared for both parents living at home with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, respectively, for nearly a decade, I appreciate Ned’s mission to educate family, friends, and colleagues in how to offer meaningful support to family caregivers. I encourage your listeners to consider hosting Ned’s seminars at work, a place of worship, or a neighborhood group.

    Mentioned by another listener, I wrote “Don’t Give Up on Me!” a fast-paced memoir to be a resource for families starting the journey with their aging parents. A candid guide through the last decade of life, the book brings readers ringside to see how decisions made or not made, about legal, financial, medical, caregiving, and end-of-life issues can impact the quality of your parents’ lives and your relationships with siblings. The book may be found on http://www.dontgiveuponthem.com. All profits are donated to non-profit organizations such as the Chronic Care Community Corps that support aging parents and their family caregivers.

    Many thanks for giving listeners ideas on how to find help and support.

    Jan Simpson, Circle of Life Partners

Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

  • Listen: Weekdays, 3 p.m. on 90.9 FM
  • Live Call-In: (800) 423-TALK
  • Listener Voicemail: (617) 358-0607
Most Popular
This site is best viewed with: Firefox | Internet Explorer 9 | Chrome | Safari