Skip Navigation
Babel Fish Translation Babel Fish logo Spanish Flag Russian Flag Korean Flag

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My loved one just isn't safe driving anymore. What should I do?
A: First, speak to your loved one about your concerns. When a person gives up driving, he or she also gives up a certain amount of independence. You can help your loved one through such a change by looking at transportation options available for older persons in his area. If you are unsuccessful in convincing your father to stop driving, you can speak with your father's doctor and ask that he or she contact the Motor Vehicle Administration's Medical Advisory Board to request a formal evaluation of your father's driving ability.

Q: My parents need help with basic house maintenance and grocery shopping. In addition, my loved one needs help with bathing. What services are available for them and what is the cost?

A: There are a number of in-home services available:

  • For companies to take care of the lawn and house consult the yellow pages or ask his neighbors about reliable providers.
  • Some grocery stores will deliver food, either for free or for a fee. There are programs that may be able to provide volunteers to assist with some of these services, such as Home Team in Baltimore County. Contact your local Maryland Access Point (MAP) Office for information.
  • Personal care services, like assistance with bathing, are available through home health care agencies and in-home service agencies. The cost varies considerably so it is worth the time to call around. To help you choose a home health care agency, Medicare has developed Home Health Compare, an on-line information source that educates you about home health agencies.

While the cost for house maintenance and shopping services is usually borne by the individual, there may be funding to assist with the cost of personal care services if your parents qualify for state and local subsidy programs.

Q: My loved one is having difficulty making ends meet. They are an intelligent and capable person and they want to find a job. They think the only options available to them are fast food restaurants. How can I help them find other choices?
A:There are employment options for older people because many employers are seeking older, mature workers. If your mother meets the income requirements, she may be eligible for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), which offers job training and placement services to older individuals with low income. If she is not a candidate for SCSEP, she can use the services of the Maryland Career Services or visit her local senior center to review the employment opportunities on file there.

Q: My loved one cannot prepare meals for himself. Is there help for him?
A: If your grandfather is homebound, he can have meals delivered to his home by a Meals on Wheels volunteer. There is a cost for service but no one is denied service because of an inability to pay. You may inquire about subsidies to help pay for the cost of the meals by calling the Meals on Wheels central office at 410-558-0827.

Q: My loved one is having more difficulty walking. Can you recommend safety measures for the house?
A: There are a number of things that you and your father may want to consider. There are basic modifications/changes that can be made to make his house safer. You may also want to ask your father's physician if a referral for physical or occupational therapy would help.

Q: My loved one's vision is declining and they recently gave up their car. What sources of transportation are available?
A: Public transportation (buses, subway and light rail) is available at a reduced rate for senior citizens. The MTA also operates the Mobility Program, which serves individuals with disabilities who cannot use regular bus, Metro subway or light rail service.

There are also specialized transportation programs, usually operated by local government agencies, which take seniors to medical appointments, shopping, senior centers and other destinations.

Q: I live in one state and my loved one is in another. Is there someone in their town who can assess their needs and arrange for any services they might need?
A: There are private and public case managers that can assess your father's situation, arrange for services needed and maintain contact with you and other family members. Eldercare Locator can provide more information about services throughout the country.

Q: Ever since my father died, my mother has stopped attending family functions. She stays in the house most of the time and she seems to be losing weight. What can I do?
A: Make sure your mother has had a thorough physical examination recently. Sometimes undetected and/or untreated medical problems can cause changes in a person's behavior. For a more complete assessment, including a mental health evaluation, encourage her to get a geriatric evaluation performed by a multi-disciplinary team. Geriatric evaluations are performed at many hospitals.

Getting her involved is the next step. Take her on a visit to the local senior center where there are many opportunities for socialization as well as classes, exercise programs, grief counseling and support group programs and more.