Jennifer Meagher RN is the owner of Senior Life LLC, Advocates and  Consultants. Meagher founded and oversees the Better Business Partners  Serving Seniors. She is on the Alzheimer’s Advocacy Committee and has specialized in geriatrics since 1998. She is called on by doctors, attorneys,  and financial advisors to care for their clients and their families. Contact Jennifer  at www.SeniorLifeGCM.com.




Dear Jennifer,

I read the letter last week from Alicia about her deadbeat dad. I’m going through something similar. My father left us when I was 6. He never came by the house to see me and he never sent my mother any money to help us. We were so poor there wasn’t always food in the house. I am the baby. I have an older sister but she is 15 years older than me. She got married the year after my father left. She had a relationship with him all this time. Now he’s old and she thinks I should help her take care of him. I love my sister, but I don’t love my father. I’m hurt that he didn’t care enough to see me or even to call. He was never there when I could have used a hand and now I’m supposed to help take care of him? My sister said he talked about me a lot. She said she will never speak to me again if I don’t help her. What should I do? I don’t want to lose my sister but I sure as heck don’t want to help my father. I hope you have a good idea about this. I feel like my father has come between me and my sister now too.


Dear Donna,

Families are our strength and sometimes our agony. Your sister should be able to understand your feelings. If I’m interpreting your letter correctly, your sister didn’t facilitate visits with your father when you were young. Now you feel you are forced to choose between your anger at your father and your love for your sister. Is there a compromise possible? Could you help your sister consider the options for caring for her father? Perhaps both of you could call Lifespan and attend an appointment together to think this through. In this way, you are providing moral support for your sister while eliciting other options to provide the direct care.  You might also consider family therapy (ask your doctor) or a mediator which could be a Geriatric Care Manager, such as my office at Senior Life. Both you and your sister are hurting. Concentrate on how much you love each other. Take a deep breath and discuss how you can each respect the other’s feelings while supporting each other as well. Good luck.



Medicaid – government insurance program for low income individuals / families for health care. You can find the financial eligibility criteria at www.medicaid.gov. If your monthly and overall finances meet the criteria, you may apply.

Elders face two categories of Medicaid:

“Chronic” or “Long Term” Medicaid (I call it Nursing Home Medicaid) which is applied for after the elder is in a nursing home.
“Community” Medicaid is for elders who meet the eligibility criteria but do not live in a nursing home.

There are a variety of programs and services covered by Medicaid. Elder housing Medicaid assistance includes:

Medicaid Managed Care Programs offer coverage for home care services.     
Assisted Living Programs are Assisted Living Communities which accept Medicaid as payment. Most prefer that the elder pay the first 2 -3 years out of pocket.

Nursing Homes accept Medicaid. Did you know Medicaid only reimburses about half of the monthly fee? That’s why nursing homes restrict how many Medicaid patients they accept. The most popular nursing homes require 1-2 years private pay before Medicaid is necessary. All nursing homes shy away from what is called “Medicaid Pending” which means the elder will start an application to Medicaid shortly after moving in.


19° | 13°
  • Feels like: 3° F
  • Wind: WNW 6mph
  • Humidity: 64%
  • Wed Abundant sunshine
    25° | 3°
  • Thu A few afternoon snow showers
    32° | 15°
  • Fri Windy, chance of snow showers in the morning
    15° | 5°
  • Sat Clouds giving way to sun
    15° | -2°

Brain Workout Trivia

In November 1994 comedian Tim Allen had three simultaneous number ones. Which one of these did he NOT have?
A. Number one TV show
B. Number one book
C. Number one movie
D. Number one song

Brain Workout Trivia is the brainchild of John C Sproul
For more trivia visit www.funtrivia.com

The correct answer is D. His number one TV show was "Home Improvement," where he played the role of Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor. His number one movie was "The Santa Claus." His number one book was "Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man." He also provided the voice of Buzz Lightyear in the "Toy Story" movie series.