Married for 54 years, Leonard and Dixie Vidmar stick to their routine. Every morning, Dixie watches her game show. It’s perhaps the easiest part of the morning routine for husband and caregiver, Leonard.
“I don`t think anybody could take care of her the way I can to tell you the truth,” says Leonard.
Dixie has suffered from dementia for four years and her health isn’t getting any better. Leonard has taken on the role of caregiver and doesn’t care to give that title up.
“I just wonder about the care people in some of these rest homes give compared to the care I give her day in and day out at home,” says Leonard.
Leonard and Dixie’s youngest, Kim Walker, says, “My dad is one of those people who like to do things himself.”
She wishes her dad would allow additional assistance to help at the home. She says juggling what parents’ wishes and what she knows is best, isn’t easy.
“It’s very difficult for children, adult children to almost become the guiding force for their parents,” says Walker.
Walker decided to do something to help others in her shoes. She started a business called, Transitional Life Consulting, about a year ago. Its mission is to help adult child make the tough decision about assisted care, with their parents.
Walker calls this the sandwich generation, adult children who take care of their own families plus their aging parents, having to make decisions for both.
“People don`t like to have to make the decisions and so to have somebody guiding is a huge benefit.”
Walker says people aren’t aware of the different services that are available for their parents. One of Walker’s clients, Sue Pulliam, says the process is difficult for those going through it for the first time.
“You can only look so much up on the internet, you can google so much and become overwhelmed. You don`t know where to start,” says Pulliam.
Walker is a Certified Senior Advisor. She guides families in their process to find the right type of care and for the right price. Walker names three options that people most often take: assisted home care, an adult day care program, or assisting living. Walker says on average those options could cost between $4,500 and $7,000 a month. She mentioned most home care and assisted living services are not covered by state aid meaning thousands of dollars are paid out of pocket every month. However, in some situations, families can apply for elderly waivers to assist with financial needs.
For more information and resources, visit www.iowaaging.gov.