Ask an Angel: November 16, 2017

Our Ask An Angel correspondent is Arlene Petersen, Life Care Navigation Specialist in the area of senior home care.

Q. Mom lives alone, but I am her caregiver, checking in on her daily with a phone call or a visit at least on the weekends. We will be traveling during the holidays and I don’t think I can leave her alone. What options are out there?

A. It can be concerning to leave your mom alone, but the good news is there are many options for you! The option that allows your mom to remain in her own home during your absence is personal homecare. This option enables you to have a second set of eyes on your mom on a one on one basis. Families who hire a caregiver have the ability to interview agencies to choose a professional caregiver that meets their specific needs. With this option, your mom can be comfortable in her familiar surroundings. Another option includes assisted living. If assisted living is a consideration, your mom would be a temporary resident at the community of choice. Not all assisted living communities offer this type of service, so it would be a good idea to investigate your options early. Remember that in a community living arrangement, the care is not one on one. That may be an important consideration for you and your mom. In both cases, usually an assessment needs to be completed and a deposit may be required. It takes time to set this up and that is why I encourage people to review options well before travel plans are expected to take place. If possible, I would reach out to friends or other family members in the area to ask if they can give mom a call or a visit. This is a way to have connection with your mom while you are away. Of course, you can give her a jingle from afar, but it will give you peace of mind knowing you have someone helping you a bit. The goal is to help your mom feel at ease and cared for while you are gone. Putting everything in place will help your mom with that!

Have a question for our angel correspondent? You can send our angel an email to or send your question via mail to Ask An Angel, 65 Woodbury St., South Elgin, IL 60177.

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