Long Distance Caregiving... Trust, But Verify
by Gary Barg, Editor-in-Chief

One day, soon after I returned home to South Florida, I accompanied Mom on a supermarket shopping trip for my grandparents and the home health aide who lived with them in their apartment. The aide had given Mom a grocery list to follow.

Mom told me that she had just been to the store recently and couldn’t understand how they could have gone through so much food. I was overwhelmed by the amount of staples they needed. A five-pound bag of sugar, a large bag of rice, ten pounds of chuck steak, etc., all items which mom had bought for them not two weeks ago.

I suggested that we stop by the apartment unannounced that very evening rather than wait until the next morning as the aide had requested. At first, when we walked into the apartment, I thought I had opened the wrong door. There were at least five adults and a dozen kids running around while all burners were cooking food and my grandparents were lying in bed unattended.