Ask Joan: Home Care Services
July 1, 2024

Q.  My brothers and I take turns calling and checking on our parents on a daily basis. Our parents are both in their 80s and have some health issues. We have started to notice that they may not be able to continue to stay in their home without some assistance. One of my brothers lives close to them, but he works full time. It can be hard for us to physically be there as much as we would like. What options should we consider?

A. It’s not easy to realize a loved one may need a helping hand, and it’s hard when you aren’t always able to be right there for them. Fortunately, there are many resources available to your family.  

Joan Hatem-Roy, Chief Executive Officer

Your parents potentially could benefit from services provided in the home to help with housework, shopping, meal preparation, laundry, and other tasks. There is also a wide array of community-based services, such as adult day health programs and transportation.

In fact, taking the least invasive intervention may be the right move for your family. Supportive in-home services may enable your parents to remain safely in their home for an extended period of time. It’s about supporting their choice while ensuring their safety and comfort. 

Have you been able to determine what kind of assistance your parents need? It may be hard to be objective when it comes to family. Working with one of our care managers to conduct a comprehensive assessment may prove to be invaluable. A care manager can assist your parents in determining exactly what level of care is warranted, connect them to a range of services, and provide information on eligibility guidelines and any costs that are involved.

It’s important to introduce the subject with sensitivity and care. Health experts recommend family members focus on asking questions and making suggestions rather than telling or making decisions for them.  

Navigating this time of life may be new for all of you, but the good news is there are many options for your parents and support for you and your brothers as you move through this aging journey.  

Are you caring for an older adult or need help finding healthy aging resources? Our experienced staff is available to help. Visit us online at You can also call 800-892-0890 or email

Joan Hatem-Roy is the chief executive officer of AgeSpan, which serves the following cities and towns: Amesbury, Andover, Billerica, Boxford, Chelmsford, Danvers, Dracut, Dunstable, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Marblehead, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, Peabody, Rowley, Salisbury, Salem, Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, Westford, and West Newbury.

First published in the Eagle-Tribune.

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