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Resources available for caregivers of elderly parents

For those with elderly parents, don't be surprised when you are called on to help them, because about 70 percent of parents will require some care as they age. Sometimes that care will extend for years.

"Caregivers often find themselves at wits' end, careening from one crisis to another and having little time to confront the problem that cropped up yesterday, let alone tackle the one that just reared its head today. The challenges can quickly become overwhelming," said Bob Moos, Southwest public affairs officer for the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

There is help out there

"Having a working knowledge of Medicare may help you keep your balance and ensure that your parent or other loved one receives the appropriate care," he said, explaining that there are simple ways to find answers to questions about Medicare and how it can help caregivers. "The best overview of the Medicare program is the official 'Medicare and You' handbook. It's mailed to all beneficiaries every fall and provides an up-to-date-description of all services and benefits. It's also readily available on Medicare's main website, www.medicare.gov."

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