My family engaged an "eldercare coordinator" who was helpful to varying degrees....
Mom and Dad were in NJ, we sibs were in KS, MA, NH and NC, and we were worried. If I remember correctly, I learned about the availability of eldercare coordinators through AARP, or maybe it was the Eldercare Locator (1-800-677-1116); anyway, I somehow obtained a list of members of a professional eldercare organization.
I called the one closest to Mom and Dad, and arranged for her to come by for a "get-acquainted" session while I was in town for a visit. This turned out to be an excellent tactic!!! (not boasting, just dumb luck :). Lori and I carefully steered to conversation away from "we're fine, we don't need anything" to "here's what's available, supposing you might someday need something, not that we think that you ever will".
This laid the groundwork.
A few weeks later, Dad nearly died in hip-replacement surgery. My sister and I got together and persuaded Mom to accept once-a-week homemaker services, arranged by Lori, paid for by us. As Dad's stay in ICU dragged on month after month, and Mom's PD went into a downward rapid spiral, the homemaker services escalated gradually until we were engaging live-in CareGivers. It was sooo much easier to do this gradually, and have Mom recognize the need, than it would have been otherwise.
Nothing's perfect, and no solution lasts forever. Lori was not as easy to reach by phone as we would have liked. The helpers were not always reliable. But we were very reassured to know that Lori was, theoretically at least, available in case of crisis. And when Dad was released to a rehab center, and then to home, Lori was a big help in making the arrangements. And part of the deal was that she reported to us on how Mom and Dad were doing. This helped alleviate the problem Rita reported. We found also that friends, while they tried to help, were (of course!) not in a position to take *responsibility* for our parents' care.