People seem to be able to get help with respite care from VA and the Area on Aging. VA here in Virginia says the only thing my husband and I qualify for is seven 6 hour days in a 90 day period of respite care. I got that help from VA last year from September to December. When that was finished, I reapplied and was told I must wait 90 days before I could get help again. At the end of 90 days wait, I tried again only to be told I would be put on a wait list and it has been 4 months and I'm still on the wait list. In addition, after the first 90 days in which I received the seven 6 hour days, I learned I had to pay a $15 copay for each days respite I had already received. I also learned the VA pays an agency $150 for each 6 hour day I received while the agency called Team Nurse pays its caregivers $7.75 an hour. Something is wrong with that picture. Also, when I had the scheduled respite with Team Nurse, I couldn't even depend that the caregivers they sent were there on time if at all. Twice I had scheduled appointments which had to be cancelled because no one showed up. even after I called Team Nurse the day before to advise the caregiver they must be on time. I'm not even talking about 5 or 10 minutes late but anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours late. I've also advised VA that I did not want Team Nurse again because they were not dependable. Honestly VA didn't seem that concerned and I find that concering especially considering Team Nurse gets $25 an hour while paying the caregiver minimum wage.
My husband and I are not rich but we do not qualify. They look at our income together, not just my husband's income. So how are people getting 10 hours a week and help from other places free?
We do not qualify as a couple for Medicaid either. Yet, there is no way I could pay for my husband to be in a nursing home. We own our home which is modest and 2 vehicles. Both of us worked all our lives and saved a little which is invested but liquid funds are mainly our Social Security and a little savings. I did consult an Elder Care Attorney and started the Medicaid process. This process is extensive and was hard. You are the ones that do all the work and the Elder Care Attorney we consulted wanted between $18,000 - $20,000. They wanted $9000 up front. So, I wonder if people who suggest Elder Care Attorneys know what they charge.
I guess my question is, are people getting help because laws in their state are different or what? There is just nothing out there for us. Family doesn't help, even the ones that could. They dont even visit or call. I've been at this several years and the last couple have been very confining for me as a caregiver but I'm managing. I wonder if there are others who relate to my situation...