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He has no close relatives - parents are deceased, no brothers or sisters, no children, married and divorced 4 times. He asked me several years ago to look after him and I am now his legal guardian. Unfortunately, he made no financial provision for this and he only has SS and small pension totaling $1800/month after his health insurance. Obviously, this isn't near enough to pay for care but he can't live at home alone any more - it's just no safe for him. He's a veteran but unfortunately doesn't qualify for VA Aid and Attendance (he missed Vietnam by a year) and I certainly can't afford to subsidize his care for $1000 to $2,000+ per month, I've got my own parents and retirement to worry about. From what I'e been able to tell, his income is to high for any sort of state (NC) assistance and he won't qualify for Medicaid until he needs "skilled nursing care". The problem is this gap between him not being able to live alone safely and needing skilled nursing care. So this is my question - is my only solution to let him remain in his home until something "bad" happens to him, which would require him to go to a nursing home.? Or what if I resign my guardianship, there are no other nearby relatives (and I live an hour away btw) and let the county deal with it? If he's a ward of the county will they have to pay for his care? I'm just not sure what to do right now but the financial resources just don't exist for me to pay for the care my cousin needs. I'm at a total loss as to what to do right now.

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Conniee, apparently you and I touched a nerve here. I didn't think it was political in any sense what you originally stated and I am as frustrated as you are waiting for help from an organization that should be more timely in processing requests for the widows of war veterans. It really is shame.
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Enjoy reading and learning about care giving issues. However, we should not be instructing people not to discuss the issue which involves state and national policies of caring for the aging. It isn't talking politics but explaining the restrictions to qualifying for certain programs such as Medicaid and Aide and Attendance.
Filing for any insurances or programs is a maze for most of us , so knowing some of the steps involved is helpful.

Good luck gathering help for your elderly cousin.
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Did you need to go through the court system for guardianship. You could notify the courts about resigning and see about a court appointed guardian. It is a shame veterans need war time service for Aid and Attendence when not a military retiree.
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Who is talking politics?
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If you really insist on talking about politics, please start your own question so that people who want to avoid political disagreements can do so.
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In most states, Medicaid has a "waiver" program specifically to keep persons in the community rather than to go into nursing homes. When the time comes to move to a nursing home, the person is automatically eligible.

In my state, if the monthly income is over and above the limit, the person must "spend down" the excess amount each month. For example, if the limit is 1800 and the income is 2000, when $3000 of in-home care is provided then the person must pay $200 and the program pays $2800. It is kind of like a deductible. Unfortunately I can't easily find the information about this in NC. I hope that your county Social Services department can supply this information.
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PULEEEZE leave political opinion out of these discussions!
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Ferris1- Veterans have to have served during wartime to be eligible for Aid and Attendance. He wasn't according to the original post.
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I hit the button too soon, but I am in agreement with Conniee. Too much preference is given to people that are not citizens of this country. And this is a blog where we can post our frustrations with the way things are. Aid and attendance is a joke---we have been waiting over a year and not one word or acknowledgement from them regarding my almost 90 year old mother in law. In fact , I did read a post on here not too long ago that stated that widows are the bottom of the list when it comes to approval for it---you should apply for Medicaid in any case and hope that the income of your cousin is little enough for him to qualify. I know it's frustrating to go through all the challenges of elder care and the responsibilities we shoulder. Been there and done that.
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Politics or not, I am in agreement with
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The VA Aid & Assistance qualifier is not just that you or your spouse must be a veteran, but the veteran must have served during wartime. My mother-in-law does not qualify because her husband served during the Japanese occupation, and was discharged a couple months before the Korean War. My husband and I however, will qualify when the time comes, because my husband was in the service during Vietnam, even though he was stateside.

My mother in law has dementia, but does not need skilled nursing care. She walks, dresses herself, feeds herself, reads books (the same one) but has dementia. They had to move her from her Assisted Living unit into the locked dementia unit for her safety. She kept leaving to ”go home” and was out in traffic. If she did not wander, and get mad if someone tried to stop her (the alerts, alarms, etc. didn't stop her from getting out - she is tricky!).

Now she is in the locked dementia/memory unit. No one in her unit of 20 patients needs the skilled medical care that the patients in the regular nursing home unit need. Only 2 of the 20 are in wheel chairs. No one is dragging oxygen around with them, and all of them feed themselves and mostly dress themselves. No one stays in bed. They are very active!

We have applied for Medicaid, and she will qualify. The skilled nursing care requirement is not required for dementia. She has roughly $2000 a month income, but the nursing home costs so much more, that that income is not an issue for low income Medicaid requirements. We are in Maryland.

http://www.alz.org/national/documents/medicaideligibilityissues.pdf

You need a medical evaluation and then get on the waiting list for a nursing home. This waiting for a dementia unit bed can take awhile. These people are generally not physically ill (COPD, heart), they just have dementia and cannot live alone. And emergency placements can bump you down the list, too.

www.Medicaid.gov

Your State Medical Assistance office is the best source for information about how to qualify for Medicaid in your state and to find out if your cousin qualifies for long-term care services.
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your local county assistance office may have resources to help. our county offers home help for folks and bases it solely on what they can afford to pay. your local office of aging may have help as well. If you belong to a church or if your cousin has a church affiliation, they may be able to help or even have resources for parishioners in need.
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I would get an appointment with a county social worker to see what exactly your cousin could qualify for in his current condition. His doctor might be helpful too.
Since he has limited income perhaps having some retired lady stay with him most of the day would guard against him injuring himself. He should be able to get meal on wheels which would eliminate some of his need to cook anything.

I would check again with the veterans agencies to see if he can get help on anything. If they have free adult medical day care sites they may keep him in a safe program during his waking hours. You need someone to supervise him (bathing etc), clean the house, get his meds and food in each week.

Unfortunately our system presumes the family will do the lions share of the care. However, he is lacking in these areas and we don't provide for people aging on their own.

Good luck.
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Connie. You should apply for Medicaid for your mom. We should leave politics off this site and focus on problem solving.
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Also her ss income is too much to get on medicade.
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This is what happens in a country that cares more about taking care of illegals in this country and giving them everything they can think of. The elderly who have helped to build this land to what it is today are being swept under the carpet. They made small wages and just enough to get by. Now prices of health care and living expenses have ballooned way out of sight and their meager savings is hardly enough to put them in the ground. My father dies 21 years ago and they had a nice size savings for mom to live off of. But after 21 years and her suffering with dementia her savings are gone and her monthly ss income isn't enough for her to go into a nursing home. She now lives with me and my husband who are not in the best of health. She doesn't travel well so we are pretty much stuck at home. We are in our 60s and she is 87. I have very little energy and she wears me out.
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First, apply for the refinance house under water program the government is offering now, cut up all credit cards and close accounts, and if he needs 24/7 care I don't understand why he doesn't qualify for A&A from the VA. His income is within the range and he only needs to be a veteran. Check again on that. He could try selling the house. Contact the social worker at Medicaid in your state and see what the options are available to you. If you remain a guardian and you knowingly allow his life to be in danger, you can be held liable. Don't abandon him when he is most vulnerable please! Maybe you could hire someone to live-in in exchange for room and board.
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Talk to the administrator of a local nursing home (NH), that would have an alzheimers unit. Also, talk to your cousin's doctor.
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You try going for Medicaid.
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I'll also add that he has no assets, his house is underwater on his mortgage and he owes $3500 on credit cards, he's all but bankrupt from an asset/liability point of view.
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