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I've been with my boyfriend for almost a year. I am 21 and he is 25. His parents are in their late 60s. They have both had multiple strokes, both have diabetes, his mother had cancer, and his father has had both legs amputated. They both also have very limited memory. His mother has significant trouble getting around the house. My boyfriend originally lived in Chicago, but moved home to help them out considering they also have three elderly dogs that have trouble controlling their bladders. His dad recently had an infection and is the "sicker" of the two. He usually has to go to the ER once every few months. My boyfriend and I recently went on a vacation with his family and they were very adamant on inhome care. This is something I have brought up multiple times to him with limited success. Sometimes he is 100% against it. Other times, he says he will go find more information. I know he feels an obligation to them but it is not giving up to go seek some help. The problem is that his parents do not think they need help. They almost lost their properties due to forgetting to pay their taxes. They forget to pay bills. They forget...a lot of financial things. My boyfriend said they are very far into debt. He tells me that even with their disability and Medicare, that they still wouldn't be able to pay for the care they need. We are both so young and I want to be able to start a life with him and he tells me the same. But, we can't like this. I just want to be able to refer him to somewhere affordable or even covered. But, I don't know where to begin. I also wish there was a professional evaluator who could come in and assess and tell them if they actually need help or not.


Thank you.

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A PCA is a Personal Care Attendant. If someone is needed to give insulin shots and different qualification may be needed. But Medicaid will figure that all out.
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William thank you, that does help. Jeanne, thank you so much. I had no idea that he could even do that. Oh my gosh, you are such a blessing. I have nobody to ask because none of my friends (not even my parents or parents friends) are taking care of ailing parents, so this has been hard. So, if Medicaid comes out then they can determine how much help they can cover? What is PCA help? I forgot to mention that my boyfriend still works on call in Chicago and can be gone days at a time. He's diabetic and sometimes forgets how to take his insulin, she cannot administer her own insulin most times and my boyfriend or his father has to help. Thank you again.
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If they were my parents I would call the Medicaid case worker and ask for a new assessment. Son should be there when the case worker comes out. The elders are apt to downplay what they need. Mother may say, "Of course I can clean my own house!" when there is evidence of dog incontinence everywhere. Dad might insist he can manage his own medications when he forgets half the time. Son should be there to give realistic information. The case worker must go by what she or he is told.

Also, Medicaid cannot force people to accept aid. If they determine that the parents are entitled to 3 hours of housekeeping per week and 20 hours of PCA help per week, they cannot insist that the parents use it. But getting the assessment might at least remove the objection "we can't afford it."
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It is good they have someone to try and make things better. An outside influence helps a lot, because an independent caregiver/adviser can take the load off the family that has to try and determine best solution, with respect to costs, well-being, and simplifying their lives. If both of you can do this together, and not worry about each detail so much, and meet multiple times with a professional and provide financial summation and healthcare issues, this will help all of you, including the parents' well-being. Good luck!
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Jeanne thank you very much for your response. I believe they are already on Medicaid, sorry for saying Medicare. It is Medicaid that they are on.
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Yes, they need help.

To determine what kind of help and how much, BF can call the county's Human Services department and ask for a needs assessment. (It is free.) Or call the Area Agency on Aging and ask about getting a needs assessment.

They will probably be advised to apply for Medicaid. They will be told of any other programs available to help them.

I think you are right. You can't start life together like this. It is certainly admirable that BF is concerned about his parents. Encourage him to take the first steps toward getting suitable help for his parents. He can help them gather the various information needed for Medicaid application. Concern about his parents will always be a factor in his life, but once there are professionals involved in their care he should be able to go forward with his own life.
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