Around June of this year I became my 93 year old grandfather's primary caregiver. He has Alzheimer's dementia, bladder cancer, a relatively recent below knee amputation. He'd been (and still is) living with my mother, who has (non-durable) POA over him (I am second in line). My mom's physically disabled herself, so when he had his leg amputated, I knew she'd need help with him as he would take some time to become ambulatory again, if he ever would.
My husband and I decided that the best thing to do would be for me to quit my job and temporarily relocate to fill in any gaps in care.
I've been doing this for 24/7 for the last five months. I know I cannot do it much longer.
I have plans in place to move both my grandfather and mother back to my city of residence about a month, so that they can both be looked after, and so that I can have some support from my husband.
My problem is, I can't seem to get any non-contradictory answers about gaining admission to a nursing home for my grandfather. I was told by a social worker that his monthly income was too high (w/ SS, VA Benefits, and Gov't Pension, it's just about $2700 after all the healthcare premiums come out) to qualify for Medi-Cal (the state of CA's medicaid program) and that we'd essentially have to "dump" (seriously, her words) at the hospital after a hospitalization, saying that we couldn't care for him, but were willing to apply for Medi-Cal.
Another person I spoke with (an attorney who helps families w/ assets qualify for Medi-Cal) sort of confirmed this; he said that the only reason that my grandfather doesn't qualify for Medi-Cal is because he's not ALREADY in a nursing home. He suggested we pay privately and simultaneously begin an application for Medi-Cal.
Yet, a nursing home administrator I spoke with last week said that he probably DOES qualify already and that I should put in an application. I did, to cover all of the bases, but I'm becoming increasingly confused and frustrated (which I'm sure you all know is all too easy when you're trying to just make it through the day and give the best care possible!!!).
My husband and I are really not in a position to pay privately, even for a few months while we wait for Medi-Cal qualification (he's a teacher, and I was just a part-time civil servant). I don't have any other family who can help, either.
I am already battling feelings of guilt about even considering putting him in a nursing home, but, when I see how caring for him has impacted my mother's health, I know that I probably don't have much of a choice. I really want my grandfather to get the best care possible and, although I've been able to learn to give him pretty darned good care--I am not enough. (Yes, we have in-home "support" but that amounts to about one hour a week; I've heard that hospice programs provide not much more...)
Is there a way to gain my grandfather admission to a skilled nursing facility if we are both unable to pay privately and he doesn't currently qualify for state aid?