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My father died in Feb 2014. He was the primary caregiver to my mom. I have been staying with my mom since the death only going home when I get relief from another family member and that is far a few between. My mom doesn't drive so I take her to all appointments , grocery shopping, and other things. She cannot stay home by herself being a fall risk and other health issues. I work all day with individuals with disabilities and mom does stay home by herself while I am at work with people calling to check on her. I give her showers , meds, cook, laundry, and clean. I love my mother and would do it without getting paid for it but I know there is respite care for seniors. She has Humana and medicare insurance. Do I get ahold of them to see about respite care pay?
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In 2010, I had to quit my job to take care of my ailing father. He passed away in April of 2013. In November of 2013, my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. I could not return to work and I am her fulltime caregiver. I have to do everything for her. I do not have any income and was wondering where I should seek assistance. Thank you for your response!
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Tinny, if your Mother is having knee surgery, you probably will need to be with her 24 hours a day [or hire an Aid] until she is fully recovered. In fact, the hospital might not let her go home unless there is someone there full time. Surprised the surgeon isn't recommending your Mom to go to a rehab facility to get physical therapy.

There will be a time when people call your Mom to check on her and she doesn't answer. Please be prepared to eventually need to give your Mom 24/7 care as time progress.... thus, you will need to resign from your job [could you afford to do that, plus pay for your own health insurance?] or hire a Caregiver to come in while you are at work.

You mentioned that you would give up your life for your Mother, and that could happen as 1 out of every 3 Caregivers pass on leaving behind the love one they were caring. Those aren't good odds.
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I live 3 house down from my mom. I have been staying with her since dad died. She wants to stay in the home she has lived in for 50 years. I still have my own home but stay with mom because I can't bear the thought of her being alone all day and all night . I do get to go home when my sister who lives 3 hours away comes to stay a few days. My mom can get around but has fallen a few times in the past few years. She is getting ready for knee replacement surgery so she will be in a nursing home to recuperate and then back home. When I am at work there are people who will check in her by calling and so far she has answered and everything is fine. It's when I get home to her house that I get busy with everything. A lot of my staying there is also for companionship for her. My father and her were married for 60 years. To be honest I don't want to stick her in a nursing home. I will give up my life for the women who raised me. She has a lot of health issues (cops, pacemaker, maybe the onset of dementia,..and a few others. She can't take her medicine on her own because she has messed them up on so many occasions. I will check on the things that were mentioned.
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Since you have a job, I don't think there's any government program that would pay you. Even if you didn't have a job, it wouldn't be easy to get paid by the state. There has to be a skilled need -- not just custodial care. If your mom can pay you, she can, of course. But if she later applies for Medicaid within five years, Medicaid will disallow your "pay" and consider it a gift to you.

Now. Your mom MAY qualify for some assistance through your Council on Aging or whatever senior services is called in your area. Get hold of them. They will send someone out to interview your mom, get some financial information and then recommend programs that might be of assistance to both of you. Some of them quite reasonable....others free.

For instance, my mom gets a $1,000 yearly grant for respite caregiving. Believe me, we use it all and then some. You have to use their preferred providers. In our area, the cost is around $22/hour, so it provides us with almost 50 hours a year to use for getting out of the house. (Mom can't be left alone.)

She used to get Meals on Wheels -- $5/day 5 days a week. And used to get a lady who came in to clean every two weeks -- $14 for two hours. Obviously a bargain. She was on both of these programs when she lived in her own home. Now that we have her with us, she doesn't need those services any longer.

Interesting that you say she can't stay by herself, yet she does because you work. You can implement that same system some evenings surely. If you can go to work all day, you don't have to be a prisoner in the evening.

I don't know whether or not you're paying your mom any rent, but you might consider your room-and-board to be compensation. And tax-free at that. You might also ask your family member to help on a more structured level.

You'd be wise to look at what's best for her long-term. It's quite possible she will eventually be unable to live alone at some point in the future. It's difficult enough to do what you're doing now. She's probably close to needing assisted living.
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