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I have been taking care of my elderly mother that is legally blind and has dementia and would like to find some financial assistance for myself for my duties on caring for her..

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Babalou: My brother is a lawyer who checked out the non-existent VA benefit.
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Babalou: We already checked BEFORE ny mother deceased and she didn't meet the criteria.
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Llamalover, there is a VA benefit called Aid and Attendence. You can go to VA website to see if your mother is eligible.
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In my city there is a senior property tax deferral option, under which a senior homeowner reduces their property tax to about 10% of what is regularly owed....the remaining balance is not forgiven, but is deferred until the house is sold, or until a reverse mortgage is taken out (which is actually a form of selling the home, if you think about it ). I think mostly it is a good idea, if it keeps seniors in their homes and there is predicted to be enough future value in the home to pay back 20 years of taxes. That last bit is tricky -- most prop tax bills in my area are between 5-10,000 per year, and go up every year. So 20 years of that could be quite a bit. But values should go up too (we can only wish....).
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LivingSouth: It all adds up (pardon the pun) to math.Pay now or pay later.
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ramiller: VA pays for what? My father died in 1967 and there was only a death benefit payout to my mother, unless he had deceased while in action. He didn't. The death benefit was used to bury him.
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freqflyer: You are right; there are all kinds of situations. One lady at church, who is only 63, is on a cane, close to 300 # and due to go blind, so says she. My career was early because I planned it that way. But I have started a fifth career. Just to let you know.
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On the property tax bill that we receive, it states that the amount deducted from the bill will have to be paid by any family members who get the house. Since I would likely not be able to pay it back, we don't take the exemption - and the property tax bill went up $100 this year - while the value of the house went down!
Same thing with a reverse mortgage - which is why you read about the younger spouse being left without a home if they cannot repay the reverse mortgage when the older spouse dies.
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Livingsouth, what do you mean pay back the taxes on an elderly exemption? I never heard of paying it back! My moms saved thousands every year for many years and only because she has a life estate on the house, we own the house now. Are you sure on that? What State? Holymoly I sure as heck hope thats not true!!!
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Where I live there are homes, owned by elderly, which have already been on the market for seven years or more. My father considered a reverse, but I said that I could not pay the money back. My idea was for some of the money received to go to the caregiver, if they do not care about the home.
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I have always felt that if an elder owns a home but doesn't have the funds to maintain the home, it is time to downsize and sell. Because next year you might need a new roof, or a plumbing leak pops up out of no where, or the furnace starts hacking in the middle of winter. All those maintenance items and future repairs are very stressful not only for the elder but for whomever is doing the caring, especially if money is very tight.

As for Reverse Mortgages, the ads on TV make these "mortgages" sound great making one forget that this is a "mortgage", not free money. These mortgages are better for those younger elder couples that want to take their equity money to use to play the stock market to gain more money.... or to use for a big expenditure which they know can be repaid quickly. These mortgages should not be used to pay a debt, as all one is doing is substituting one debt for another much larger debt.
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Well, I must be odd because my career was JUST STARTING when I became a caregiver...
If your mom owns her house, there is another thing that might save your mother some money - so that she could pay you - and that is taxes on her home, if she owns one. In my state there is an elderly exemption so that the property taxes are much lower. The money does have to be paid back after the person's death. Depends on whether you sell the house or keep it for yourself. Another thing that would give your mom some extra money would be a reverse mortgage - make sure you won't get left out in the cold, though.
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Its not your parents money, its your siblings inheritance , you know, the ones who do jack Sh__! I would rather pay my child than a nursing home and get good care, thats for sure.
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Everyone is in a different situation -- some "seniors" needing care are only 60 with early dementia, and some caregivers are grandkids barely into a career (if any). My moral upbringing taught me to honor my father & mother (that my days may be long upon the face of the Earth--the first commandment with a promise...). But I do not interpret this to mean that I sacrifice my own life, my family and my own future "retirement" (if any!!!!) and quit my career to take care of parents. I don't assume to tell anyone what they should do with their own lives --and I would also expect that others would not assume to tell me what to do with my own life and that extends to having taxes to pay for rapidly increasing Medicaid, Medicare, and other government programs which pay costs that families shift onto taxpayers, because they can't--or increasingly, won't, pay for elder care. I know many people see government as the big sugar daddy who offers free this/that, and they have learned thru several generations of handouts, the "way" to qualify for government subsidies (which are funded by taxpayers). Let me be very clear, there are many many people who truly cannot pay their own way, and these people will always be part of our society. But there shouldn't be so many people expecting handouts -- this is not sustainable, at all and we as a country have to waken up, see the insanity of encouraging more handouts. We have to get people saving more for their own future needs, not living beyond their needs, and realize most of the world doesn't have such a high standard of living. There is no guarantee of anything in life, why would anyone assume that the US government is going to guarantee whatever might be nice....like paying all family caregivers a living wage? Stop and do the Math on that....it is not sustainable. There are not enough tax dollars to go around as it is (17 trillion in debt already). It's a tough situation for everyone (the top 1% is not reading this website, I'm sure).
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Llamalover47, months ago someone asked on this website how old were the writers. I was amazed at the number who were still in their 40's and 50's... long way from having their careers behind them.

I am still in my career and I am pushing 70 years old.... it's my sanity. I remember my Dad asked me if I would retire so I could drive him and Mom all over hill and dale.... I asked him "did you quit your career to take care of your parents?".... he never asked me again. Guess he figured since I was female I would automatically quit. Well, I told Dad that my salary was never equal to that of my male peers, thus I needed to work many more years to catch up to even get close to what he was receiving in retirement.
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I believe the vast majority of caregivers to parents were still employed when they decided to take full-time care of their parent(s).

Here are some things to think about if one is trying to decide whether to quit work to care for an aging parent.... on average if a working person quits work he/she will lose, over the years, between $285,000 and $325,000 which includes not only loss of salary, it also includes the net worth loss of the health insurance; loss of money being put into social security/ Medicare; loss of other benefits such as matching 401(k); profit sharing; etc. [source: in part Reuters 5/30/12]

That's a lot of money to lose.... when we ourselves are our parents age, we need to have the money saved for our own care.... otherwise, the circle keeps going around with the grown child quitting their job to take care of their parent(s).
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VA has aid and attendance benefits that are to be used only to pay for care. If someone needed care they could use these benefits to pay for in home caregivers or assisted living etc...Not all caregivers are retired i am a long way from retiring, mom had me late in life. I have clients i work for in their homes but when mom needed care she asked me to work for her and give up one of my clients. What was i going to say sorry mom it would be wrong of me to take the benefits you get for help, hire somsone else? That is just plain crazy, she wants me here and i am not rich I MUST WORK TO SURVIVE. Sorry we cant all be saints.
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Plus most caregivers' career should be behind them.
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ramiller: VA benefits from what? When my father died in 1967, there was only a death benefit. That's it.
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My mother's monthly SS income was $1,223. Since I had had my 40 year career, why would I take money from my mother for caring for her? ANSWER=I wouldn't!
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Malloryg8r, thanks for adding in the extra info. I was getting ready to go to moms so i didnt have time to spell it all out, its good to be well informed! I just couldn't leave with the last comment being its wrong in so many ways. I dont understand why people are so offended at the idea. Not everyone is wealthy and can afford not to work to care for their loved ones. It surely doesnt mean we love them any less. Anyway thanks again. If you are thinking of doing the pay for care, care website makes it very easy with their nanny pay system. Worth checking out.
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What Ruth mentions bears repeating--very extremely important that any parent paying their relative (or anyone) to provide caregiving, MUST have a written contract, AND PAY TAXES such as Social Security/ Medicare tax, unemployment, and provide extra insurance in case caregiver becomes injured on the job. If you neglect to do any of these, it hurts the senior (and also caregiver) as you will disqualify yourself for Medicaid, SSI, VA, and also the IRS will impose fines & penalties and I suppose also your local government could have some laws you're breaking. Also there must be written records of daily work, and written records of payments (no cash pay). A caregiver is an employee, usually, and the senior is their employer, so you have to follow all the rules & regulations. Very casual working hours may qualify as a self-employed situation but even then you have to have a contract and provide a 1099 (miscellaneous income) every year to the IRS. You have to do these things even if you're only being paid room & board, or other barter, because that has a value you wouldn't be receiving if you didn't do the work (and if it were a gift, technically if over $14,000 that is taxable too).
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If you have no way to make a living there is nothing wrong with mom paying you for care. The government even allows it. VA benefits can be used to pay family caregivers and some medicaid waiver programs can be used as well. If mom would need to paid a stranger I am sure she would rather pay you. If you do work for mom make sure you have a written care contract, you will need that for medicaid. If you check my profile you will find a link to a blog post I did on this very subject. Need help let me know. Ruth Anne
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I never asked my Mother to pay me for taking care of her! REALLY?? That is wrong in so many ways!!! My Mother had been a widow since she was 46.
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I've been taking care of my mom with dementia who is kegally blind, incontinent, cannot talk or walk. Other than the a&a veterans check of 1,ooo a month, i never got a thing, even quit my job. Now she got a prop tax bill of 5k which takes half of that. Sick world! Mom does qualify for medicaid but i wont out her in a nh anyway.
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I didn't have much luck finding anything in my area of CA for either financial compensation or assistance through the council on Aging. There are so many people in this situation right now; resources are pulled thin. Hopefully it's different in CO. My mom wasn't on Medicaid, so I lived in her home and took care of her while she paid household expenses and paid me a small bit. It was a way of compensating me (no rent). And it was a way to 'spend down' in case we decided to go the Medicaid route.

If you are looking to cut expenses, I suggest that you contact your water, gas/electric & garbage providers and ask about any programs they may have for seniors on fixed incomes and/or low-income households.

If you're looking for a bit of a break, you can ask her doctor for a Physician's Order (covered under Medicare for home bound patients) to get some Home Health help with bathing, etc. I think some tasks are a little harder on men taking care of moms. Good luck - God bless and stay in touch.
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That’s a very common question asking about being paid. Majority of grown children do not get paid for caring for their parent, unless the parent is financially able to pay from their own pocket. If a parent can afford to pay you, the parent might as well hire a certified trained caregiver allowing you to keep a full-time job.

If you live in the States, see If your parent qualifies for Medicaid, the State might allow a trained Caregiver come in to help for a couple hours. Also check to see if your State is one of those States that has a “Cash and Counseling” program to help you out, it‘s worth looking into. Note that each State has their own rules, regulations, and programs.

Also contact your county agency on aging for programs such as Case Management, Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Care, housing, care referrals, etc,... go to the website link below.... click on your State.... now click on the city/county. https://www.agingcare.com/local/Area-Agency-on-Aging

And please come back to the forums if you have any Caregiving questions, we would be more than happy to share our experiences with you, and give you ideas on what to do.
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