Against my will, I can no longer take care of my Dad who needs 24-hour total care. What now?

Follow
Share

Even the VA home is too expensive. I've fought off the people trying to convince me to put my father into a nursing home so I can save my own life. I never thought I would have to, but his condition has deteriorated to the point that I can no longer give him the care he needs. Against my will, I've been trying to accept that fact. My father is a World War II Veteran who thereafter served as a professional firefighter -- in the days before it was a sexy job and they were recognized as heroes -- until retirement. He now suffers from debilitating dementia and there's a wonderful NY State Veteran's home that would not pain my conscience too much to see him living in. But, even the veteran's home is more than we can afford. I had to quit my job and my education in order to stay home to care for him, his needs are 24/7. All of his very hard-earned funds are being rapidly depleted for his care needs, e.g. incontinence products, several changes of clothing, an HHAide for 1/4 of the time we truly need one because it's all we can afford. I don't know what to do. Here, a lot of people here on this board are saying "Don't feel guilty, you should put them in a nice nursing home and save yourself. " What no one seems to either realize or acknowledge is that, unless you're parent can qualify for Medicaid, i.e., unless you're destitute, you can't get financial help to pay for even the least expensive decent nursing home, i.e. the Veteran's Home. I've fought putting him in one for years, and now that I've finally convinced myself that I must see reality and that he NEEDS to be in a Nursing Home, I find out that a nursing home for him, even to save my own life, is not a feasible option. It's easy to say "Put them in a nursing home and live your life", but if you have no idea that this perceived solution is really not one that many people can afford to choose. Now what?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
9

Answers

Show:
littleflower, sit down with a benefits consultant, because unless he is making $10,000 a month, he would qualify for financial aid. Let's say he has $2K in SS and $3K in pension per month, but a nursing home is $10K a month. Medicaid only expects him pay $5K a month and they pick up the rest. Look into it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

littleflower, ask yourself this one question.... what would happen to your Dad if something happened to you?

Your Dad wouldn't continue living at home with just one Aid that comes in 1/4 of the time. He would be placed in a nursing home to get around the clock care by Caregivers who work an 8 hour shift, go home to their families, get a good night/day sleep, and return fresh for their next shift. One person cannot physically or mentally do the work for 3 full-time Caregivers.

I understand how you feel about one's hard-earned cent being ripped away before qualifying.... but on the other side of the coin how would it be fair for the tax payers to pay for someone's care when that person has a healthy savings account in the bank. If everyone went into a continuing care facility using Medicaid, that would bankrupt the State. Then the facilities would either close down or our taxes would double.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

littleflower, sit down with a benefits consultant, because unless he is making $10,000 a month, he would qualify for financial aid. Let's say he has $2K in SS and $3K in pension per month, but a nursing home is $10K a month. Medicaid only expects him pay $5K a month and they pick up the rest. Look into it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks everyone for your responses.

As I mentioned, Medicaid is not easy for people who have actually worked all their lives, living frugally and saving what they could. Two months in a nursing home and that very laboriously - earned savings is out the window -- and not for any round-the-world trip or comfortable retirement in Florida. No, it's gone down the toilet for our dear loved ones to be living in a place no one wants to see him go to anyway, but now don't have any other options. There is absolutely no justice in this. If that is the case, rather than throw this money down the nursing home toilet, I'd like to use it to do something that will be something to help him and to give him a modicum of contentment. I'd like to take my father on a wonderful trip or to buy him furniture specifically designed for the handicapped, a big screen t.v. so he can enjoy watching Gunsmoke and Bonanza without squinting. I'd like to buy him a good wheelchair and have some handicapped accommodations added to the house. I'd like to spend the money on many more hours of services of the wonderful aides I pay (my father's income) to have care for my dad -- which we can only afford to have a few hours per week now. I don't want to take all the money my father sweated and labored earning and, instead of using it for something that he will actually be able to enjoy or at least will actually improve a particular condition in the endtime of his life, rather than dump it all into into a nursing home where none of the people who love him has any control over his care -- something I have unfortunately learned over the last month. The point is that, yes, I could arrange to "spend down" all of his savings to the point where he is then poor enough -- despite his having worked HARD and constantly for 70 years and actively defended his country through a world war and then the Korean war, but that would be HORRIBLE and with no justice in it. I might as well light a match and set it on fire. Seeing that none of my research was coming up with any other prospective solutions to caring for my father's health care needs, I, too, looked into applying for medicaid on behalf of my father. It didn't take long to find out that Medicaid considers his income too high to qualify for any financial help. He is extremely far from "rich". If he WERE actually rich, yes, he would be able to pay for a nursing home on his own. It is because he is not anywhere near rich (the very idea is comedy) that I am experiencing the distress and worry that I am regarding his health care. My father is on medicare and has also private insurance. I was stunned to learn that neither of these two entities covers home-health-aid care OR skilled nursing facility care. Any possible options I have with respect to caring for my Dad now are simply rotten. I greatly wish that I could be EMPLOYED by the NY State Veteran's Home that I want my father to live in. I could do any secretarial or clerical or administrative support work for them and have half of my salary automatically go to into an account to pay for my father's stay. As as an employee, I should be able to get a considerable discount on my father's residence fee. I would be able to see my father every day, almost as if we were still living together at home, which would greatly reduce my anxiety, AND it would eliminate my fear of being completely destitute when my father is gone and I'm left with no nursing degree or any other marketable degree and no means of making the money to now support myself. My being employed in that facility would eliminate the problems that keep me from being able to sleep every single night. I love my father so dearly. Up until his latest seriously declined abilities, I took him virtually EVERYWHERE with me. Everywhere. My wonderful friends always included him in any invitation they presented to me, because they knew I wouldn't be leaving home without him. I pray that this state, if not this country, comes up with a reasonable change in the financing of care for our senior population. For all of the people between poverty and wealth, there are a great many of us who need to be cared for in a nursing home and don't deserve to have nearly every legitimate and hard-earned cent ripped away before qualifying.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

*I applied for Medicaid on behalf on my dad.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You have a very good point about Medicaid. Not everyone is automatically eligible. But there are ways to become eligible. It's not easy, it takes a lot of work, it's never as simple as "put him in a nursing home, the end."

Not many people can afford skilled nursing care in a facility which is why there is Medicaid. If your dad is rich then he can afford a nursing home. If he's not rich then he can become eligible for Medicaid which will pay for a nursing home.

When I began the Medicaid process I had no idea what to do. And what was worse, I sat out in the parking lot of the office, in the rain, crying my eyes out I was so stressed out. But I went in and got a caseworker and she spent a lot of time with me walking me through the process. She answered all my questions, even the dumb ones, and stayed in touch with me throughout the process. I told her that she had to make it very simple for me since I wasn't too bright and tell me what exactly I needed to do. As in, "First, you do THIS", "Then, do THAT". So that's how I got through it.

I also know of a couple. He's had several strokes and needs a nursing home but they have too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough money for her to live on once he goes into a nursing home. So she's spending down their assets on home health care workers. That's allowed by Medicaid. You spend the money on the person's care and you will qualify for Medicaid once the money is almost all gone.

There are different scenarios for someone with a house and/or a car, someone with life insurance and all other kinds of assets but it is doable. You can get your dad into a nice facility, you just need assistance on how to do it.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

How about becoming a paid caregiver to someone else? You certainly have the expertise and experience? Also, if you type "job training" into the search bar on this site, there is an interesting discussion of "work from home" opportunities. What kind of nursing training are you interested in? CNA? LPN, RN? Can you contact Westchester Community College and talk to them about what opportunities and scholarships might exist? If your dad goes into the Montrose VA hospital (I'm assuming that's the one that you're talking about, and yes, it's a nice place, I'm told by relatives) you might want to consider re-locating up there, as the cost of living is considerably less than Westchester, I imagine. It would also be easier to keep tabs on your dad.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

At the top of this page is a bar, Money and Legal. when you tap that, you get a menu, one item is Paying for Care. Tap that and look at various programs. I think that your best bets are applying for Veteran's benefits if he's eligible and looking into Medicaid. PLEASE dont' just take other people's word for the eligibility for these programs; look into them yourself. If you dad needs NH care, you can start out as "private pay" and when the money is gone, you apply for Medicaid with the help of the social workers at the home he's in .
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Who have you consulted about this? Do you have an elder care attorney? Have you applied for and gotten VA Aid and Attendence for him? Have you spoken to the social workers at the VA home? Others will probably have more specific advice, but please let us know if you've taken any of the above steps. I'm so glad that you're investigating this!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions