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I HAVE GIVEN UP MY JOB TO TAKE CARE OF MY ELDERLY PARENTS. I HAVE A 97 YR OLD STEP-FATHER, AND 88 YR OLD MOTHER, WHO BOTH HAVE DEMENTIA. IT IS NOT FULL BLOWN, BUT THEY CANNOT LIVE IN ANOTHER STATE ALONE, WHICH THEY WERE. THEY ARE NOT LIVING WITH ME, BUT THEY ARE LIVING IN A CONDO 2 MINUTES FROM ME, SO I CAN BE THERE IN A FLASH IF NEED BE. MY HUSBAND AND I TAKE CARE OF ALL THEIR FINANCES, DOCTORS APPOINTMENTS, PRESCRIPTIONS, AND ANY AND ALL HEALTH NEEDS. OUT OF DESPERATION, AND EXHAUSTION, I HAVE A WOMAN FROM HOME INSTEAD THAT COMES IN TWO TIMES A WEEK FOR 3 HOURS. SHE DOES DO SOME LIGHT CLEANING, AND FOOD SHOPPING. SHE ALSO BRINGS THEM TO THE SENIOR CENTER FOR 1 1/2 HOURS ON A THURSDAY, AND IF NEED BE SHE WILL MEET ANY NEEDS THAT THEY MAY HAVE THAT DAY. MY HUSBAND AND I STILL NEED TO BE THERE FOR ANY FOOD THEY MAY NEED, IF THEY GET SICK, REPAIRS ON THEIR CONDO, ETC. ETC. HOME INSTEAD HAS GIVEN ME A MUCH NEEDED BREAK, AND MY MOTHER DOES LIKE THE WOMAN THAT IS TAKING ON SOME RESPONSIBILITIES. THEY COME TO MY HOUSE EVERY SUNDAY FOR DINNER, AND TRY TO DO SOME THINGS WITH THEM THAT THEY MAY ENJOY. BOTH ARE MOBILE, BUT MY MOTHER DOES HAVE A WALKING PROBLEM. SHE DOES WALK, BUT SHE NEEDS TO USE A WALKER, ESPECIALLY WHEN SHE IS OUTSIDE. GET NO HELP FROM MY SIBLINGS!!!!!!!! WHAT'S NEW, RIGHT!!!!!!!!!I WAS READING THE MESSAGE BOARD ABOUT GETTING REIMBURSED FOR THE CARE MY HUSBAND AND I GIVE MY PARENTS. WAS WONDERING IF I CAN GET REIMBURSED ALSO FOR WHAT WE DO. HOW DO I BEGIN TO SEE IF I AM ENTITLED TO ANYTHING. DON'T WANT TO SOUND UNCARING, BUT THEY DO HAVE SOME MONEY OF THEIR OWN, AND IF THEY EVENTUALLY NEED TO GO IN TO A FACILITY, I NEED TO START SPENDING DOWN NOW, AND I DON'T WANT TO DO ANYTHING THAT IS NOT WHAT I AM ENTITLED TO OR WOULD GIVE ME A PROBLEM WITH MEDICAID. ANY HELP OUT THERE. KATHY

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My mother moved in with me 5 years ago, she has no assets and receives a monthly Social Security check. I had to leave my job to take care of her, and now I've been told that I can't use her resources as mine, that she cannot pay me because I'm a family member. We had a Durable Power of Attorney prepared 5 years ago, and even now the banks are balking at it saying it can be prepared by & for anyone. They now look for a designated payee from Social Security. I'm at a loss here.
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Yes it is very hard even with the help of a attorney. I was blessed in a way that mom did listen to me back in 1997 to make up a will, durable power of attorney and legal health epoxy. All thoses legal papers help when mom got sick with Alzheimers back in 2000. I was able to get free assistance with the company that I worked for the fee was almost all paid for. The employee assistance program had found me a attorney in the New York area to have moms papers done. It was hard since I lived in florida. But when mom got so ill, I was glad she had listen to me. No I have not received any help, since i had to quit my job in 2005 of 23 years to take care of mom in New York. The trips that I had made,and all the emergency phone calls to the job when I was working. I did not even think twice about any thing I was doing, or what I am still doing for mom. It is hard on me and my family.But I did bring mom to Florida back in 2007, however she was too ill for myself to take care of her. I had mom with me for 4 days only, they she was so bad I even had to call the fire dept. The next day she was in a assisting living of which we look for well in advanced. I was able to sell my moms house which pay for her nursing home bill up north and up to 2007 medical bills. She is on medicare/blue cross/ plus a program to help pay the assisting living and also the veternans. If your father was a veternan and you can find all his papers they may able to help you with your parents. Also check too see if they have any insurance that is paid up, this way you can do a pre-paid furneal plan. (this will help you for later on). They may even have some stocks that you don't know about. Like I said I found no financial help for myself from New York or Florida, but every state is different with there laws for the elderly. Make sure you do have legal papers that yopu are in charge of there affairs if they both get sick. If they medicade and have no assets that is another story. Rememebr they can't have any money or property to get help from medicade or even a program that works with a nursing home or assisting living. bless you being able to take care of two parents. I had a hard time with just my mom. Yes it is hard, and know rough on you also. I will say a pray for you. and a hug. patrica61
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I have taken care of my mother, in her house, since 2002, and here in California, have found no financial aid that she is qualified for, that would pay me for taking care of her full time.
I'm able to receive food stamps and general relief, because of the fact that I can't get any other job now, I am the only one there is to take care of her. She doesn't qualify for county aid, and that's the only way we could use IHHS.
It's terrible, I mean, luckily my mom's income covers what little expenses I have now, I don't have much of a life being here all the time, but it's what I'm doing, and I will always be here for her, no matter what. Though sometimes it's very hard, as each passes, she changes.
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Hello Kathy, I was reading some of your posts on Counting Your Blessings, and went looking to give you a hug. On this thread is where I found you, and see no one posted a response. That must be discouraging! Since you posted back in June, have you found any answers to your questions? Have you talked with an Elder Law Attorney? A good one will talk with you for an initial consultation, without charge, usually. You can also check with your local Commission on Aging for further resources. They can tell you about the fees they charge as Professional Guardian (court-appointed). And you can call the 1-800 number, and talk to a Medicare/Medicaid volunteer, who can tell you what to expect for the spend down process, and give you guidelines. It's a simple formula. Hope that helps, a little.

Word to the wise: One can do many things without hiring an attorney, which can be costly. But sometimes, they can be helpful, depending on your particular needs.

Hope all is going well with you. Take care.
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