I am soon to be 60 years old and the caregiver for my father with dementia. I am getting to the point that I am not sure how much longer I can care for him. He continues to get worse and I am feeling so overwhelmed. He is the most modest man I know, I've never even seen him wear shorts. This morning he hobbles into the living room with no pants or underwear on! His behavior is deteriorating quite rapidly. He has no house, savings, retirement, etc. His only source of income is his social security check. Apparently his check is larger than average, large enough that he cannot qualify for medicaid, yet small enough that he cannot come anywhere close to paying for a nursing home. I have called social services for help and have gotten nothing more than kind words. He can barely walk and falls on a regular basis. He outweighs me by a hundred pounds. I am having a terrible time getting him in the shower. His memory is shot. He wanders at night. There are so many issues I would have to write a novel.
I am being told by Social Services that he cannot go to a nursing home because Medicare only covers short term stay after a hospitalization, he makes to much in Social Security to qualify for Medicaid, and we are expected to pay about $7000/month out of pocket. Between my retirement check, Dad's SS check and my husbands paycheck we don't even make that much a month! Not even close! I've asked them "What will I do when he can no longer walk at all, carry him around?" And they answer "Well, you just do the best you can" That's not an answer!! They tell me we can hire home health care to come in for a few hours a day to help. That's fine except for the fact he is losing control of his bodily functions. I asked them what do I do if home health care workers come from 8-10 but he goes to the bathroom in his pants at 11? The same answer....just do the best you can.
Dad has been here for almost 2 years and I am virtually a prisoner in my own home. There just doesn't seem to be any answers that are affordable since he qualifies for nothing. I have 2 brothers and one sister. My sister helps about one weekend a month but she is still employed and can only occasionally give us an overnight reprieve. My brothers are both retired but yet are just so busy they can't find a minute of time to help. I feel like I am going to lose it one day and always seem to be on the verge of tears.
From what you describe, your father could qualify for Medicaid. You don't mention the amount of his checks, but I am fairly sure it wouldn't cover a nursing home. What i would recommend is that you contact a nursing home and ask to speak to their business/Medicaid liaison. I have been able to get lots of good information about the process of transitioning to Medicaid. If the place you call doesn't have someone experienced with Medicaid, try somewhere else. I just called Heartland in Lynchburg, Virginia, and they have a Medicaid specialist who will be calling me back. Good Luck!
Medicaid Qualified Income Trust (Miller Trust)
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