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my dad only draws approx. $900 monthly. draws $16 food stamps, is veteran but won't apply for benefits. I quit work to care for Mom & Dad. Can't draw unemployment, can't work part time, on meds for ADD/depression. Mom died in August 2012-dad has alzheimers- doesn't remember she's dead-thinks I am her most of the time- he sleeps most of the time. gets frustrated, sometimes angry because I won't "take a nap" with him. I am with him 24/7 m-f...brother stays on weekend to give me a break...two other sisters don't help at all-one calls occasionally or comes to see him maybe once a month. other sister hasn't been here but once since mom died. she lives same amount of distance I do, but refuses to come around or call.

no caregiver support in area- I stay in tears- take Ativan & Cymbalta- doesn't help. I promised my mom when she died I would take care of daddy. and I will. I actually see my husband on the weekend. he is self employed, no ins, work is off so he can't give me money for meds, drs, mad money...no one to talk to- can't talk to family,friends because after a year I feel I should be handling all better-not crying all the time.

the only time during the week I get away from dad is to go to the store-seems like my depression is worsening and I can't help feeling I am causing my dad to become more depressed because I try to get away at times. I was seeing therapist before I had to quit work. didn't really seem to help other than give me accurate meds for the problems. I was diagnosed with ADD/OCD-put on Strattera-still take when I can get free from manufacturers.

my dad lives alone now, approximately 70 miles from all other immediate family. other sisters think if we wouldn't stay with dad it would force him to move in with someone. My brother and I both agree it would kill dad to force him to leave his home. So we work our lives around dad's care while they go on with their lives as if nothing ever changed. On occasion they used to send dad cards with Walmart cards in them for birthdays, fathers day, etc. now they don't even do that. all extra expenses come back to my brother and me...mostly my brother since I don't have any money. I try to justify it in my mind that it works out between me & my brother that since I quit work, to be here all the time to cook,clean,care for dad that it is even if he supplies money for anything over dad's monthly money but I feel like I am not helping out enough.

I go home on the weekends,try to be a wife, cook, housecleaner,buy groceries, was my husbands clothes,etc but for all practical purposes, my husband is single, has to care for himself, work when he can, try to keep my spirit up,keep his spirit up while going home to an empty house daily. But for the most part I feel like I am letting everybody down because all I do is cry. Realistically I know I all helping but it doesn't feel like it.

I was under the impression there were grants or financial assistance for caregivers. I haven't been able to find any. Maybe if I could pay my way, so to speak, T wouldn't feel like a total failure to everyone. Is this normal?

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Hey, hang in there. First of all take care of you, or you wont be able to take care of anyone. I was in your shoes not so long ago so Im still finding my way as well, contact the DOA (Dept. on aging) they will send an interviewer who will get the ball rolling on some services to help you and your brother. I was able to become my dads homemaker. I get paid to do the things I would normally do anyway. Allowing me to stay home and care for him without hurting my own family finances. If he needs full time care you and your brother can get paid. A friend of mine is 1 of 3 homemakers for her grandmother who has alzheimers. Because he has dementia I am also able to apply for services for him, without the need to have him bothered by it. Good luck. I hope this helps.
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KBM...you must be very worn out. You do need help. I commend you and your brother for trying to keep dad at home but if he won't help you out by at least applying for VA benefits, then you may, in order to not burn yourself out and therefore not be there for your dad in the future, have to try to force the issue. VA could help with care aid, which would give you and your brother the needed breathing space you need.

Please, you've not posted since the first post so let us know how you're doing now?
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You are in a difficult situation.

I am a little confused. Can you explain why your father will not file for his veteran’s benefits? After serving his country during war, he should feel entitled to claim his due.

It appears your father might be to get on Medicaid in which case he should be able to receive home care.
There is also a program called IsConsumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP). This is a Medicaid program that provides services to chronically ill or physically disabled individuals who have a medical need for help with activities of daily living (ADLs) or skilled nursing services. It allows the patient to select his own aide, who can be a family member and have them trained to take care of them.
Medicaid will evaluate how much service your Dad requires and will pay you a Medicaid rate for that time. You won’t make a lot of money but since you are helping your Dad anyway at least you will get some compensation.

Good luck
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Thank you! Always looking to help any way I can!
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Now that is what I call resourceful caregiver information jmcgrath!
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Depending on what state you live in, there are programs that pay caregivers. In Ma. RI. OH and IN there is a program called caregiver homes. Sounds like you would be eligible. The state pays you to stay home and care for your loved ones plus you get the services of a nurse and casemanager for free. You can get up to 16,000.00 a year tax free and its non-reportable income.
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Go to va.gov and look under pensions entitled "Aid and Attendance". This benefit is for a veteran and is tax-free. You have to have doctor's verifications, tests, etc. to get the benefit, but it will add to his monthly pensions. It is worth the time and effort, and you will not need his okay to get the benefits if you have his POA or the doctor can verify his dementia. Good luck! I have filed for my husband and we are expecting approval any day now. It will take time, but a lump sum will be paid first, from the day you file, then he will receive a monthly pension.
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Yes, you can get the Aide and Attendants reimbursement for yourself as Caregiver and/or use it for his supplies as needed if he was in the war or service.. You should also be able to get medicaid. I wouldnt go through the Veterans, I would go through and agency that can tell you immediately if you qualify, which I am pretty sure you will ! Your Dad must have a doctors note of three of more things he cannot do alone and need 24 hour care. You also need his service discharge numbers which you can find online if you dont have that and tons of paperwork to do unless you get free help. Send me a message if you need more info. Good luck
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There are 0 financial bennifits for family members that are full time caregivers. I haven't given up hope as I am in your situation.
My folks have some excelent long term care insuance that won't pay me to do what you are doing because I'm a family member. Asside from the frustation knowing that there is $'s available I find it a travesty that ins. companys penalize compassion. I am working on a bill that would remedy my situation, but it sounds as if you have to weigh compassion for pops w/self preservation. Two sucky choices for everyone. Hang in, I'll do what i can, just know those promises are recognized by all eternity. Your mom is proud of you, and so am i..
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A few links that may be of some use: http://www.caregiver.va.gov/resources_landing.asp
http://www.legion.org/veteransbenefits/departmentofficers
A lot of the programs for veterans now are aimed at reintegration and families who need help because a soldier was sent on active duty. It might take some time to dig but there is help. If he isn't currently receiving VA benefits, whoever can should apply. You will need his DD214 papers that show his service dates, any time durinh a war, and the type of discharge. He won't be eligible for anything if it was dishonorable. Also try the state website for Dept. Of Aging. Usually they're connected locally to veterans services as well.
I hope you find the help you need and remember: this group is great at letting you vent your frustrations.
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Whoever has his POA's can apply for Veteran's benefits and this should be done. Does he feel isolated, the Veteran's homes while the proposition may be frightening for him, would offer him a chance for camaraderie and an opportunity for friendships. And very important, the chance for him to tell and retell his stories with peers. Does the Veterans home in your area offer respite stays or have activities that he could be taken to. Everyone may be surprised that he may be happy in such an environment. Something like this is still taking care of your father, while maybe making him happier.
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You are doing a great deal, so please do not put yourself down.

As far as benefits, see what dad is eligible for as suggested and look into welfare.
I have never heard of family caregiver assistance, just like there is no parental caregiver assistance. The programs that are available are more generic, targeting people with low incomes, through the welfare office. It does not sound like you would qualify for disability, since you are working (albeit unpaid caregiving is work).

Not sure you will qualify for financial support, but I hope you get the emotional and spiritual support you need.
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I am hoping either you or your brother has medical and financial POA. As POA you can apply for VA benefits (or as suggested above guardiaship). I applied for my mother and received said benefits.
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Dear kbmyrick, you have been given some wise advice here and I hope you can follow through and get some help. I can only add that you should stop beating yourself up! You are doing so much more than most adult children would do. Not those on this site, obviously! Please realize that. You are in my prayers!
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Dear kbmyrick1974,

I am my mother's 24/7 caregiver as well, not a benefit professional. In some cases, care recipients (i.e., your dad) can have caregivers of their choice (i.e., you) compensated by the state Department of Public Welfare through a local Agency on Aging under a "self-directed care" plan. The aim is to help people live in the community if that's their choice. Eligibility or partial eligibility depends on the care recipient's assets. The first step is to contact the Agency on Aging for your father's county; in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that is Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (215.765.9040); this office may be able to help you determine your father's Agency on Aging. Ask about the Office of Long Term Living Waiver Program. The Agency on Aging would help your family make a care plan, with your father's input as much as possible. The Agency on Aging can also provide other services and resources.

If your father is eligible for this program, he will be "given" a certain number of hours per week which could be divided among caregivers of his choice. You could even hire a caregiver to relieve you a few hours during the week. There will be a lot of new information to consider . . . it's a process. If you will be one of the "paid caregivers" you would not be able to act as your father's representative/power of attorney, however your brother could (sign timesheets, etc.). My advice is to get a big three-ring binder (or computer scanner) and keep notes and copies of all related papers.

There may be another huge bonus if this works out. When financial stress is relieved, I feel lighter, happier, able to think clearer. You may feel that way if you feel you are contributing as you want to. Bravo to you, your brother and your supportive husband; it's hard to see it, but other family members are likely doing the best they can at the time with what they have (how's that for not judging?). And, on a real tip, what you are doing with your father is priceless! My Highest Thoughts to you.
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Call 1-855-260-3274 it's the VA caregiver line. They may reimburse you for caregiving, they offer respite care which you need immediately. Check with your county government aging agency, they may reimburse you for medications, and things like depends. They are in the blue pages of a telephone book, or google your state.gov find the aging agency. Get to the aging agency.Look for the omsbudman who will tell you how to navigate what you need and are eligible to recieve. Look for your county and call the aging agency. Good luck
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I believe you have taken great care of your dad so far ! It is time to get some help and gain your life back with your husband .......Praying for you
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Do you have POA or guardianship? If you have guardianship, you can get paperwork going for the VA benefits and possibly some in home assistance. If you must, go to the court with a letter from his doctor containing a discription of his mental state (i.e.: alzheimer's type dementia, etc.) and petition the court for legal guardianship. This way, YOU will have some control over the situation not your father.
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Poor dear, of course you are overwhelmed as any normal person would be under the circumstances. However you've set yourself a task which no normal person could accomplish and trying to do so has drained you of physical, mental and emotional resources. That too is a normal and predictable result which of course you can't see because you're too close to the situation and clearly burned out.

As I write this, there aren't any answers posted yet. I beg you to keep an open mind and consider the advice you are given as others respond. Believe it or not, there are ways to honor your promise to your mother and also your marriage vows at the same time. Meanwhile, tending to your own wellbeing must be at the top of the list.

I've suffered from depression too and found that the best antidote is to take action. Make a choice and act on it, even if it later turns out to be wrong. But I suspect you'll get answers from our group that will help you make the right choices. God bless.
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