Mom's share of cost is $1,100 so we can't get IHSS. Why do they only look at your income check, not what's left after paying bills?! - AgingCare.com

Mom's share of cost is $1,100 so we can't get IHSS. Why do they only look at your income check, not what's left after paying bills?!

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My 76yr old mom (who I've been the caretaker of for 12 years) makes $1,908 a month from soc security and so her SOC is EXTREMELY high. It's now at the point where I can only work part time because she can't be alone more than 6 hrs. So now the money I make barely pays my bills and I never have any extra for "me time". Her income pays for the senior apartment we live in, utilities and food. Because she makes too much income, she doesn't qualify for IHSS and we don't have any $ left over to pay for private care. (We live in CA and rent for the apartment is $1015.00 a month) Why is it that there is NO help for people in my mom's situation? Her only option is to go live in Skilled Nursing where they take her whole check (less $35) and then Medi-Cal will pay the rest. (We did this for a year and 4 months in 2015 but unforseen circumstances make it to where we had to live together again.) She does not have dementia or alzheimer's. She does have stubbornness and thinks that she doesn't need to be supervised when using her walker, but she does. Her legs just sometimes don't want to support her. I don't understand why the state doesn't help with private care part time per day for people like her. She doesn't need someone 8hrs a day 7 days a week. Just maybe 2-4 hrs a day to check on her so I can go back to work full time. I hate that she has to stay in bed all day watching TV because it's not safe for her to get up and move around by herself. I don't have any siblings, her family is 2 hrs away. She can't get out to meet any of her neighbors so therefore she doesn't have any friends around the complex that can assist her. Why are these seniors so overlooked? There seems to be so much help for those who make less $ but if you make more, they only look at your income check, not what's left after paying bills!!

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BarbBrooklyn I had my own place in 2006 and mom had her own place in dif towns. She got very sick, nobody knew what was wrong. I quit my job to move in with her while we figured out what was wrong. She had bladder cancer. So in Dec 2006 she had it removed hence why she has the urostomy bag now. After that in Feb her kidney got infected and had to be removed. Then in May she had a heart attack. 5 months later she had another surgery. By that time I was working at a lower paying job in a more expensive city (hers) and so I could not afford to move out (no money for deposit and first months rent, etc.) so we stayed "roommates" for economical reasons. But her unsteadiness just kept getting worse and worse (prob from all the meds she was on back then) which caused to to fall over 50 times in 6 months. (never broke a bone!). So in Dec 2015 we agreed if she fell again and didn't have the strength to get back up she would need to go into skilled nursing. She did and we sold her mobile home (which ended up being sold for only about $7,000 back to the mobile home park and she owed $6,000 on her mortgage. We thought we'd get about $29,000 out of it and it was supposed to be my "starting over" money from her. But because of 5 leaking spots in roof nobody wanted to buy it and we had to sell it to the park because I had to move out of the senior park (I'm not 55). I moved into a 5th wheel trailer out of town at a friends house...blah blah, had to move again because of personal reasons, lived with aunt in another town, had to move out cos her son moved back and it was either mom and I become roommates again or I was going to be homeless on the street. So yes mom right now pays for the senior apartment we live in. It's wheelchair assessable in the shower and has hand rails on toilet for her her, etc. She does not want to go back to skilled nursing because she was so lonely and depressed there and it made me feel guilty putting her there. She's got all her brains about her! It's just her legs aren't always the steadiest. I sometimes wish I didn't care as much and I could just dump her someplace but she knows what's going on and she's alert and it's just NOT the place for her. But I don't want to be with her 24/7. I'd love to have someone bath her and take her places. I didn't want children but I have a 76 yr old one. She wants to go places with me but an errand that would take me 1/2 turns into a 4 hr process to get her ready, get her stuff together, get her in the car, get her out of the car, pushing her around, she wants to look at this and that and oooh what's over here. I literally just needed to run out for milk and toilet paper. I'm slowly losing my patience with her and getting resentful because I can't go visit my friend out of town overnight and have a girls night out with drinks because she can't be alone all night and day. I can go to a movie if I wanted but like I stated originally, I only work part time and all my $ goes to bills. So even if I had the time to get away, I'd have to just drive around and look at the scenery because everything "fun" costs money.
I just wish IHSS would look at how much a senior has of income AFTER they've paid all their bills and food for the month. NOT what their social security check says when it's deposited. Then we could get some help from the state.
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She's clearer headed, but she still needs a much higher level of medical support than can be provided at home.

How are you going to take care of yourself in retirement?

This is not meant to be harsh, but the facts on the ground appear to me that your mom is paying for an apartment that you both live in.

Where were you living before? Were you able to support yourself?
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BarbBrooklyn correct. Only because I was at my wits end and she was falling a lot and was weak. I wasn't sleeping because I was listening at night to see if she would get up. She had surgery and got rehab and is more stable now. Plus she's off all the meds she was on before she went in (about 5 of them had dizzyness, confusion, etc listed as side effects and she would always be in a cloudy state it seemed) and so she's SO much more clear headed now!
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Hi geewiz, thanks for taking time to answer me. I work for a "volunteer" service for seniors but the area we live in has more seniors than volunteers and mom has been on a waiting list since Oct. Also, these type of places only provide 2-4 hrs a day ONCE a week and no hands on can be done. So they can't really assist her with her walker or if she wants to use her wheelchair, they can't really steady her to get into it. She has a urostomy bag so she doesn't need to be toileted and she has a bedside commode in case she needs to go #2. She would just love someone maybe 3-4 times a week to come by and visit with her, make her lunch, take her outside for fresh air. Drive her to the dollar store just so she could get out for awhile. Unfortunately because she's a fall risk, she has to have a licensed caretaker, not a volunteer because of liability issues and that falls into private care category which we don't have the funds for.
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Are you saying mom was in skilled nursing for more than a year in 2015?
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There may be help available, but in unusual places. Is she taking advantage of LIHEAP (reduced utility charges)? What about food pantries - they may be organized by Houses of worship or other non profits. The help with non perishable food would help stretch the budget. Does the housing complex have a social worker assigned? If so, a visit might produce other ideas.
Have you considered a 'companion' visit where the person would call you if help is needed. I would urge you to find ways to make it work so your retirement isn't jeopardized. Do other residents have help coming in? If so, perhaps one of them would do a brief check on your Mom when they finish their other assignment. Since there is o transportation time, they might do a half hour for a significantly reduced rate.
You might also call the county office of aging to see what Mom might qualify for.
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