Trying to get VA benefits and/or nursing home info, or in home care. Any info?

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I don't know if ya'll remember me, but I take care of my ex mil who has dementia and is an amputee. Gran has moved into mid or mid to late stage dementia. Her son Randy is my ex, and we all live in the same house!! :) with 4 teenagers. Anyway, Randy has leg issues from a construction accident when he was 21 (he is 58) and it has affected his whole body and mind. He went in for reconstructive surgery in September and didn't come home for 2 months. He was home for three weeks and went back into the hospital day before thanksgiving. He will be there 3 to 6 months. This is all to say : I am caregiver for both of them now, basically. When he first went into the hosp. , gran declined dramatically; got dehydrated, bedsore and uti. she is now in pullups and I dress her, help her to potty and bathe her when my back allows. we have a lady come in twice a week to bathe her very good and wash her hair. now that randy is back in the hospital, I feel that she will decline even more. Her strength is about half f what it was, and she can't use her prosthetic leg any more. she shakes a lot and cognitive abilities have declined also. I have a herniated disk, and fibrmyalgia, and I'm learning to take care of myself more, and I knwo that I cannot do this anymore.... the physical part. I can cook, clean house, do her meds, but cant bathe, change her often, lift her , change sheets often, because of my back. My question is, how do I find out about VA benefits? Her late husband was in the service. Also, we don't have funds to pay for a nursing home, althugh she owns 2 houses that are up for rent. She had to file bankruptcy a year ago because her late son stole all her money before he died. I need help for about 20 to 30 hours a week, and need money to pay for it! any ideas?

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Boy, you do have your hands full and bless you for doing it all! First, go to www.va.gov and you will find all kinds of options to find out where to find services. She will need the DD214 service discharge papers to prove he was honorably discharged, and then contact your local VA center. You are at a disadvantage because you do not mention if you have a POA for your ex-mother-in-law, and VA will not even talk to you without her permission. So be prepared for that. Get meals on wheels, and church, neighbors or friends to help. Those homes need to be sold for income. Sounds like she is not going to last too long so make sure you get some things in writing. Merry Christmas!
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Actually as long as SHE never remarried, and was married to him at some point while he was in service, I believe the VA will cover her as well. And the OP actually said "late" husband, which sounds more like they were together when he passed on.
The absolute best option for you atm, is to contact your local VA clinic and ask to speak with their social worker. She/he can help you navigate through this much better than trying to sort through all the online crap there is. You *WILL* need access to his full name, dates and branch of service, SSN and the dates they were married.
Was he disabled due to his service? Was there a possibility of that? (Many Korean and Vietnam era veterans are eligible due to their exposure to various chemicals, most famously Agent Orange.) If so, that opens up a whole new range of possible help, but again, the VA social worker can point you where to get started.
I'm guessing from the sound of it, you have already got her on Medicare, as well as Medicaid for yourself and your ex. If not, you need to do that asap as well. They don't cover everything but they DO cover quite a lot.
You could also check out your local Area Center on Aging (google it, nearly every state has one now) as well as checking with local churches (especially if you / they were or are members of one) or nursing homes. All 3 may have access to local programs that aren't advertised, or just know someone willing to pitch in and help out!
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Was her late husband a war veteran. For war veterans (and their spouses/widows) there is an aid and attendance pension when they require assistance for daily activities. I was just able to get this awarded for my grandfather (aged 94, WWII vet) after applying this summer. A forum that was of immeasurable use to me is located at www.veteranaid.org. The people there are EXTREMELY knowledgeable able navigating the VA benefits maze. Good luck!!!
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Find an options counselor in your area. You can go online and look up Aid and Assistance through the VA. Also find the local elder services organization and make a call. They have lots of resources and can tell you how to apply. The VA is probably where you should start. They have money benefits for the care of someone like your mom. As long as her ex-husband was married to her when he passed and he served at least 1 day during war time. hope that helps!
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