I am my parents primary caregiver. How do I go about getting help financially?

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I am my parents primary caregiver, they are ages 87 and 83. I have to live in the home with them because they cannot take care of themselves which means I am unable to work. How do I go about getting help financially ? I have been doing this for them for 8 years. It is a full time job yet I do not know how to get help financially. I desperately need advice.

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Dear swtdremz15,

I know you are shouldering a lot. Its good of you to do as much as you have all these years. Jeanne has given great advice. Please know there are options. I hope you make that phone call and they can get a social worker help you access all the resources available in the community.
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swtdremz15, have a needs assessment done for each of your parents. You can initiate this by contacting your Area Agency on Aging or your county Human Services department. Be present when the assessment is done -- elders have a tendency to exaggerate their abilities.

Once the needs are known, you will be told your options. One might be to apply for Medicaid, which may have a program for paying you (this varies by state). Perhaps they could go to a day program, giving you time to work, at least part time. Maybe they will be determined able to live on their own, with certain supports in place, like meals on wheels and a visiting nurse. I sure can't predict what the options will be, but that is the place to find out -- start with a needs assessment.
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