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I have a family, work full time and take care of my father 79. He lives 5 minutes away in his own home. I am his chauffer, patient care advocate, house cleaner, yard care ...you get the idea :). We have both looked into having either insurance or Medicaid pay me for the things I do to help defray cost and maybe let me take care of him more without having to rely on an outside paycheck exclusively. We have run into the wall, that he "makes to much" because of a pension and social security, he is ill but not in a life threatening way (thank god) that would need nursing care so he cannot get any financial outside help. He is not a veteran either. I have just noticed a slow atrophy of what I am able to get done at his home, my home and work. Something has got to give, I have spoken with a councilor for myself and explored many different options...no luck. I've had suggestions for "gaming" the system that I won't even consider. I just want to be able to take care of my family...all of my family without running myself into the ground doing it. Any suggestions would help I'm sure! Thank you in advance to all who offer suggestions.

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In many dtates, you can set up a Miller Trust; it's a vehicle by which an elder's excess oncome goes into a pooled trust, tendering them eligible for Medicaid. It's not teally "gaming the system' since Medicaid gets a legitimate part if the excess, as i understand it. It's something you should look into.

The way I view this, the elder's lifestyle has to be in line with the elder's resources. If they can no longer keep up with their current home in terms of cleaning, yardwork, etc, either doing it themselves or paying someone to, then they need to re-think their living situation and move into something more manageable.
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What is considered "gaming the system"? If his dr finds that he qualifies for a disability determination then you can put the excess income in a pooled disability trust. Then he'd be Medicaid eligible with no spend down. That's not gaming, that's exercising his rights.
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Also, any resistance you get from your dad about bringing in strangers or not wanting to get the help needs to be addressed that this is your new normal so things have to change to meet new needs. Your dad ( by going along with the changes) will be helping you to be able to help him. One thing - if you aren't already doing this, you need to look at you making his doctor's appointments so you're better able to integrate them into your already full calendar. I got surprised yesterday with an eye doctor appt for my FIL and was the only family member free to take him. I adore him so it's not a bother, but I had had an appointment with a client at that same time and luckily, she had rescheduled. So now I'm going to be really diligent about having some input and knowledge of his appts.
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Prioritize, use "zero based" planning, and determine what you can hire out.

Women tend to want to do more around the house than needs to be done regularly; some things can slip a bit. Get extra clothing so laundry doesn't have to be done as often, or can slide a few days if you're exhausted. In my research of local laundrymats, I've found some that pick up the laundry, do it, and return it. That could save a few hours which you could use to relax.

Itemize what absolutely has to be done, distinguish it from what ideally could be done, and add in some respite time.

Contact the local senior center, or ones in adjoining cities, to get lists of companies that give senior discounts and hire out some of the work.

Remember, YOU don't have to do everything. Be a manager instead of a doer.
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Sandifoot, the majority of grown children do not get paid for taking care of their parent unless the parent can afford to pay that grown child.

I know what you mean about trying to maintain two separate households. My parents were in their 90's so that meant I was pushing 70 years old. I was finding that as I aged my house and yard seemed to double in size when it came to maintenance. Told my parents up front I can't do all this at my age, but they continue to guilt me :P

Sadly we tend to enable our parent(s) to maintain their lifestyle while we make major changes to our own. My view on this is if a parent cannot afford to hire outside help with yard work and with cleaning, maybe it is time to downsize into something more manageable. Moving is hard, it's not easy to get rid of a life time of things.... but something has to give.

Write down on a list all the things you do for your Dad.... now cross off half of the items... now cross off a couple more. Ok, Dad, here is what I am able to do for you... wish I could do more, but I am not a teenager any more, at my age I have my limitations. I really think our parents still view us as a "kid" instead of someone is a senior citizen or approaching that age.
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Most caregivers come to learn that the answer is not how can you do even more, but how to take items off of your plate.

One place to start would be for him to hire someone to house clean and to do the yard work, so you don't have to. See if his prescriptions can be delivered to him, rather than you picking them up. Meals on Wheels can help so you're not doing extra meal prep.
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Bless your heart. We're in very similar boats. I work four 10 hour days and luckily have 3 day weekends but it feels like I never have enough time. My mother and I live together. So the only balance/break I get is my commute to and from work (I work 10 minutes from home so it's not much of a break obviously). You will burn out. It's inevitable. I've loss weight and have had so many episodes/anxiety attacks over the last 6 months it's a wonder my heart hasn't exploded from them. My doctor did recently give me something that has helped because I was crying at the drop of a pin I was so depressed and exhausted. It helps my emotions tremendously. I still have no appetite and I still am exhausted but at least I don't feel like I'm shrouded in a dark cloud just going through the motion of caring for my mom and doing my job mindlessly. I hope we all find some way of managing our roles.
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There is no simple solution to what you are facing. The reality is your going to burn out. I worked out of the house while caring for 2 elderly people to help with the finances. Luckily, I am an extremely high energy person so I woke up at 2 every morning, went to bed at 11 at night and took a 30 minute nap each day and I never had enough time in the day to do everything that needed to be done. I would call your local commission on aging and ask for a few hours of help a week, they do actually try and help. I know it can be tough but at some point you will need to make serious decisions because it will affect your health and your relationships. Best of luck.
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