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I am 65 years old and have been taking care of my disabled Veteran husband since he suffered a massive stroke in 2011. Recently, my mom fell and broke her hip and has been diagnosed with severe dementia. She was released from rehab over a month ago and sent home since she could not afford to stay past 21 days in the facility. I have been trying my best to care for her, but she is killing me physically as well as emotionally. I can no longer run between her and my husband every day and night. This situation is causing me to neglect my husband and his needs as well as becoming short tempered with him when none of this is his fault. I've tried finding any information I can on what to do about my mom's care. I cannot do this much longer and have no idea what to do.

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Pipedream- how about an update? Sending well wishes and hope you followed some of this amazing advice!
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Pipedream,
What are the physical requirements to care for your husband?

Your situation sounds like it is not only too much stress for one person, but the physical demands can really hurt you and lead to your own disability.
You say your back hurts, and I am sure you have some physical issues of your own that you are neglecting.

After over-extending myself with caring for my husband, I thought that I could devote some time to caring for another relative for just a month.......because of the urgent nature. It turned into more, and more physically than I was able to do, pushing myself. My back...then sciatica flared up, worse than I have ever had, the pain is unbearable so far without relief.
Stop right now doing that to yourself. Call for help, both for your husband, and for your mother. Stop today, and go to your doctor. Just stop.

While I am laid up here in bed, my husband is not ok. Turns out he needs my help more than I understood. Everything is on hold until I can get better.

Please don't wait until you cannot get out of bed....that time is just today or tomorrow. Go to the E.R. yourself if you have to.
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Moms MD needs to order home health for her. Medicare will pay for this with the amount of services provided dependent on her needs assessment. It will not cover 24/7 as it's not cost effective to do this (unless mom lives in a very very high cost of care city).

Since hubs is a vet, is he getting VA's Aid & Attendance? If so, is the current home health being paid from A&A $? I'd suggest you speak with the company currently hired for him to see what they may be able to provide for mom as well. Perhaps at a slight discount since the houses are next to each other. This would NOT be a permanent situation but perhaps for a few weeks till you come up with a long term plan on mom's care. Your Mom has income (like her SS) which she could use to pay towards caregivers, so she can have Medicare paid services and then she private pays for it as well. You need to have hired help in some way for each of them. Otherwise you are going to find yourself ill & loco.

If he's not getting Aid & Attendance, he needs to apply asap.

Not to sound too harsh but you need to prioritize one over the other. You cannot do both. For me, my spouse would be my priority….. it's not easy but it's a version of "Sophie's Choice" dilemma for aging in the US.

I'm too going to suggest you meet with an NAELA atty for her as 97yroldmom did. They are going to have suggestions. The plan could mean that mom becomes a ward of the state; court appoints an outside guardian for her and the guardian gets her into a facility & manages the details for her finances, assets & health needs. You as her daughter still have input, but the heavy lifting so to speak is done by guardian. Having an atty set this up would be better than having APS doing this. There could be some fall-out with whomever was the gifting recipient of the property from mom but really that's something to discuss with the atty. Mom needs to use her funds to pay for the atty.

My mom was on hospice for 18 months in a NH, after a hip shatter and she became bedfast. If the rules are the same for hospice for your mom, once your mom becomes "bedfast", it's going require 24/7 oversight, ordered equipment, multiple times a day moving them (to lessen pressure problems) & more specialized nutrition. I'm not sure if at home hospice would be feasible as I think at-home hospice requires family caregivers to live with the hospice patient or have hired caregivers with them at all times (excluding when hospice is there) if they are bedfast. If so, then mom is going to move into a facility unless there is other family (not just you) that can move into her home and be a caregiver.

You may get the suggestion to call EMS and let them take mom to the ER. And you refuse to pick her up. So social services has to find placement for her & mom becomes an emergency ward of the state. I'd try not to go this route as social services will likely contact APS to do a follow-up and that could morph into paperwork h*ll issues for you.

When you need to vent, vent on this site!
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Dear Pipedream.
You need to call a NAELA certified attorney who understands Medicaid for your state. You can not do this alone.
Call your mothers dr and tell them to order a bathing aid and occupational therapy. Your home health should have already done this for you. You might consider a different home health agency. Was your father a veteran? If so she might qualify for veterans aid and attendance. You could also call hospice and see if their dr thinks your mom qualifies. I'm so sorry for this hard time. Please take extreme care of yourself. Let us know how you are doing and what you find out.
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Thanks to all for responding. Mom does live alone and her needs are many. She can't walk yet, and the therapists don't think she ever will anymore. She needs help w/everything from dressing to bathing to bathroom. I do all that and prepare her meals. I told the people at rehab that I would try to take care of her and see how it went. I had no choice. I was also told by quite a few people there and relatives that I could not take care of both my husband and mother, it would be too much. She doesn't have Medicaid and she doesn't qualify. Mainly from property transfer a couple years ago. (other property, not her home). As for home health care, the only one who comes out now is a nurse once or twice a week. I live next to mom and I'm spending day and night running back and forth between her house and mine. I don't want to sound overly dramatic, but lately, all I do is cry and dread waking up every morning. I'm in constant pain w/ back now and it isn't going to get any better. I'm seriously afraid I'm going to be crippled or suffer a stroke or heart attack. Who will take care of my husband then or her?
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Is your mom on Medicaid? You mention she didn't have funds to stay in rehab longer? Does she have home health care? Like Barb said, give us more information for more specific answers.
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Does your mom live alone?

What are her care needs?

Call your local Area Agency on Aging and ask for a needs assessment.

When she was discharged from rehab, did you indicate that you were available to care for her? What was her level of need at that time?

I'm sorry to ask so many questions, but more info will get you better answers!
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