My 70 yr old mom is caring for her partner of over 25 yrs. He has Dementia. They live in a small (45 mins - 1 hr to the nearest Walmart) in MI, and have pretty much kept to themselves. I live out of state, so I'm not able to help, except I try to send a small amount of money each month. They are on a fixed income.

He "watches" tv, looks out the window, falls asleep in his chair, or follows her around when she tries to work around the house. He can't make his own food, doesn't know what or where a spoon is, needs some help with getting dressed, showering, etc.

The problem is trying to find some help that doesn't cost. She has a former co-worker (trained in taking care of adults) that she has come and stay with him when she has to be gone, but it costs a lot. She used to take him to an Adult Day Service, that was suppose to be free, but then they would send her a general letter telling her it cost $16. hr to take care of the adults. She felt pressured to pay; it was 1/2 hr one way; and he didn't like it, so she stopped going. Now she has just found Senior Services that will give her 4 hrs a week. They say a "donation" is appreciated. Is this something she has to do? I don't want her to stress about another bill to pay.

I hear so much about Caregiver Burnout, that I worry about her.

Thank you in advance for any comment and direction you give me.

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Jeannegibbs, I'm not sure. I will have to ask. Thank you for the info.
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A "donation" is optional. It is not required.

Is Mom's partner eligible for Medicaid? That would relieve most of the financial pressure. It would also put them in a better position if/when he needs more care.
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If her partner goes into a nursing home, he (and your mom) will pay far more than a modest donation to a program designed to help the indigent. Your mom's partner isn't indigent. Further, if he has to go into a nursing home? It'll cost his entire Social Security check and every single penny he has. So that will be lost.

You should ENCOURAGE your mom to pay, out of thin air, $25 per visit to the program. She should be using his income to help herself as much as she can. She'll (he'll) lose it ALL if he has to go into a facility because she can't take it anymore.
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