Father is caregiver, and wants to move to assisted living

Paula_NorthernCAApril 20, 2005

Just wondering if there's any answers out there...My folks are just able to pay the rent on an independant facility, but my mom needs personal care,lifting and my 83 yr old dad is getting tired. They can't afford for both of them to stay in an assisted living facility,and the residence homes cost just as much! The only other thing I can think of would be some home help care, and perhaps myself coming over 2 days a week,with my dad coming over to our house so he gets a break. Any feedback, similar experiences or ideas?

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Daily home help is going to be costly too. Plus, it doesn't help any at night. Have you checked to see if she would be eligible for any kind of State Aid? Then, if you could get it for her, then maybe both of them could move into assisted living. When it came time to move my mother, my stepfather was eligible because EVERYTHING, even the car was in her name. Her pension was enough to pay for her care. State Aid paid for his. Check with your local Social Services.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 11:12AM
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What about having your mom move to assisted living, while your dad would continue to live at home? That way, his time with her can be special. While in the best of all possible worlds, they would continue to live together, it can't always be. They might both do fine.

Also, check with the local city or county Office of Senior Services. They should be able to provide help and information.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 6:41PM
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If you parents are not able to obtain some 'help' thru some agency that will cover the cost, then I would suspect that you will be covering the cost.

First step, contact every agency you can think of that might cover the cost; my Mom (88) had four day a week help for many years, but my Dad paid for it; then they went to 5 day a week, now they are at the stage of live in help, which my Dad is paying for - it costs him around $24K a year. Fortunately my Mom inherited some money about 20 years ago which is what they have been using - they will run out of the inheritance in another 2 years.

My Dad is 92 and he can't physically do the things for her she needs. Would a Hoyer lift help with the lifting? If so (and you are in the US), if her Dr. would prescribe one Medicare (if that is what she has) would pay for it - does she need a hospital bed? again, Medicare would pay for that.

My Dad refuses to put Mom in a nursing home 'as long as she knows who I am', plus, since they have assets, they would have to pay for the nursing home until they use those assets up. He would rather have her at home (and use the assets as he sees fit).

Mom now has hospice care (since she has an 'incurable' condition, advanced MS). She has been with hospice for one year, she was just requalified.

Home health care might be available, if her Dr. will send the paperwork to Medicare. You do not get nearly as much 'help' with Home Health as you do with Hospice.

Keep us posted - prayers for you and your parents. Carolyn

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 7:02PM
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Hi Paula...welcome to the Forum! You have good advice here. There is, of course, not one "right answer". It would be a shame, and possibly detrimental, to split them up, if you don't have to. Keep in touch, and let us know what evolves. Derry

    Bookmark   April 21, 2005 at 7:59PM
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Hi Paula & Welcome: I understand how difficult this is for your Dad....just saw that happen to one of my clients. The wife could no longer care for her husband as she is not too well & he is now across the street in assisted living. My job was to help during the day at times, but it just wasn't enough. One cannot be there 24/7. Uncertain how this separation will affect them, but she is looking forward to the respite & can easily visit.

It's true each situation varies...my heart goes out to you as this decision is so personal for a couple.

Please keep in touch. We care.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2005 at 12:29PM
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Thanks to all who answered - contacted an elder law attorney (free consultation) who informed us that if my Dad got rid of about 3K of his assets they would qualify for medi-cal for either a nursing home or home health and medi- cal would cover all costs. So, that's where we stand. After being in panic mode, my Dad now says he's handling everything ok for now, so everything is on hold at the moment. Am giving my Dad a break staying with my mom for 2 days and 1 night while he goes and visits his sisters. Thanks again - it's nice to know you're out there!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 1:39PM
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