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 How will I pay for help?! 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:06 pm
Posts: 49
Post How will I pay for help?!
My Dad has LBD and he lives with me and my family. I am fully aware that I am going to need some help with his care eventually. Dad is a 6'2" and 295lbs. I would like to keep him at home as long as possible. He has Medicare and collects his social security checks monthly. We have no additional funds available. My husband and I live week-to-week. I work from home, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to actually get work done. My question is this. Are there any resources to help pay for inhome care? From reading these forums I understand that Medicare does not pay for facility care, so is there any assistance available? What in the world are people without an abundance of cash supposed to do? :cry:

Thanks for any advice -
Michelle


Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:46 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:02 pm
Posts: 386
Location: East TN
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
Is your Dad a Veteran? Did he serve during wartime? Not necesary for him to serve in combat. There might be Veterans help you aren't aware of.

I qualify for a VA pension for wartime service….I was not in combat…I do not presently collect for a service connected disablilty….

it is on my list to apply for. Two pensions from VA….

VA Pension….
VA Aid & Attendance….

there were previous posts on this forum on this subject….

_________________
Craig - Patient - Male - 56 years old - Lewy Bodies diagnosed on March 23, 2011 - cognitive disorder NOS dx 2007 - RBD REM dx 2007 issues for 20+ years - intention tremor 1974 - other issues many years


Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:55 pm
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:06 pm
Posts: 49
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
Yes. He is a Vet. But not during wartime. He has received some VA benefits in the past. I wonder if that would still be something worth looking in to?


Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:30 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:02 pm
Posts: 386
Location: East TN
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
wartime….is defined strangely….match the dates of his service….

definitely look into

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Craig - Patient - Male - 56 years old - Lewy Bodies diagnosed on March 23, 2011 - cognitive disorder NOS dx 2007 - RBD REM dx 2007 issues for 20+ years - intention tremor 1974 - other issues many years


Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:44 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
Michelle, have you connected with a social worker yet -- someone from Services for Aging within your State/County's Social Services department, or someone from a hospital if he has been recently discharged? A professional can tell you exactly what is available in your area.

Medicaid is a commonly used option in these situations. Does your father have any assets, such as life insurance, a car, or other property? He may have to use up some assets first to qualify, and it will depend on how much his SS check is, but this is what people without an abundance of cash are supposed to do. (And except for the independantly wealthy, almost everyone with a longterm chronic condition winds up without an abundance of cash.)

In addition, there may be programs in your state or county that are aimed at keeping elders out of nursing homes if they can be provided services at home (it's cheaper, not to mention often a more desirable choice).

There is so much out there ... my head was constantly spinning the first year, getting everything all set up. I really suggest getting the help of a knowledgable professional. You'll still have to dig up records and fill our applications till your head spins, but at least you'll know where to start.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:16 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
In addition to the good suggestions you've already been given, consider hiring a financial planner to help figure it out.

Other than the VA and Medicaid, there really isn't any assistance available.


Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:45 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
A qualified elder law attorney would also be helpful. Go to www.naela.org.

Julianne


Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:51 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
robin wrote:
Other than the VA and Medicaid, there really isn't any assistance available.


There is in my state. That is why I think it is important to talk to a local expert.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:56 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3314
Location: Vermont
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
Do you know if he has long term care insurance? Are you familiar with all of his financial things, including all insurance policies? Do you know where his service discharge papers are?
Is there a veterans home where you live? He may be able eligible for care there.
I think getting a professional is a great idea because they will know the resources in your area, like others here have suggested. It is daunting to get through all the paperwork at first, but a necessary evil! Good luck, Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:43 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:22 pm
Posts: 188
Location: Portland, Or
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
Definitely contact your local Aging Services Agency. Depending on his income, he may qualify for help through them. I know that in Oregon, where we live, family members of people who are low income can be compensated for some of the caregiver hours. I get paid for a certain number of hours that I care for mom ( even though in reality it's a 24-7 job for me). But it has enabled me to stay home and take care of her, and they pay much less money to family caregivers than they would have to pay for my mom to stay in a care facility. Every state has different benefits so check with your Department of Human Services. Good luck!

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Ellen 59, caregiver for mom Marion 81,dx LBD Feb 2011


Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:28 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:18 am
Posts: 276
Location: Washington State
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
Michelle, you've gotten some excellent suggestions. Here's what I can add: If you want to follow up on looking into the VA Aid & Attendence pension eligibility requirements (particularly the war-time eligibility) here is a link to the website that I used to get A&A for my veteran mother: http://www.veteranaid.org/eligibility.php

It isn't an easy process or a quick one, but the check for $1,660 a month that she gets has been helping a lot. The VA really came through for us.

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Annie, daughter of brave Marie, dx 2007 and in ALF


Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:16 am
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:06 pm
Posts: 49
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
Thanks for all of the wonderful advice. I will try and answer your questions.

I do have his discharge paper
Served 1961-1963 (guess I call to find out if this is wartime?)
Honorable discharge
Dad has no assets
No life insurance (I'm working on getting some guaranteed life)
No long term care
No savings
Called SS and Dept of Aging before diagnosis when I was look for a psychiatrist for him. I need to call again. I'm not sure what questions to ask.

Given this info. Any further advice? Thanks everyone. This is so helpful.


Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:32 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
All of the above is good advice but the one thing I want to mention is these are things you have to stay on top of, these agencies get so many requests, so we the advocates have to do all the work for any type of service!

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Irene Selak


Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:56 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
Michelle, you are exactly where I was not so long ago. VA Benefits might help a bit, and you have to apply for them for a Medicaid application to be processed, but it is the way to go - and soon! The next federal budget may affect qualifications or the amount of the benefit.

Call your county social services right away and ask to talk with someone about benefits for seniors, identifying that there are medical problems. When you are assigned a social worker, they are likely to come out for a home visit. (You can also go through your dad's doctor or hospital). Try to have an occupational therapist there when the social worker visits. The social worker might suggest this, or bring one. But check with your dad's doctor, too. An occupational therapist will see things that the social worker might not. Let the social worker know that you'd like an occupational therapist at the visit and ask if he will bring one or if you should go through the doc. This is how we got a chair lift for our stairs so that we didn't need to confine Mom to one level.

Keep in mind that, if you are going to continue to care for your dad at home, you may need to make modifications. Like - can your dad shower himself or does he need help or equipment? Where do you need handrails? Does your dad try to get up in the middle of the night. Do you need some kind of alarm?

Technically, savings need to get down to $3000. But you can use his money to prepay for a funeral and a good social worker will tell you that. Around here, a funeral can run $6000 to $9000 or more. Get that resolved by the time you place your dad's application for Medicaid.

Be ready to wait. It took 6 months to get Mom's Medicaid application approved. One of the hangups was that my Dad was a veteran. So the process stopped for the time it took to get the VA application in.

DO NOT GO TO THE FEDERAL VA OFFICE. That was a huge mistake I made. Your county will probably have a VA liaison. Go through that office. You will get a lot more help. There is a never ending list of documents you need and your county office is more likely to help you get them. I had wonderful help here.

If you dad has any money, even if it is more than $3000, start now. Even if he has over $10,000, the funeral prepay will take you to the right level or below. If your dad really has nothing, still talk to a funeral director.

Oh, check with the VA about veterans' life insurance. My dad served in WW2 and things might have changed by the 60's, but they might have enough to cover a funeral. I know it is hard to think of that now, but the financial arrangements you need to make requires that you think of it and it is a great relief to get it over with.

One more thing - ask the occupational therapist and the social worker about bariatric issues made necessary by your dad's size. You will need a lift, if not now, soon. Trying to lift your dad without assistance is a good way to ruin your back. Your dad will also need equipment that takes his height and weight into consideration. Be sure you watch this or you may have trouble.

If, during this process, you want to commiserate, leave me a message and I'll be happy to listen. It's painful and much depends on your social worker. BTW, care centers have social workers on staff, just like a hospital, to help you through things. The care center Mom is in now waited the full 6 months for a payment, knowing that Medicaid (Medical Assistance) would reimburse them.

Good luck. In the process, when they tell you that you still don't have all of the records that they need with the application, go out somewhere and do something outlandish for yourself. Coping with the stress of the process takes some self-treatment.

Kate

_________________
Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:39 pm
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:06 pm
Posts: 49
Post Re: How will I pay for help?!
Thanks so much for all the great advice. So much to do.
Michelle


Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:21 pm
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