In need of advice, prayers from Caregivers


#1

(Dear Moderators… I wasn’t sure where to put this. I placed it in 3 forums. I hope that is ok. If you need to delete it from any, I understand).

Dear Catholic Answers Forum… I’d like to request your prayers. I’m in great need of them. Tomorrow is my last day on a job I’ve had nearly 8 years. I didn’t want to quit. But felt I had no other choice.

The reason being, that I’ve been left alone with the care of my 85 year old mother… who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease. I have two sisters, living in another state who aren’t able to assist me. I’ve had a professional caregiving agency in my house… to help out, 2 days a week; the cost for those 2 days was over $1,000.00 a month. The death blow came… when my employer notified me that my health insurance had run out… and since I’m not able to increase my hours at work (because we can’t pay for increased caregiving)… I am no longer eligible for medical coverage with my employer.

I felt my only option, then… was to quit the job and cancel the caregiver… so that I can pay for private coverage. Placing my mother in a nursing home was not an option. She suffers from occasional “agitation”… due to her illness… and I felt she wouldn’t live long, if I had gone that route. She’s been in and out of nursing homes on a rehab basis… and I’ve seen the way that those poor folks are treated by some (didn’t say ALL… but some) of the staff. Those poor elderly folks, are suffering so much. The last time my mother was in a nursing home… she had several falls (while I wasn’t there)… that were suspicious. I love my mother dearly, and I will protect her right to live her life… to it’s natural end.

However, this is going to be a difficult time for me. I’ve been in the workforce since 1977. I’m going to be losing some of my work years, and Social Security “points”, while I’m caring for my mother. (I’m 48 and single. No husband’s support to fall back on).

Is there anyone on this forum… who knows if there are any “rights/benefits” that caregivers can seek from the government? Is there such a thing… as Government Caregiver Benefits?

Thanks in advance.


#2

Dear MV,
Unfortunately there are no government caregiver benefits at this time. I am a Physical Therapist Assistant working in the field of geriatrics so I am aware of what is out there- unfortunately right now nothing. If your mother had private long term care insurance , then she would have this type of benefit available to her but none exist currently with Medicare or Medicaid (there are studies being done to promote this though).
Have you looked into Adult daycares- they are able to provide nursing care as well as the safe place your mother needs while you work. Also you need to talk to your mothers doctors about her agitation- I am not an advocate for drugging people up but I do know that with the right medicines that people are much better off. I feel for you about not wishing to put your mother in a nursing home, but I have also seen first hand the affects of caring for an Alzheimhers sufferer on the caregivers. Are you utilizing all your available resources? Your local/ state Alzheimhers Assoc. can give you the best information about what is out there for you as a caregiver and to give your mother the best possible care-you need to take advantage of any thing they can offer because it will become very easy for you to burn out.
You and your mother are in my prayers. I hope this gave you some useful information.

In Christ, Deborah


#3

I live in the State of California and in the L.A. county that has a program for low income families.
Check out Medi-Cal, Medicaid, Medicare benefits.
Talk with a live person on the telephone and see what can be done to help you.
I guess each state has their own types of medical plans.
You said your mom gets agitated. That is the beginning of her becoming seriously angry which is a sign that her medical mental problem is progressing. I totally feel for you. Once she becomes totally angry you will have to put her in a skilled nursing home for a long-term.

I also am a care-giver for my old parents. I keep asking God to help me to do the best for them. I have been searching and searching on different websites trying to get new info. on skilled nursing homes for my demented father.
On Friday we are going to take him to his doctor and ask for advise on what to do next for my dad.
I am lucky to live in a community where the Skilled Nursing Homes has some caring nurses and staff workers.
I went to visit a home just to see how it would be for my dad and I noticed the office staff had a sweet lady sitting between them behind the counter where they were all working. They say they keep an eye on her because she likes to wander off the property. The old lady also attends the Staff meetings. I think that is so cute.
That nursing home also has a Catholic group that visits them on Sundays for a Mass service which I think is great for the Catholics living there.

I have seen neighbors become seriously ill with mental problems and they become totally angry where they want to kill their marriage partner.

You must keep searching for help for your mother.
Keep asking God to help you find a way to do what is best for your mother and yourself. You also need help as a care giver.

It is so hard being a care giver especially since my parents are getting demented each day. My mom gets really angry with me and she is also paranoid.
My dad gets angry with my mom to serve him his needs. I get upset and cry when they both get on my nerves.
They are totally lucky they have a house keeper and a Nurse to help with my dad and mom.
My job is to buy them the things they need and to try to do my best to get the best care for both of them. They are two crosses for me to carry.

It really helps me to attend a Catholic Bible class and a Catholic group discussion during the week so I can enjoy myself for a few hours per week.

I will pray for you to find some type of financial help with your mother. She is lucky to have you.


#4

caregivershome.com/newsletter/hotline.cfm

Caregivers have a newsletter, perhaps there are some tips to help you. You are in my prayers.


#5

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