Starting the process....

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by RitaR, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. RitaR

    RitaR Newbie

    Hello all....

    My Father is 87 and a Korean War Vet. He has been diagnosed with Congestive heart failure, Diabetes, Gouty Arthritis and suffers with arthritis of the knees and shoulder. He is in constant pain and needs assistance to take care of daily living.

    Last year we had a couple of hospital stays and 20 days in the nursing home for Physical therapy and occupational therapy. This kind of got him up and moving, but just barely.

    After released, he came to stay with us until he could get stronger. We have been trying to stabilize him with medication and close monitoring at the heart clinic.

    It has been almost a year now. He is unable to dress himself and needs my assistance bathing and occasionally bathroom help. He walks with a walker and uses oxygen 24/7. At this time, after occupational therapy he is able to feed himself but struggles.

    He no longer has a drivers' license and I am his caregiver, making sure his medications are taken correctly and all visits to Dr. appointments and lab services. I monitor his weight and administer his insulin shots. I help him shave and bathe, and really am his personal health assistant. He still maintains his home with the hopes that he will be able to return there in the future. We talk about the goal of getting him better to be by himself again. To take that away will remove his hope of going home.

    I also help him with all of his financial affairs. For the most part, he still is mentally stable and occasionally becomes confused because of the lack of oxygen due to his heart condition.

    My basic question is whether or not we would be able to get him Aid and Assistance. Should he have to go to a nursing home in the future if his condition worsens having this would help to ensure he will be able to receive quality care in a facility. Also, I need to prepare should something happen to me and there would be no one to care for him as I do.

    Anyone have any advice on whether or not because he stays with us at this time would it dis-qualify him?

    Previously, we had no supplement insurance because of the cost and and existing bills he had. We are getting some of those balances down and I am looking to get a supplement to help with hospital costs that we could possibly incur in the future.

    Also, his prescription monthly plan and costs for medication is quite high. He has to pay co-pays for his oxygen and there is many Dr. bills and hospital bills that we are paying on.

    I probably spend 3-4 hours a day taking care of the things he needs assistance with, and this is an everyday thing. I do his laundry, and cook his meals.

    I work a full time job in addition to this. While I do, my husband and grown sons that live with us are here to help him so he won't be alone.

    I've been searching on line trying to find out whether or not we can apply. I have been told that he could pay me a set amount for the services I do for him and it would be part of his Home Medical assistance.

    Anyone have any comments or suggestions?
    Thanks in advance!!!! :D
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, he can pay you to act as his caregiver and that expense would be the same as if you had outside services coming in or if he were in a facility.

    He would need to actually be paying you at the time you make applicaiton.

    We suggest that you contact agencies in your area to get an average of what it would cost to hire someone in. Keep in mind that you are provididng 24-hr care via yourself and other family members so factor that into what the charges would be for providing that level of care. This will give you an idea of what a reasonable rate is.

    Given his physical state, it would in our opinion be wise on your part to make applicaiton now in the event things should suddenly change and his care needs exceed your abilities. This is not generally a fast process, and the last thing you want is to be in a crisis situation.

    Keep in mind that you cannot charge him for rent, but also that his expenses need to come close to zeroing out his monthly income. You should look at the Tips and Resource tab here on the forums to get the formula for arriving at his "countable income" which is what the VA looks at.
  3. RitaR

    RitaR Newbie

    Okay....I'll get started there.
    I'll be checking in often
    Thanks again..

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