Introduction: My Dad has
Alzheimer’s. Presently my sister and I are living in his house in
order to take care of him. We alternate but still, this is a
difficult job and needs to be balanced with our own lives. We don’t
want to place him in a full time living facility and I suspect we
probably couldn’t afford it anyway.
Is there some other option we have missed?
Care Managers: I would suggest
that you contact a care manager. For those of you unfamiliar with
this speciality, here’s the definition from the Connecticut
Community Care: “Care managers are experts in working with
individuals to identify their goals and locate the specific support
services that enhance well-being. When faced with the array of
choices and challenging decisions, care managers provide support to
find the best solutions.” Our office regularly refers people to care
managers and we have had great results in so doing.
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Adult Day Centers: That being
said, adult day centers can be an excellent solution but are often
overlooked. Here’s a message that I received from the George G.
Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers in San Diego (they have centers
in Encinitas, Hillcrest and Chula Vista).
“...we are a specialized adult day center specifically designed for
individuals with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. At $95 for
8 hours and $65 for 4 hours of care, we are arguably the most
cost-effective option for professional dementia care available....
Unfortunately, many overlook us as an option simply because they
don't know we are here yet we offer a valuable solution that allows
people with Alzheimer's to continue living in their homes while
still receiving the expert care they need during the daytime hours.
Our day centers also provide vital relief for overworked caregivers.
Lastly, as an important note, we are also a VA-contracted adult day
center and therefore accept VA benefits as a form of payment."
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Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that
our firm does not inspect nor certify day centers (or, for that
matter, any other organizations). So it is important to do your own
homework. Here’s an article that I wrote many years ago regarding
a nursing home. Some of its content should be applicable. Also,
remember, care managers should have a handle on appropriate
facilities for your loved one. (back to top)
VA & Medi-Cal Benefits:
That paragraph about being a VA-contracted adult day center is
something to think about if you believe you cannot afford care for
your loved one. There are options to help with the costs including
VA benefits and Medi-Cal. If your loved one is a veteran or was
married to a veteran,
he/she might qualify for benefits. And whether or not veteran
status was involved,
some cases care can be covered by Medi-Cal. We work with a lot
of families on getting them eligible for these programs. (That’s
right, just because you are not eligible to begin with does not mean
you can’t become eligible.) (back to top)
Conclusion: Please be proactive like
Loving Daughter and don’t be a person who just thinks “nothing can
be done.” There is almost always something that can be done, at
least while there is still money left. After that, indeed, there may
be nothing that can be done. (back to top)