law offices of merwyn j. miller
191 calle Magdalena, suite 270 • encinitas, San Diego County, ca  92024 • 760-436-8832

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I Need Options to Care for My Dad

Care Managers
Adult Day Centers
VA & Medi-Cal Benefits

Dear Mr. Miller:

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?

Loving Daughter

Dear Loving:

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. (back to top)

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." (back to top)

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 selecting 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, in 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)

June 14, 2017