Take Care Of Home Safety Basics
Safety hazards in the house add up over time, making it easier for older adults to trip, fall, or hurt themselves.
Preventing falls will go a long way to keeping your parent independent for as long as possible.
Simple fixes include:
For more suggestions, check out this handy room-by-room home safety modification guide.
Direct Payment From Parents Or Other Family Member
If your parents or other family members have sufficient resources to cover caregiving costs, they could pay you directly. If you decide to do this, consult an elder law attorney about creating a contract that outlines your agreement. This can help prevent any miscommunications or disagreements within your family.
Federal Grants For Minorities
Some elder care grants are offered to minorities for long-term care. For instance, the Elder Care Initiative Long Term Care Grant Program is offered to eligible Native Americans who need extra funds for food, clothing, medical expenses and shelter. The grant is offered to 12 qualified individuals and is associated with an award ceiling of $75,000. This and many other elder care grants can be identified on the Federal Grant website, federalgrants.com.
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Find Support And Training Resources
Being a family caregiver can be challenging, so its a good idea to look for resources within your community to help you with caregiver support and training. Californias Department of Aging offers the Family Caregiver Services Program with funds from the U.S. Administration on Aging. This program operates through Californias 33 Area Agencies on Aging , which help family caregivers connect with local services. While this program does not pay caregivers, it does provide valuable information on training, respite care, mental health counseling, and other services directed toward family caregivers. These services are provided by AAA or through other public and private agencies.
Explore Available Aging Care Options
Even after breaking down the steps, caring for your parent can be an overwhelming responsibility.
Fortunately, there are many aging care options and helpful resources you can rely on.
- Geriatric care managers they can act as consultants to guide you or they can manage all aspects of caring for your parent. Their experience could save you time, money, and headaches down the road.
- In-home caregiving help whether you hire privately or go through a home care agency, hired caregivers take care of seniors in their home.
- Assisted living communities if your parent isnt able to live on their own or needs 24/7 care, assisted living and other senior housing options might be the right choice.
- Geriatricians they specialize in caring for seniors and have more experience treating people with multiple chronic health conditions, dementia, and other conditions that primarily affect older adults
- Area Agency on Aging this is the county-level government office that serves local seniors. Its a great starting point because they connect you with helpful local resources and government programs.
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How To Remove The Burden Of Taking Care Of Parents
The person who is responsible for taking care of elderly parents doesnt have to be you.
Stowell Associates in the Milwaukee, WI area can help remove the burden of taking care of parents all by yourself. Even if some of your siblings do help, chances are, the needs of your aging parents will continue to grow. We relieve the stress of family caregiving by providing premium home care by professional caregivers and care managers.
In-home personal care by a Stowell caregiver supports aging adults with daily needs such as feeding, bathing, laundry, and even grocery shopping. Our dedicated caregivers help your loved ones retain their independence by enabling them to age in place.
Our expert care managers collaborate with family members to develop a whole-person care plan for their loved ones. Care managers can answer any questions you have about home care and provide an extra layer of support to your family.
If youre struggling to find time in your busy day to care well for your aging mother or father, or the weight of caregiving is too much, were here to help. You dont need to feel guilty about reaching out for help. Caregiving is no small task, its truly a demanding vocation, but our care team lives to serve families like yours.
Contact Stowell Associates today to learn more about in-home care for your aging parents.
Getting Paid To Be A Caregiver: A State
Can a family member get paid to be a caregiver in your state? Regulations and compensation vary across the U.S. Some states offer multiple options for self-directed care meaning seniors can select their own caregivers while other states dont offer funds to family caregivers at all. Find out more below about where you live.
Non-Medicaid: The Alabama Cares Program is administered by the ADSS and is based on your residing county.
Medicaid: Though Alabama offers multiple Medicaid waiver programs, only the Personal Choices Program permits seniors to self-select caregivers including neighbors, friends, and family members. Relatives of eligible adults may receive compensation or caregiving resources.
Veteran: If your loved one is a veteran, visit the Administration of Community Living webpage for more information about which centers offer the Veteran Directed Care Program.
Non-Medicaid: The state of Alaska offers a Personal Care Services program, which provides assistance with activities of daily living as well as homemaking for eligible older adults. Some programs are consumer-directed, meaning seniors can hire friends and family members, with the exception of spouses and legal guardians.
Medicaid: The Community First Choice Program allows recipients to receive care in their home as an alternative to state-funded nursing homes.
Veteran: Alaskas Veteran Directed Care Program is offered through the Alaska VA Health System.
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How Much Could I Get
The rate of Carer’s Allowance changes every tax year . For the 2022/23 tax year, the rate has been set at £69.60 per week.
If you receive any other benefits, claiming Carer’s Allowance for looking after elderly parents could affect how much you receive. For example, you cannot receive the full amount of both Carer’s Allowance and the State Pension.
If the amount you receive from your State Pension is more than Carer’s Allowance, you won’t receive any Carer’s Allowance money. However, if your State Pension is less, you’ll get the difference paid in Carer’s Allowance. This extra amount is called a Carer’s Premium or Carer’s Addition. We know that these rules can be quite complicated, so we would recommend contacting your local Citizens Advice centre for more information.
However, even if you can’t receive any money from Carer’s Allowance, it’s still worth making a claim as you can be awarded an ‘underlying entitlement’.
This term essentially means that you meet the criteria for Carer’s Allowance but you cannot receive the money as it overlaps with another benefit e.g. State Pension. However, this can still be a helpful thing to have. An underlying entitlement can increase any means-tested benefits you already receive or help you qualify for other means-tested benefits for the first time.
Remember, means-tested benefits will depend on your income and savings .
Who Should Look After The Elderly
You might be the oldest child and feel a duty of care to elderly parents. But how are you supposed to take care of aging parents with an already overbooked schedule? Plus, you arent sure what to do when siblings wont help with aging parents.
Everyone should be pitching in, right?
Unfortunately, not all family members feel the duty of care to elderly parents like you do. Sibling rivalry might be a factor in your situation, but this is not the time to bicker.
You dont want your parents to feel abandoned by adult children they raised, but youre running out of time and resources. Here are a few common questions and answers about who is responsible for taking care of elderly parents.
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Veterans Aid & Attendance And Housebound Pensions
The veterans pensions, which are called the Aid & Attendance and Housebound benefits, are programs specifically designed for wartime veterans and their spouses. How they can be used to pay individuals to provide care for their aging parents is a little complicated. It is important to understand that the dollar amount of pension that a veteran or their spouse receives depends on their current, non-pension related income. The second important factor is when calculating income, the Department of Veterans Affairs allows the beneficiary to deduct all care related expenses from their income. This can include the cost of personal care assistance provided by an individual or home care agency. Therefore, an aging parent can hire their adult child as a private caregiver. The adult child invoices their parent for their caregiving services, the parent deducts those invoices from their income, and the VA increases their pension check by the amount of the invoices. While confusing and seemingly roundabout, this approach is well documented, legal, and encouraged by many VA benefits experts. Learn more about the Aid & Attendance and Housebound Pensions or connect with a VA Pension planning expert to determine if your family is eligible and to discuss if either of these approaches can work for you.
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About Your Parents Financial Health
Another tricky topic to discuss with your senior parents in a family meeting is about money their money. Some financial information should come out when youre working on putting together the list of legal documents we mentioned above but some additional things to be discussed could include:
- Do your parents have enough to cover any home care assistance if its needed?
- Is there enough money to cover out of pocket medical needs? This would apply mostly to equipment and/or home modifications that Medicare or Medicaid do not cover.
- Are the potential costs of a funeral covered and planned for?
- What exactly are their social security benefits?
- Can they help to pay for any respite care that family caregivers may need?
Having the answers and information about these issues will help to put everyone at ease about what needs to be done, who can do what and can truly help to give your elderly parents a very good quality of life moving forward.
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What If I Don’t Qualify
If your application is not successful, you have a few options. You may wish to ask for a written statement of the reasons behind their decision. You will then be able to use this as evidence when you request a ‘mandatory reconsideration’. This is the first step of the appeal process. It gives the benefits office the opportunity to review the reasons behind the original decision and reconsider. To request a mandatory reconsideration, you’ll need to write to the address on your original decision letter. You should include the reasons why you think the decision is wrong as well as any evidence to support your claim.
Be sure to submit this request as soon as possible after receiving the initial decision – there should be a deadline on your original decision letter.
You’ll then receive a mandatory reconsideration notice in the post. This will tell you whether your claim has been granted or denied. From there, you’ll usually have up to one month to appeal the decision.
Power Of Attorney For Health
The other area of power of attorney that seniors need documented is power of attorney for health . This has nothing to do with the financial aspect of your elderly parents lives, but rather, their health decisions.
For instance, if your parent fell into a coma, would they want to be kept alive or would they rather be taken off life support? If they could be prescribed a new medication, would they want it or not?
If you are designated as the power of attorney for health for your parents, it means that youre the one in control of making these decisions. So again, it helps to have known what your senior parents would want, if thats possible.
The earlier you can have this second difficult conversation, the better. This way, you can ensure your elderly parents get the care they need for themselves, even if they cant vocalize or otherwise express that they need it.
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Make Sure Communication Is Simple And Accessible
Another thing that keeps your parent safe is the ability to easily call for help and keep in touch with family and friends.
On top of being a safety hazard, isolation and loneliness have a serious negative effect on overall health.
Make sure their phone is easy to use and easily accessible. For some, keeping a simple mobile phone with pre-programmed numbers in their pocket is reassuring and easier to get to.
Or, if your parent is open to the idea, consider a wearable medical alert device.
Elder Law Strategies Help Families Pay For Senior Care
Elder law attorneys help seniors engage in estate planning and prepare legally and financially for their long-term care needs. Families who need to apply for Medicaid are strongly encouraged to work with a reputable attorney to create a personalized Medicaid planning strategy beforehand. Medicaid programs are very complex and mistakes can be costly.
When looking for an attorney to help you and your loved one draw up legal documents and apply for benefits, make sure the lawyer you choose has elder law experience specific to the state where your loved one resides.
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Ways Of Getting Paid As A Family Caregiver
1. Medicaid programs
Most states have Medicaid programs that give money to seniors so they can hire an in-home caregiver.
That person could be a family member or friend instead of a professional caregiver. Some states also allow a spouse to be the paid caregiver.
Each state has its own eligibility requirements and name for its program.
If your older adult is accepted into the states program, the amount of money they receive will depend on a Medicaid assessment of need and the average state wage for in-home care aides.
To find the local Medicaid office and learn how to apply for the program, its best to start with the local Area Agency on Aging.
Ask them how to contact the local Medicaid office or how to apply for a program that would pay you for caring for your older adult.
2. Special state programsSome states may have similar programs that pay family caregivers, but for people who are not eligible for Medicaid or who have specific conditions like traumatic brain injury.
To find out if there are any special programs that your older adult may qualify for, contact your local Medicaid office or the state department of health.
To find the correct government office, it might be easiest to start with the local Area Agency on Aging and ask them to direct you.
3. Veterans benefits programsVeteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services This home-based care program helps veterans of any age who are at risk of institutional placement to continue to live in their own homes.
Being Paid To Be A Family Caregiver
The DES Division of Aging and Adult Services offers non-medical home and community based services and supports for individuals that qualify through our aging contractors, the local Area Agencies on Aging . Caregiver support services may also be provided through the local Area Agency on Aging.
The DES does not offer any type of program or service by which a caregiver will be paid to care for a spouse, relative, neighbor, other loved one or another person. We are often asked the question about being paid to be a caregiver to someone in need. In order to potentially be eligible for this program, the person requiring care must already be receiving or be eligible to receive benefits and services under ALTCS programs and services. Then, the person wishing to provide the care would apply to become an employee of one of AHCCCS/ALTCS contracted home health care agencies after passing a thorough screening and eligibility process.
To apply to become a caregiver, call your local AHCCCS/ALTCS office at 417-6600 or find an ALTCS Office online.
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When You Care For An Older Australian
Any help and support you offer, including physical and personal care, and emotional and social support, makes you a carer. The support could be unpaid or paid.
You may be able to get different payments, depending on the level of care youre giving. These payments include:
- Carer Payment, an income support payment if you give constant care to someone who has a disability, has a severe medical condition, or is an adult who is frail aged
- Carer Allowance, a fortnightly supplement if you give additional daily care to someone who has a disability, has a medical condition, or is frail aged
- Carer Supplement, an annual payment that helps cover costs when caring for someone with a disability or medical condition. Youll get Carer Supplement if youre getting Carer Payment or Carer Allowance for a period that includes 1 July.
There are challenges to caring for someone. A key element of caring is good communication between you and the person youre caring for. This includes having tough conversations with the person you care for about the type and level of care they need.
Federal Government Caregiver Resources
Alzheimers Caregiving – Find out from the National Institute on Aging how to be a caregiver for someone with Alzheimers disease or another form of dementia. Learn skills for coping with a loved ones behavioral changes.
Caregiver Resources – The National Institute of Health’s MedlinePlus site has an overview of caregiver services. It also offers resources to help you protect your own health.
Caring for the Caregiver – This resource from the National Cancer Institute is for family and friends who are caring for a person with cancer.
Managing Someone Elses Money Guide – The family member you’re caring for may not be able to handle their bills themselves. Get information about managing their finances from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The VA Caregiver Support Line helps people caring for veterans. Find services and benefits for your loved one and get support for yourself.
Office on Womens Health Caregiver Page – Get tips on how to prevent or relieve caregiver stress and how to find and pay for home health care services.
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