One of the things that we struggle with is the cost of help for mom and dad. Dad is adamant that he will not leave the farm. And for him, we want to do everything that we can to make that happen for as long as we can. Currently, we have a caregiver coming in to help out four days a week. She is only there about 4 hours on those four days, so what she can do is limited. But she cleans and drives them around town. She lets mom vent about her problems and she jokes around with dad. We will soon have to increase the time that someone spends with them. I need someone to cook meals for them and to oversee their medication. I need someone that mom can’t boss around and manipulate. Mom is getting tired and her judgement (not the best in good times) is getting worse.
Last week I checked into a benefit that Mike stumbled across, VA pension benefits. I spoke with a representative and at this time, dad does not qualify. But the purpose of the program is to provide a monthly stipend to allow the elderly to remain in their homes as long as possible. Dad could qualify for about $2000 per month from the VA because he was active duty during the Korean war. He will have to be more incapacitated than he is now, but we will keep it in reserve and try and utilize it when the time comes. http://www.benefits.va.gov/PENSION It is definitely a benefit that I encourage everyone to check into.
This is why I am glad I live in the UK, where – for all it’s faults – we have the NHS!
America has so much that is great about it, but bankrupting people just so they don’t die is sadly not one… 😦
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Financially it will continue to be a struggle for not just my parents, but a lot of elderly, particularly if they do not have family to help. It is sad.
I’m glad you found this VA benefit. My dad is the same age as yours…we’re spending down now before we an trigger it. I worry Korean era vets’ families don’t know that money is available and it can make a HUGE difference in helping to keep someone at home. It’s maddening stumbling and bumbling through the financial aspects of caregiving…and then heartbreaking stumble and bumble through the emotional aspects….and exhausting stumbling and bumbling through the caregiving itself. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t been through it could truly understand. Just found your blog…glad I did. There is an unconnected army of folks our age trying to do right by our parents. I wish we were all connected or had a unified voice. Maybe I haven’t turned up the right organization or group yet, but I just haven’t been happy with anything out there. Everyone wants to sell something…or wants a donation. Sigh. I think I’m particularly bitter tonight. Unsure why. Anyway, good luck to you and yours.