Amy Kalama Hochreiter MSW
Elder Care & Whole Person Health Coach
Finances are always a concern when an adult parent is no longer able to care for him/herself or when an elderly spouse is also unable to provide that care. Many adult children pause their work life and sometimes, family life to provide this care.
In many states, Medicaid (or a variant) provides a benefit for the senior and adult child. In Arizona, AHCCCS has ALTCS (Arizona Long Term Care System) to pay a caregiver son or daughter to care for the elder. Restrictions include income, which is adjusted every year, little to no savings and a medical need for full benefit care. When approved, this care can be provided in the senior’s own home, by his or her own family.
Medicaid is a federal program and many states have their own requirements for participation in addition to the above.
A couple is allowed to have more income and savings, especially if only one senior needs the care. In addition, the VA offers a Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension, which will assist seniors who have nearly exhausted their resources but who also need comprehensive care. This program requires the vet history include a period of war whether or not the vet actually saw active duty. Widows are eligible as well as married couples.
Of course, planning ahead provides the best solution. Saving enough, purchasing long-term care insurance or some other form of financial protections to provide for your self and loved ones will go a long way when this time of life is reached.
Each community has a Council on Aging, which can provide excellent assistance, information, and education for the geriatric parent and family seeking options for care. Be sure to utilize this resource. Some communities offer respite care through this agency or assistance in the home for bathing and housekeeping for those with very limited incomes.
There are many resources, free and otherwise that offer information to aging adults and their caregivers, which includes caregiver support groups, financial assistance, transportation, life alert, and a newer technology that offers medication management, video oversight, among others.
Plan now for a safer future for yourself and your loved family.