Will Medicaid pay for a home help aid over night?

3 answers | Last updated: Sep 30, 2016
Concerned son in law asked...

a simple question that I cant find a straight answer to . My mother lives in her own appartment but has dimentia as certified by her doctor. She meets the financial requiremnts for Medicaid . She needs a care giver during the night to make sure she does not wander off or harm herself. She also forgets to take her medication and eat. Will Medicaid pay for a home help aid for 12 hours during the overnight time. She has gotten confused a number of times and woke up the superintendent of the apartment in the lmiddle of the night asking why certian things were not oppen

Expert Answers

The straight answer to your question is that Medicaid does NOT provide long-term overnight caregivers. Medicaid budgets are extremely limited and being cut more every year. Medicaid can provide short-term in-home medical care, and some long-term in-home care under special waiver programs called Home and Community-Based Services (HBSC), but HBSC does not provide long-term overnight care.

Given the extent of your mother-in-law's dementia, and the fact that dementia tends to worsen over time, it sounds like you will have to arrange for privately-paid overnight home care. Or, you may need to begin considering the possibility of moving your mother-in-law to an assisted living facility or nursing home that provides special care for dementia patients. If your mother moves to a nursing home and qualifies for Medicaid, Medicaid can pay the full cost if the facility she moves into participates in Medicaid. And in many states (the coverage varies from state to state), the Medicaid program also contributes to -- but does not pay most of -- the cost of a participating assisted living facility.

Community Answers

Solveig answered...

One way some people I know have dealt with such a situation as yours is: offer free room or room and board to a student or other single person looking for a room rental situation. Though she may object to a "total stranger" living with her, if you choose right and explain it to her so she will accept this person ("it is just for a little while" or "this person really needs YOUR help until she gets on her feet", etc.,) quite often they get to like the person and would not hear of living alone again. (For my mom we "imported" a middle aged woman from her birth home-country, LATVIA, and she was a treasure when my mom died of cancer (washed her hair, painted her nails etc. in addition to her usual duties).

Elken answered...

It sounds as if your mother is as the point that she needs more intensive supervision. An assisted living facility would be appropriate if it is affordable. If you choose to keep her in the home, my suggestion would be to secure the locks so she does not wander outdoors, take turns with relatives to stay with her in the evenings. As suggested, you can pay for a companion or someone privately to watch her but that can be costly. It is time to consider another option.