Where can I find financial assistance? I'm out of work and the sole caregiver for my wife who has Alzheimer's.

Helpjim asked...

My wife is 54 years old, and I'm 56. She has Alzheimer's and is at the stage where she should not be alone. I 

got laid off last March and my unemployment is about to run out. My house is in foreclosure because I'm three months behind. I 

need financial help - what can I 

do? Where can I 

go? It's just me here to take care of her. Please help!

Expert Answer

It might be possible to get some regular payment to take care of your wife. With your unemployment and few assets, your wife might qualify for a state-run program where you live, which can provide some payment directly to your wife for her to be cared for at home. And this money can go to you if you are the one caring for her. If you and your wife qualify for such a program, the payments aren't a lot -- but they can help.

This payment for home care may come from a program usually run through the state's Medicaid program. It's called Cash and Counseling or something similar (the names may be different in different states). If your wife qualifies for home care under Medicaid, Medicaid would normally provide that care through a certified home care agency. But this special program would pay your wife directly the same amount Medicaid would pay an aide from a home care agency. If she qualified, your wife could pay you to take care of her. She can also use some of the money to make home improvements for safety or comfort, or to buy personal care items.

To learn more about these programs -- not all states have them -- go to the page on this site called How to Get Paid for Being Your Parent's Caregiver. You can help your wife apply for Cash and Counseling or similar state cash assistance program, if your state has one, at a local Medicaid office. To find the local Medicaid office near you, contact the Eldercare Locator by phone toll-free at 800-677-1116, or online you can go to any search engine and type in "Medicaid" and the name of your state.