I want to care for both of my aging parents. Mother has...

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
Pafmaye asked...

I want to care for both of my aging parents. Mother has emphysema and is on 24-hour oxygen and multiple nebulizer treatments along with numerous prescriptions. Father has COPD and also has numerous prescriptions. I need my income but am willing to give up my job to care for them. Do you know if there are any programs, or possibly even Social Security program, that supplements you to care for your aging and/or elderly parents that are still somewhat able to care for themselves, however still need almost 24 hour per day care?

Expert Answers

Social Security has no program to pay for a family caregiver. But if your parents have low income and few assets (other than the house they live in), they might qualify for Medicaid. If so, a program run by Medicaid in your state might be able to pay your parents directly for care at home, which they could then use to pay you to provide that care. In some states, this kind of cash assistance is possible even for people who have slightly too much income or assets to qualify for Medicaid. The arrangement works through a state-run program called Cash and Counseling, or a similar program.

Normally, if someone who qualifies for Medicaid is eligible for regular in-home care, Medicaid would provide it through a certified home care agency. But this special program directly pays the person in need of care the same amount Medicaid would pay an aide from an agency. The person needing care can spend these funds on anyone he chooses to take care of him. He can also use some of the money to make home improvements for safety or comfort, or to buy personal care items. In order for you and your parents to take advantage of such an arrangement, your state has to be offering this Cash and Counseling or similar cash assistance program. To find out more about these programs, go to the page on this site called How to Get Paid for Being Your Parent's Caregiver.

You can help your parents apply for Medicaid and Cash and Counseling, or for a similar state cash assistance program, 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 you can go to any online search engine and enter the word Medicaid and the name of your state.