Medicaid is the answer if the care recipient and the family caregiver are willing to give up the recipient's home when they die. I am my Mom's sole caregiver since she had a stroke one year ago. I quit working to do this, since full-time care would have cost more than I was making. I do this work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have done so since last June. It is now April 2014.
In a nutshell, this is what is required in order for my Mom to qualify for Medicaid:
1 - no more than $2,000 in liquid assets. This includes cash in bank, checking account and investments.
2 - Mom can still own, and live in, the home that she has been in for 50+ years. HOWEVER: When Mom dies, the government sells the house and keeps the proceeds in order to offset any expenditures incurred by Medicaid. This is absolutely contrary to what Mom would have wanted.
3 - there is a 5-year waiting period should Mom transfer the title of the house, or her assets, to me so that she would qualify for Medicaid and other financial assistance.
That is a thumbnail sketch of what I have found after many hours of phone calls and emails. Every single government and private Jewish agency (I am Jewish, so this is where my focus has been) which I have contacted directs me towards government dependence and Medicaid, which require that the recipient, and eventually the full-time family caregiver, become destitute before qualifying.
I have had to spiritually surrender to the fact that this is the financial situation at hand. It makes no sense at all when a family member, such as myself (or any one else who is in like position) has quit working in order to provide full-time care for, in my case, an elderly and infirm parent. Assuming that Mom lives for several years, I will be broke when she dies. If I spent down her assets enough to qualify for Medicaid caregivers for her, our government would spend more on her care than I have sought as her caregiver. My goal, please G-d, is to keep Mom at home until the end of her days.
I have looked for even as little as $2,000 per month from the agencies, governmental and Jewish, so that I can continue to cover incidental personal expenses and not be destitute when Mom dies. I have looked in vain. Trust in G-d and watch your spending, folks.