Is there any way that Medicare can cover my grandfather with schizophrenia for 24 hour assistance?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 24, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My grandfather is schizophrenic, and these last couple of months it's taken a turn for the worse. We, his grandchildren, are unable to provide 24 hour assistance to him, which he needs because he's proven himself to be a threat to my grandmother and himself (namely becoming physically aggressive both at home and in public). However, the last couple of times we've committed him into care, they've released him under the condition that he takes his medication. He's easily compliant with an authority figure (doctor/nurse) when it comes to his medication and staying at home, but when it's us he's a lot more combative. Is there any way medicare would cover him having 24 hour assistance?

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for

Medicare does not cover long term care; Medicaid does. Depending on which state your grandfather lives in, Medicaid may cover home care. However, each state dictates the maximum number of hours that are covered. The only state I am aware of that provides 24x7 home care coverage is NY. But that has become harder to get and may disappear entirely.

A better solution may be to place your grandfather in a Medicaid-approved facility that is staffed to meet his needs. In this case, Medicaid will pay for his room and board as well as Medical expenses.