What type of financial assistance can we get my mom so we can maintain the family care she is currently receiving?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 25, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother is currently 85 years old and resides on Molokai, Hawaii. In 2009, she suffered a major stroke and was nursed back to minimum walking by family member on Oahu. She desired to return back to Molokai, and has been cared for various family members, which has taken turns. It has been difficult for family members financially, and request financial assistance. She currently owns her home and is paid by my father's Social Security and retirement, which amounts to $1500 per month. She currently has less than $10,000 in her account, which she has been saving. I am not in a position to financially assist her, but what type of financial assistance can I get her and maintaining the same type of family care? Would she be qualified through Medicaid? BACKGROUND:

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 Caring.com.

One option you have is to apply for Medicaid to pay for some home care. Hawaii does have a program where Medicaid will pay to keep a senior at home rather than go to a nursing home. This is called a "waiver" program. Depending on the rules in your state, there will be a limit to the number of hours/day and days/week that Medicaid will cover. It will also depend on Medicaid's medical assessment of your mother. Medicaid only pays Medicaid-certified home health aides. So your family members cannot get paid as caregivers by Medicaid. But this may be able to supplement the care provided by the family.

Was your father a veteran? If yes, your mother may be eligible for a widow's pension from the VA. This benefit pays up to $1,056/month to assist with home care, assisted living or nursing home care. With this benefit, your family members qualify as caregivers. So they could get paid for their services.