Question: I am my mother's caregiver. She is 87 years old and requires me to be home 24/7. I cannot get a job because of this situation. Is there compensation for me as a caregiver through her health benefit plan, medicare or some other avenue. I am glad to be her caregiver but it has put a strain on us financially. Thank you.
Answer: Each insurance policy is different, although a typical health care policy does not include "in home care." If she has a long term care policy, that might allow some compensation as long as you meet the requirements within the policy. Your mother can certainly pay you for the services you provide. A written contract should be developed to reflect the services you provide and the rate of compensation. If you mother qualifies for ALTCS benefits or certain VA benefits, you might be able to be paid for services as well, although the rate of compensation might be set by the agency. Typically there is no "non-medical" home care benefit from Medicare. You might also look into day programs for your mother. They are fairly low cost and it might allow you to be employed on at least a part time basis. You can talk to a benefits counselor at the Arizona Department of Veteran's Services (if your mother or her spouse was a veteran) or call AHCCCS to find out more about ALTCS benefits. The Area Agency on Aging has a 24 hour hot line that might also be able to provide some resources and information. (602-264-4357).
March 07, 2009