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Calvin was becoming more frail every day. Daisy, his wife of 52 years, was finding it difficult to help him with his daily living activities. After several trips to the emergency room, Calvin’s doctor told them that he needed in-home nursing care. Daisy was left wondering, “What now?”

Locating the Right Caregivers

If you find yourself in this situation, the first thing to do is to find out exactly what kind of care your spouse needs. This will help you locate the right care and apply for the appropriate benefits.

For example, will your spouse need help only with activities of daily living like bathing and dressing? Or will he or she need a home health aide for skilled nursing care like taking vital signs and assisting with medication? Home caregivers may be hired through an agency or by private means while skilled health care workers are typically hired only through an agency.

Once you know what activities your in-home nursing staff will be responsible for, you can start looking for a caregiver that offers the assistance you need.

Paying for In-Home Nursing Care

In-home care is less expensive than long-term residential care, but it can still be out of reach for many people. As with long-term care, there are three basic ways to pay for in-home care:

  1. Self-pay. Even in-home care costs may quickly deplete your savings.
  2. Long-term Care Insurance. Benefits could help pay for both in-home and institutional care. Like all insurance, you have to apply and be approved. It’s likely that someone in Calvin’s position would be ineligible or would have extremely high premiums.
  3. Government Benefits. VA benefits might be available if you or your spouse served in the armed forces. Medicare might cover limited in-home care for a short period of time, but it’s not an option for the long haul. Medicaid does cover skilled care and assistance with daily activities.

Pre-Planning Is Best.

No one wants to think they may need in-home care, but it happens. Plan ahead with comprehensive estate planning, Medicaid eligibility planning, and purchasing insurance when possible.

The attorneys at Miller Estate and Elder Law have the experience and training to handle your concerns. Contact Miller Estate and Elder Law at 256-251-2137 to schedule an appointment. We help clients in Anniston, Talladega, Birmingham, Gadsden and surrounding communities.