Help for early on-set Alzheimer’s

Hello, my husband now 58 was diagnosed 4 years ago with early on-set Alzheimer’s. Unable to work, was able to qualify for disability after the long wait period. I still work full-time and because of my income and my husbands age, he does not qualify for any type of assistance- Medicaid. Private pay is quite pricey. So frustrating, any help/ideas would be much appreciated. 

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  • Maureen,

    First, I want to say that I am sorry about your husbands diagnosis, that cannot be an easy thing to go through for either of you! 

    is your husband a Vet? There are many resources for Vets that people are unaware of. 

    When you say "assistance" , a re you looking for caregivers to come into the home or looking for a supportive community to setting for him to in?

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    • Julie Westcott 

      hi Julie!

      no, my husband is not a vet. I’m more interested in caregivers/ companion care at home. I’ve applied for grants for respite care, the response I get is that so many people apply, try again. Because of his age and not being home bound, there aren’t many options. I’ve met with a few  private pay agencies, they range from $24 per hour and up. I appreciate your thoughtful response! 

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  • Hi Maureen, 

    I'm very sorry to hear about your husband's diagnosis and hope you both are managing as well as possible with many good moments along the journey. 

    I wish I had a more helpful answer for you, but being in a similar situation I thought I'd at least say hello and note that I've run into the same challenge. My wife was diagnosed with an undetermined (still) type of dementia about 6 years ago at 44 yrs old. I work full time, have two young kids, and my income is also too high to qualify for medicare (doesn't take a lot). Like your husband, my wife now gets disability which helps.

    After meeting with an estate planning attorney a few times (a few years back) I came to understand it boiled down to what seemed a tricky and risky (to my limited understanding) financial maneuver to change our retirement funds into asset types the SSA/IRS wouldn't factor into Medicaid qualification (annuity, primary home equity are the two I remember). We aren't wealthy but have saved some money over the years into IRAs - end result was I didn't see any path to get her qualified for Medicaid without major changes to my/our retirement assets that made me very (even more?) uncomfortable about the future. I essentially weighed the risk of trying to go without Medicaid, paying for home care as we went as best I could, vs. the risk of serious alteration, and in my view, reduction and limitation of our financial future.  Of course we are very fortunate this was even a decision point. I feel deeply for all going through anything of this nature, and the complexities and stress of financial and legal planning really are difficult. I'm sure I didn't understand all of it completely.  In the end,  some level of in-home care support should be part of Medicare, not just Medicaid.

    Again, I wish I had useful information to offer you.  For what it's worth, the pay range over the past few years has been $18/hr to $23/hr here in northern VA, both direct and through agencies (which generally didn't work as well as direct). I hope you have some family or other help and are able to take care of yourself while you take care of your husband. 

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