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CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk


Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 05/10/11

I have been a caregiver for my wife since a stroke in 2002 left her half paralyzed and unable to speak.  It`s a long and stressful job.

We have lost everything.  She was a banker and I had a construction business.  Together, we made over $200,000.00 per year; now we live off her disability. It just doesn`t seem fair. Is there a way to get paid for being a caregiver?



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Name: John
Location: Southern CA
Date: 05/13/2011
Time: 04:44 PM


We are in the same situation. My wife's strokes occurred in 2003. We also made lots and are now living on her disability. As far as Calif. goes, the family must be below a certain income to be allowed to have a spouse as a paid caregiver. Since the disability is a little over 30k/yr, we do not qualify. Check for more specific answers. Good luck and be strong, you aren't alone. JC

Name: Geri Lehnardt
Location: Utah
Date: 05/11/2011
Time: 07:49 AM


There are programs through your Area Agency on Aging where every you may live that may have the ability to pay you for caring for your wife. Some areas will not pay spouses but will pay other family or friends to do it. The care recipient must qualify for the program that might be available. The National Caregiver Support Program may be available for you. If not to pay you, they will be able to help provide respite care. Good luck!

Name: Pam
Location: Marcellus NY
Date: 05/11/2011
Time: 05:26 AM


Look into your state or county office of aging. My sister was paid thru for my dad who has Alzheimers. Now he's in a nursing home and she's loking into being paid to take care of my mom. It does go by your income and the persons needs.

Name: Danielle Myers-Rickard
Location: Council on Aging Silicon Valley, CA
Date: 05/10/2011
Time: 05:29 PM


Yes! Andrea Bueining is absolutely correct. You can also visit to find resources in your area (don't let the name fool you if you two are younger!). Type in your zipcode on the left and your topic of interest on the right - I would choose In-Home Services or Caregiver. You can also call: Speak with an Eldercare locator Information Specialist Monday - Friday 9am - 8pm ET, call 1.800.677.1116. If your wife were on the state Medicaid program - she could receive in home support services at no cost or a share of cost. You can be her caregiver (and get paid), but, you may also consider letting someone else do the job (or share it with them - splitting up the day) so you can pursue other employment. She is lucky to have you! Danielle

Name: Ann Hatcher
Location: Nashville,TN
Date: 05/10/2011
Time: 01:54 PM


I am my husband's caregiver since his stroke in 2003. He is paralyzed on his left side, but he does have his speech and his intellect, with the exception of good judgement and he is very compulsive. The Greater Nashville Dept for the Aged had been a great help to me. We receive 24 hours of care a week and 4 hours of housekeeping. I work out of the home 40 hrs a week and right now my husband stays by himself from l:00pm to 6:00pm. This is not the best situation, but it is all we can do right now. In Tennessee, they have a lien against my home and are charging off over $25,000 a year. My daughters are aware that their inheritance is going towards dad's care and they are fine with the. There are alot of other good things that I have discovered here to help us financially, You just have to be willing to make that a priority and look under evey "rock" in you path.

Name: Barb
Location: CO
Date: 05/10/2011
Time: 11:34 AM


Try calling non-medical in home care agencies. They may be able to hire you as a "Relative Care Provider". If your wife is 60 years of age or older call your local Area Agency on Aging. They are a wealth of information on what is available. Good Luck

Name: Andrea Buening
Location: The Independent Living Center - Joplin, MO
Date: 05/10/2011
Time: 07:17 AM


Some states have "In-Home" Care attendant programs through agencies. These agencies have a set of rules and standards that are usually dictated by state laws. Some agencies allow for family members to be caregivers, but in many instances the caregiving is designed to allow family members to pursue employment. Also pertinent is that in order to qualify for many services, an individual must be on a state Medicaid program. Each state is different in what is available and what the requirements are for caregiving loved ones. I suggest that you locate a Center for Independent Living in your state and ask for "Information and Referral" to locate what is available to you and your wife. You have my deepest respect for your situation. AB



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