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How to Manage Your Caregiving Responsibilities

Elinor Ginzler answers caregivers' questions

Elinor Ginzler: Patricia, Many people believe that Medicare will cover assisted living. Unfortunately, that's not true — 80 percent of assisted living is paid for privately. In some states, some people on Medicaid might be able to use their Medicaid benefits to cover assisted living. Medicare is not a coverage option for assisted living.

Comment From Marta E. Bayer: I will like to be a caregiver/companion in home, and assist with their daily living activities. I need a part-time job (10 hours a week). What do I do?

Elinor Ginzler: Marta, it is a great job, and very rewarding. To give yourself a good set of skills, check out your local community college — many offer programs that teach people how to be in-home aides and provide a certificate when you complete the courses. Good luck!

Comment From Guest: My husband is 59 1/2 and has a herniated disk. The spine doctor says it will be a minimum of a year before he can go back to his work, if ever. He is willing to recommend my husband for disability, but when I go on to the Internet to research, it appears to be very complicated. Is there a resource to help us? We do not have money for a lawyer.

Elinor Ginzler: You should not need an attorney to apply for disability. You will need cooperation and documentation from your husband's doctors. Check out benefits check-up for information on filing for disability and other benefits that might help you out.

Comment From Marie Mokarry: I've been caregiving for four years, since my husband had three subdural hematomas and a seizure. He can take care of himself but cannot be left alone overnight. He doesn't like to do much except watch TV. I'm responsible for his meals, pills, transport to doctors, security, etc. No children. Married 25 years. Very depressed about the rest of my life. Any suggestions.

Elinor Ginzler: Marie, it sounds like both you and your husband would benefit from finding an adult day center in your community. Medical adult day centers provide health management and social stimulation in a supportive environment. You get a break and he gets a day of more than just TV.

Many thanks to all of you for joining me today.

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