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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 - 10/09/08

My husband has been a type I diabetic since childhood.  He is a completely non-compliant diabetic.  He lost full vision in one eye 10 years ago.  Lost a leg below the knee 4 years ago, and has severe deformity in the other that may or may not take that one eventually.  He now has severe issues with the retina in the other eye becoming detached, severely, and thinning.  Surgery is very risky, and he will most likely completely lose vision at some point fairly soon.

We have two children, and I currently work full time and am the main wage earner as he is on social security disability, and can no longer drive, etc.

When it comes time that he requires full care, I know that insurance is not going to pay for someone to be there the whole time I work, and so forth.  If I had to leave my job to be his full time caregiver, are there benefits I can receive?  How do families survive this?  

Thank you for your help.

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Name: Dorothy
Location: VA
Date: 10/09/2008
Time: 10:05 AM


This may sound harsh, but I hope you will listen with an open mind. If you enjoy your job, and need the benefits (and you certainly need to think about your financial safety net for your later years), I think you should keep on working and decline to be his fulltime caregiver. You've said yourself that he has been completely noncompliant. He is now suffering the consequences, but YOUR suffering on account of his bad decisions should be minimized if possible. Perhaps you can engage an eldercare attorney to help with Medicaid planning. You need to protect yourself financially and emotionally.

Name: Richard
Location: Guam
Date: 10/12/2008
Time: 11:27 PM


First I have to say I agree with Dorothy. However if your going to be his caregiver u can get benefits. Food stamps, welfare and there should be some sort of insurance for your area to cover you and the kids. Welfare will pay most of your mortgage and utilities. You will need a letter from the doctor stating that he's disabled and needs full time care. Plus all the stuff that goes with getting public assistance bank statements home title ss cards etc. but again I would like to say I agree with Dorothy he needs to fight for himself first. You have yourself and the kids to worry about  - he needs to do his part. Jobs aren't getting any easier to find so choose carefully and good luck


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