Steve Wishman
October 30, 2022

For a long time, Mom's condition placed her in a grey area for receiving care. She was ambulatory enough to be considered independent, but confused enough to be a danger to herself and others. She could not afford 24 hour supervision, but had too many assets to qualify for Medicaid/Medi-Cal. In this very common scenario, it can feel like being trapped in a labyrinth of dead-ends with all roads leading back to family caregivers.

Strip #078 from How Mom Died. Click HERE for the full-size comic

Balancing a career and family caregiving responsibilities is no easy task. With the help of an elder law attorney, we were eventually able to legally transfer enough of Mom's assets to qualify her for Medi-Cal—a process that took another few years, requiring me to live a double-life as a caregiver and bread-winner of the family. And of course once we finally secured her a secure and reliable assisted living solution, it meant that she would have to leave her home, which became a whole other battle. Her dementia prevented her from seeing and accepting that she needed help at all.

This all sounds very hopeless but fear-not, friends. There IS a way through this maze but it takes perseverance and a nerves of steel. Create lists, let go of attachments, and you will find the compassionate path to guide you through these times. Don't be afraid to look for help! Caregiver support groups are a great place to learn about options and The US Administration on Aging provides an Elder Care Locater designed to connect you with services and resources in your area.

Check out the resources page on this site for helpful links.

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Steve Wishman

Steve Wishman is the founder of Zen and the Art of Caregiving, and author/illustrator of How Mom Died, a webcomic/memoir chronicling his experiences as a caregiver for his mother at the end of her life.