NOTE: The story of Amber and Roger, which you are about to read, is similar to thousands we have heard during our 20 years of providing home care and private care in San Antonio and South Texas. That said, we want you to know we have created their story to protect the identities of current clients whose life experiences are very similar to Amber and Roger.
Amber is 61 years old and a widow. Her son, Roger, moved in with his mother three years ago to be her caregiver after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Roger is Amber’s only child. He has worked his entire life, but his means are limited as a long haul driver. He lives a simple life in San Antonio often getting by paycheck to paycheck.
Roger is heartbroken about his mother’s condition. He could not bring himself to leave her bedside, but then money became an issue. He stayed off the road as long as possible and stayed away from work, but he was burning through his limited savings very quickly. With his mother’s situation deteriorating, Roger knew he needed a solution.
How could Roger maintain a realistic level of income while spending valuable time with his sick mother? With a little bit of research Roger found a solution. He decided to become a paid caregiver here in Texas.
In many circumstances, family caregivers are not eligible to qualify for financial support for providing care to a loved one and the hardships on these familes, both financially and emotionally, are downright staggering. The AARP is widely quoted as projecting that there is nearly half a trillion dollars annually in America in unpaid labor for people caring for a loved one. Meantime, a new report from Bankers Life Center for Secure Retirement surveyed middle-income baby boomers, 46% of whom expect to become caregivers in the future, with 92% of those anticipating being a family caregiver stating that they are willing to make significant lifestyle sacrifices in order to care for a loved one. As was the case with Roger, those sacrifices were creating a financial burden that was becoming untenable.
In Texas, if your loved one is a Medicaid recipient, they may be able to legally hire you as a paid caregiver. Roger, in fact, took that path to providing care for his mother after coming to Pride PHC for guidance and assistance, but there are multiple ways to be registered and to receive income as a caregiver in Texas. If there’s one thing Roger is sure about, it’s that caring for a loved one is a very demanding job, both in terms of time and the emotional strain. But he tells us that his “career” as a caregiver can be the perfect compromise to staying financially afloat while spending crucial time with a loved one who has a terminal illness.
Roger has worked as a paid caregiver for 8 months with Pride. While he admits the job can be challenging at times, he is very happy to have this time with his mother. He can always go back to work as a driver, but he can’t get more time with his mother. A PRIDE PHC supervisor recently asked Roger, “if you could rewind the 8 months, would you do it all over again?”
Roger’s answer was clear, “Oh absolutely. I’m thankful that Texas has programs in place which allow people like me to become caregivers.”
“The State of Texas understands the toll that aging can take on a family,” said Pride PHC Vice President Andy Cruz. “It is not difficult to get you trained as a caregiver with our team. We have been helping families for 20 years in South Texas. We know what it takes to provide quality care to our loved ones.”
If you can relate to Roger’s story and would like to pursue a path of being a family caregiver yourself, give us a call at Pride PHC or check out these resources.
Medicaid Programs: https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/ltss/self-directed/index.html
Pride PHC is in its 20th year of providing support services for home care and private care to the elderly and homebound, so that they can live safely and independently in the comfort of their own home. Our trained team of caregivers serves the San Antonio Metro Region including Eagle Pass, Crystal City, New Braunfels and Floresville.