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View Diary: Kosability special edition, My Husband, My best Friend, my Caretaker Died Suddenly without warning (226 comments)

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  •  i'm so sorry but I'm glad you live in NY (28+ / 0-)

    I never got a flu shot this year. .  What happened to your husband has changed my mind about trying to brave out the rest of the flu season.

    I live in NH now, a state with a horrible safety net.  I came here from NY so I am very aware of the difference. After you work out the logistics of getting the great deal of help that is available, your main problem will be dealing with your grief.  That is quite enough of a problem for one person to handle.

    The logistics part can be very difficult in NY, with brash people making you feel stressed out and a system that often says no when eventually it will say yes. But if you stick with it and get some of those folks paid to help you stick with it, all you need to maintain independent living is there to be gotten.

    Pride is considered a deadly sin for a reason.  I'm not saying get rid of your pride at being a giver but I recommend putting it aside until you have in place what you need.  After that, maybe reconsider  whether it is a good trait to maintain but for now, just stick it in a mental drawer somewhere.

    The earlier recommendations about the dept of aging were very good but much will depend on the caseworker assigned to you.  If you have a terrific one, your problem is solved.  If not, there are other levels of help to be had.  You've been married more than ten years so there is your husbands Social Security benefits.  Apply for them.  SS won't seek you out and force them on you. You have to put in an application.  You can apply on-line.

    NYS doesn't want you rotting in a nursing home either, especially if you don't have enough money to pay for the nursing home yourself and need Medicaid to pay.  You won't be the first or only disabled person to suddenly lose their husband or wife caretaker.  The system is set up for people in your circumstances.  The only trick is navigating the screwy obstacles on your way to getting that system to work for you.  At least in NY the system is there and it does eventually work.  NH is another story.

    There are a number of ways for someone sick and grieving and not up to handling the nonsense to do it.  One is you can hire a good lawyer who specializes in Social Security Disability eligibility.  Those lawyers work to get you on SSDI or SSI, whichever you qualify for and handle most of the effort for you.  They are paid on contingency so you don't have to lay out money to pay them.  Yes, you can file all the papers yourself but the system is set up to reject you no matter how good your case and the effort can take years before you succeed.  I tried it on my own and got nowhere.  When I finally gave in and got a lawyer I wished I had started with on.  The lawyer got paid the same amount for starting after I had filed twice as he would had he worked for me in the beginning.  He made it so easy compared to what I had gone through trying to fill in all the papers myself.  He also had the keys to the system, having worked for SS before becoming an advocate.  Even if you have enough money, having SSDI is useful as it provides proof that you are disabled and usually proof of income, both needed to access other services.  

    Meanwhile, if the Offices of Aging aren't managing to get you the help you need, try your local Congressman or Senator's office.  These offices have staff caseworkers whose job and delight is helping you navigate a hostile system.  Once you have one of these caseworkers on your side, doors open amazingly.

    Most likely what you will get from the system is someone who comes to take care of your needs.  You are also able to hire someone yourself.  If you meet income eligibility the state will pay.

    The caretaker won't be the joy you had with your husband so make sure you get out and build a new support network of friends, both to help you with your loss and to help keep you sane.  

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