Advice re elderly, newly immigrated grandparent? Health care, etc

Hello! We've recently moved my father-in-law to the US from Asia, as he is showing signs of Alzheimers and needs care. If there is anyone who has any advice regarding how we might secure health insurance for him and/or a recommendation for an immigration attorney, as well as any general advice about having a grand/parent with dementia living with you, that would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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I work at Asian Health Services in Oakland Chinatown - I recommend reaching out to the Member Services Dept (or any of the clinics) to help with reviewing health insurance options and scheduling to see a doctor. We offer language concordant services for many Asian languages. The Alzheimer's Association has great online resources for people with dementia and their families, as well as many support programs locally - As for immigration attorneys, I know of Bay Area Legal Aid - Good luck to you and your family.


Is he a US citizen or has residency? 

In any case, the  most important issue is insurance....medical?

Living with a person with dementia is pretty exhausting and sad. Yes, you want to do the best for your parents but you have to set up a care system.

You can email me in private and we can talk. The last 6 month I have been living with my 63 year old sister in law that had develop some dementia and my 82 year old mother. I could tell you what has been useful or not.


I just did this with my 99 year old grandma from Canada. First, good news, in CA undocumented immigrants are eligible for Covered California, so if you can afford it, you can sign him up for health insurance right away. I did it in January during open enrollment, so that was easy. I think at this time of year you have to show that he moved, which will require something with old address and something with new address. We got Kaiser and it is $900/month. Totally ridiculous.... so the other option is start putting money aside for medical costs instead of paying that (i haven't tried an immigration attorney - obv if you can get him qualified for MediCare that would be fantastic). Definitely have him complete an advance health directive and DNR form (if that is what he wants). Kaiser is helpful on those things but you can find the forms online as well.

You might check with your employer and your partner's employer to see if perhaps he could be covered. My gma was not covered by my employer, but worth a try. My employer does have an employee benefit of an eldercare referral service but that seems to be about it.

As to general advice, not really, except take/ask for help. Fortunately my brother lives nearby and is taking her for one weekend/month to give us breaks. After first time of two nights, I said we need 3 nights each time and after a few months, I said we needed a week! (not every month, but at that point). I have also asked other family members to come stay with her for a couple hours at a time. And fortunately at this point she is fine on her own for a few hours too. It's been a strain on my marriage so watch out for that and try to keep communication open. We can't do it much longer - trying to figure out a new plan.

Feel free to contact me if you want to talk about it!