Written by Shannon Shea, MSW, PhD. She is the founding executive director of Elder Love USA, Inc.
My father, Dennis Lahey, was a proud man who led a proud life. He was a lieutenant in the Army who served in the 3rd Battalion, 70th armor division during the Vietnam war. Then, after over 50 years working in the corporate world, he was forced to retire when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Our family helped as much as we could, but as his disease progressed, we needed outside help.
Even though my dad was a veteran and worked hard his whole life, his retirement income put him right in the spot where a lot of us are going to land – making too much money to qualify for support services, but not enough to pay for them. Today, the average cost of home care is over $5000 a month.
You might already know this, but in CA, if you make less than $1100 a month, you qualify for free care from the county. Make a dollar more and you get nothing. Which means most people don’t qualify for help, but they can’t afford to pay for help either.
I knew that if our family was having these troubles there must be hundreds or even thousands of others who were in the same boat. It saddened me that these folks who did everything right their whole life would be left with no support and no one to care for them when they needed it the most.
My dad was my inspiration for creating the nonprofit Elder Love USA. Our clients pay a portion of the cost and, with donations from caring people, we can send an amazing (employee) caregiver to help them take a shower, clean their house, cook them a hot meal, and more. We thank each of you for your continued love and support.
Donate and visit the Elder Love USA thrift store at 72221 Hwy 111 in Palm Desert.