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A fall, a stroke or heart attack from which we “rehab” enough to go home but not quite enough to manage on our own or a surprise decline in strength and mobility can leave us in need of home help now.

We may be able to pay out of pocket for a few weeks, but not for the months for programs with a waitlist.

Our spouse or children may be able to care for us for a few days or for a few hours each day or on the weekends when home health aides do not work, but we probably need more.

We may need more temporarily or may not need quite enough to transition to assisted living.

Navigating options for home help

Within weeks a veteran can begin receiving up to 20 hours/week through a VA-contractor. Care Planning Institute (877-487-8166).

Many people can qualify for up to 50 hours/week through Community Attendant Services (Texas HHS Form 2060), though the average is 15-20 hours/week. There is a strict monthly income limit ($2,742 in 2023) and a financial asset limit ($2,000) but there is no transfer penalty. Using a Marital Property Agreement, one spouse can gift another all but $2,000 to qualify.

In both cases we have the option of hiring a friend or family member (though, for Community Attendant Services, not the spouse) and having an organization manage payroll.


Elder law attorney, Terry Garrett, CELA, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is an Approved Guardianship Attorney. She assists people in elder law, estate and special needs planning, guardianship and settling estates. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.

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