Big Joe may have been your football coach, the best cheer dad around, or you might just know him as the raspy voice yelling "SPLIT THE POT!" Maybe he sold you an electric motor, maybe he was just your friend. He has done so much for our community, now it is up to us to return the favor. Big Joe needs your help!
About two years ago Big Joe was diagnosed with both Alzheimers and Frontal Lobe Dementia. Even earlier than that, family and friends started noticing that Joe just wasn't himself; forgetting to do things he had done his whole life and becoming confused about his daily routine. To say things have progressed quickly would be an understatement. Today Joe struggles to recognize family, identify common objects, and hold a conversation. He is unable to physically care for himself, leaving Sharen to do all the cooking, cleaning, and even help with all of his hygienic needs.
Unfortunately, Big Joe has declined to a point where it is unsafe for him to continue going places with Sharen and truly unsafe for Sharen to continue caring for him in the way that is necessary.
We are sad to say that the time has come for Joe to go to a home. He truly needs 24 hour care from a team of people that are educated on this horrible disease. Some of the care he currently requires regular visits to are: Physical Therapists, Nurses, Psychiatrists, Neurologists, and Social Workers. Joe has been attending an adult daycare geared toward people with needs like his own. Just this past week the daycare staff informed Sharen that Joe has progressed to a point where he needs the next level of care. They are no longer able to provide for him. Forcing her to hire in-home care at an elevated cost until she can get him in a home.
Big Joe is only 57 years old and was diagnosed at 55. Beyond the fact that this seems incredibly unfair, it is magnified by the fact that there is nothing in place to help people at his age and in this situation financially. Sharen has continued to work full time, but the financial strain is great. Below is a small list of some of the current costs for his care:
Former Adult Daycare 3x/week: $900/month
New In-home care 3x/week: $1,500/month
New Clothes (due to weight fluctuation): $100/month
Hygiene Needs: $160/month
Medical Bills: ~$10,000 in bills with various doctors and hospitals
Going forward, these bills are nothing in comparison to what Sharen will need in order to place Joe in a reputable, caring memory care facility. Many facilities don't accept Medicaid at all, and those that do don't receive government payment for 6 months. That said Sharen will likely need 6 months of fees up front. These facilities are on average $8,000 a month. Even once Medicaid kicks in, it will only cover a percentage of the monthly bills and Sharen will still be responsible for the rest.
We have set our goal at $48,000 in order to help Sharen pay that up front fee so Joe can be placed in home as soon as possible to begin getting the care he really needs on a 24-hour basis. We are setting aside pride and asking you to help in any way that you can. The financial burden on top of the emotional burden is too much to handle. Sharen has had to sell both their home and their summer home in order to continue being able to sustain the level of care Joe needs. As she gives everything for her husband, we need to look out for her well being too.
Any amount will help.
We also ask that you keep both Joe and Sharen in your thoughts and prayers. They need them all.
Thank you again for taking the time to read our story and think about our family during this difficult time.
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