Caregiver’s Corner

Tax Deduction

Consider all of your out-­of-­pocket expenses if it applies to diagnosis, care, prevention or treatment of diseases. May be a deduction if it pertains to medical treatment, over the counter medication, gloves, toilet items, soap, patients clothing, q­tips, body lotion, diapers, bed pads all may be tax deducted. Keep all receipts so that at the end of the year you can provide your tax person with accurate costs.

Hydraulic beds, power scooters, Jenny pumps, hydraulic patient lift, air mattress, air pumps, hearing equipment, special equip telephone, wheel chair ramps: if these items are not covered by insurance they can be a tax deduction. Again, keep all receipts and check with your tax person to see if any out-of-­pocket expenses generated for the care of a person is allowed.

Bed Sores

Bedsores are a big problem in caring for bed patients. Three months after Sharon became a bed patient she contracted bedsores while at a long­term care facility. The sores increased to the size of a golf ball. I asked the duty nurses what they were doing about the sores, and was told that their policy is to do nothing until they get to a scale 3, and at that time they would start skin grafts. The decision to take Sharon home was made at that moment.

Sharon lived at home, other than a couple of trips back to a care facility, until her death. She never had another bed sore. The things that I did were make sure she remained dry, and I left her exposed to the air. There were times I would use a motor fan to circulate the air around her. This appeared to help with the sores.


Please research long­term care facilities and adult day care. In some cases these are allowed deductions. If you pay for a family member to sit in for you, this may be a deduction. Gas for your vehicle to travel to and from care facilities, durable medical equipment, home modification, wheelchair costs, renovation of home i.e., widened doors and special equipment for kitchen and bathroom modifications.

I was much too young to retire. In addition, I commuted two hundred miles a day back and forth to a job that made it even harder on me. This caused me to employ an in­house caregiver. This can be very tricky, as you have a limited budget and you need help.

There are companies out there that will provide you with caregivers. I could not afford the cost to care for Sharon as my household expenses, commuting expense, and fifteen plus dollars an hour for additional help.

I placed advertisements in the Penny Saver personal referrals section. Over eight years, I must have gone through about twenty people, only to find two caregivers, which I would refer to others.

If you decide, or have to travel this route, be careful, conduct background checks, if possible, and protect your valuables. I returned home one day unexpectedly, only to find one of my caregiver, was day sitting three of her grandchildren.

My neighbor informed me that once I left for work, the caregiver would leave, leaving Sharon alone. This is not only, unsafe, but because of Sharon’s medical condition, against the law.


Being a health caregiver is very stressful! You will learn, as I did that not only will you find little to no help, you will start to pay attention to how uncaring some people are.

  • Don’t get angry when you see people driving, speeding up when you approach the cross­walk with your patient in a wheel chair, or hurry to get on the elevator and push the door closure button
  • Be prepared when a doctor tells you how smart they are with an IQ as high as 189. Control your anger, because at that moment, the only thing that you are thinking of is trying to get additional help for your patient
  • A doctor tells you that you can take your patient home so that they can get another patient to put in that bed.
  • Get prepared, understand and accept, when hospital staff walk up to you and ask you to take your patient to a care facility and you need to figure out, once they are discharged, how to get them home because your insurance may not pay for return trips. Or if one of the drivers arrives late and finds out that they have to travel too far and leaves the patient on a gurney in the hallway of the facility.

Your only concern is for the patient’s best treatment. Do not get angry when someone walks up to you and says “I would like to give you a hug.” Accept it, because it will make you feel appreciated!

Wellness Center

National Library of Medicine (NLM)
National Institutes of Health, DHHS
8600 Rockville Pike, Bldg. 38, Rm. 2S10
Bethesda, MD 20894 
Tel: 301-496-6308; 888-346-3656

Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation
2004 Green Hollow Drive
Iselin, NJ 08830
[email protected]
Tel: 732-634-1283

National Stroke Association
9707 East Easter Lane Suite B
Centennial, CO 80112-3747
[email protected] 
Tel: 303-649-9299; 800-STROKES (787-6537)
Fax: 303-649-1328

Family Caregiver Alliance/ National Center on Caregiving
785 Market St. Suite 750
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: 415-434-3388; 800-445-8106
Fax: 415-434-3508

Brain Injury Resource Center
P.O.Box 84151
Seattle, WA 98124
[email protected]
Tel: 206-621-8558
Fax: 206-329-4355

ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation
1801 N. Mill Street Suite F
Naperville, IL 60563
[email protected] 

Tel: 630-961-1400; 800-THINK-56 (844-6556)

Cleveland Clinic | Neurological Institute
Ohio: 800-223-2273
Florida: 866-293-7866
Nevada: 702-483-6000
Canada: 416-507-6600

National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)
8400 Corporate Drive Suite 500
Landover, MD 20785
[email protected] 

Tel: 301-459-5900; 800-346-2742; 301-459-5984 (TTY)
Fax: 301-562-2401

Brain Trauma Foundation
1 Broadway 6th Floor
New York, NY 10004-1007
[email protected] 
Tel: 212-772-0608
Fax: 212-772-0357

Brain Injury Association of America, Inc.
1608 Spring Hill Rd Suite 110
Vienna, VA 22182
[email protected] 
Tel: 703-761-0750; 800-444-6443
Fax: 703-761-0755

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)
U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-7100 
Tel: 202-2401-2000; 202-245-7316 (TTY)

Education Center

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain, can result when the head suddenly comes in contact or hits an object, when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. Some of the Symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the injury. Person with a mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a brief period or minutes.


Emotional mood swings


Balance problems

Decreased concentration and attention span

Depression and anxiety

Donate Your Car


Sleep disturbance

Sensitivity to noise or light

Decreased speed of thinking


Memory problems

Alternative Caregiver Info

California Legislature Assembly Concurrent Resolution

This Hearing on Aging and Long-term Care was held at the state capitol on June 21, 2016 with the California chair person, Cheryl Brown, appointed to find a solution to the state crises being faced for long-term care. The exit of long term care insurance providers as well as baby boomers entering into the senior years has produced a need for concern. was presented as a viable solution.