My mom does not qualify for Medicaid, nor are we financially loaded. Just a regular middle class family. I have looked into the cost of assisted living and nursing homes and I almost fell off my chair. The cheapest I have found for assisted living, which is probably the stage my mother is in now, but would then need memory care, is over three thousand dollars per month. OMG!
Are there other alternatives to assisted living like being in a group place or something else? I wish my mom could live with me but I just couldn't emotionally take it as she has moderate dementia and other personality issues.
Look back from DHS is 5 years so maybe you could change the ownership to protect the house and hope your mom won't need to go into a medicaid situation until the 5 years time limit is up? You might check with a lawyer about selling a house when no one is buying these days. That may be another way it could turn out that you wouldn't have to sell it if you can't! Or you could then sell it, use some of the money for her and be left with atleast some of the money to start a new life.
That's a hard one but really it was her house, if it's meant to be yours it will be, if not, you won't feel bad about taking care of mom with it. We all change as they change and we realize we could be like them someday, not having any $$ to have a roof over our head. Hope this helps, just keep asking around and you may be able to find a way to have your cake and eat it too.
Ron Paul is interesting. I agree with some of what he says but am too old to really think it would work. If I was 20 again, I'd probably like him. But, unfortunately, I am not 20. Sad.
You know there are lots of nice people here who can give some great advice. I have had alot of problems with my Mom over the last few years. Just a nasty head case. Because of good advice and research, I have learned how to deal with her. I am at peace.
Hope you find some peace with all the stress of caring for your Mom. Take care.
Hopefully those of us baby boomers can learn from the above situations. Modest homes, no debt, planning for the future, frugality, being content and counting blessings, not paying for things that are not needed--those are all wonderful traits to have. Most of our parent's generation (my own Dad and others excluded) were very wise in the way they lived. May we pay heed to do the same.
Wow, your Mom has Parkinson's? My Dad had that. He died four years ago not from the Parkinson's but Colitius. Just weakend him until he had a heart attack. Parkinson's is harsh. You do have a lot on your plate.
I just read that the average life expectancy in a nursing home is 6 months - 2 years. Mostly because people are in pretty poor condition before they finally end up there. But, you can see why the nursing home inflates things to use up the persons assets quickly.
Sadly, my hubby's folks never discussed anything about growing older and never even discussed death - with anyone - not even between each other! When he died - she didn't even know what is 'final wishes' were - they hadn't talked about it. They figured if they didn't think about it or talk about it - it wouldn't happen! We got our ducks in a row when we were 50 - wills, trusts, etc. Don't put your planning off!!
If you have time - at least 5 years - (still 3 in some states) - go see a GOOD elder attorney. and see what can be done to preserve the estate. Go see an elder attorney even if you don't have 3-5 years. They can guide you.
Why do you think so many people are caring for their elderly relatives? I think first of all, it is because we care. Secondly - there aren't enough funds to pay for good care or we are trying to preserve their assets. My MIL has no assets - we just think it would break her heart to have to leave here :0(
The baby boom generation will have even LESS choice and sadly, our kids just may not want to put their life on 'hold' to care for their parents. This is NOT a blanket statement - I know there are still plenty of caring children out there - but this is a difficult and often thankless job - not everyone can do it. And the economy doesn't make it easy. I am not even sure if I want my kids to try.
I believe that our kids may be FORCED to care for their elderly - the government is broke.
You will need LOTS of encouragement - this site can help. I am sure glad I found it. It doesn't always change anything - but a person sure can vent :0)
As my Dad always said, "My money is my money to burn if i want to." he has been gone for about 4 years, and, yes, no one misses him. Just hateful. Brother and I never asked for a penny, ever. All money in our family was for their care in their old age. So that is what it will be spent for. Don't care anymore.
Sad thing is Mom has close to 1 million dollars. Nothing I can do. She gives each of us 100.00 for Christmas and we turn around and spend it on her Christmas gifst. She was bitching yesterday about her cable bill, too high. Brother pays for her cell phone and she will not get a computer or internet.
You know, I intend to not do this to my kids. i may not have any money left, but I made sure my kids could support themselves. Mom and Dad were old fashioned Southerns where girls were to get married and have kids. No education either, that cost money.
I know alot of people say it is their money to spend as they see fit. I some what agree. But every action has a reaction. And when you treat your kids like they don't matter, well the kids treat you like you don't matter either. That is what you taught them.
My husbands family entirely different. Estate planning, trusts and a good bit of inheritance. Mom was treated like a queen because she was so good to her kids. Her daughter took care of her in the last year of her life. She had ALS. Not easy.
My Mom and Dad's only comment. "They didn't want to spend their inheritance." Sorry to Vent. It has been a bad week.
1. the home is valued at over 500K (750K in some states)
2. it is not a homesteaded property - it's income producing
3. mom is terminal under 3/6 mos (this is usual to have happen)
What imho happens is that once mom is in the NH, there is NO $ to pay for upkeep on the house, as all mom's income less whatever her state's personal needs allowance ($30 - 60) she get's to keep. So no real $ that she can use. If there is still a mortgage, this can be alot of $ due every month which has to be paid or home goes into default & foreclosure. So the family sells the house as they can't pay the mortgage. But many family do maintain the home and pay for insurance, taxes, utitlities, maintenance, etc and then in probate seek reinbursement from the estate for what they paid for. This is totally legitimate and done all the time.
Some lucky parents never have to be taken to a NH. and let's hope your and my mothers are like this. Personally, I am looking forward to the blessing of making her exit, very sweet by surrounding her with the love and tenderness she never received during her childhood.
I was just trying to warn people that when a parent gives you cash in the past like; birthday, wedding, Christmas money, vacation trips, college cash, new born grandbaby cash, etc., your state may expect all of you to pay it back
What burns me is that my mom has thousands of dollars worth of home health and NH care policies that don't fit her current needs! Even she didn't realize that the control these companies have over her money will leave you out in the cold!! I'm just really glad my mom didn't give us any cash, I was just reciting what the NH employees have told me regarding what they've see happen to some families.
Moral of the story is that if you do purchase one of the senior care policies, be sure that it cover's all health scenarios in case you too, out live your assets.
My mom is mid 90's, could afford IL and the minimum expenses related to her home. Now she is in NH with income below her state's Medicaid income ceiling of $ 2,020.00 a month so she totally qualifies for & is on Medicaid. Her home (empty with homestead exemption) is an exempt asset under her state's Medicaid. She does not have to sell it to be on Medicaid. I've found that social services often recommend that the home be sold because they know it is likely going to be nothing but a problem for the family to deal with and a $$ tar baby in being paid in a timely manner. But it doesn't have to be sold. But someone other than mom will have to pay for all for the home.
The usual story is that mom has a home but now needs to move into LTC facility after being in the hospital with Medicare paying for the stay after a fall.Family is all dither. What to do? Where to get the money? Sell the house to pay for whatever. It can totally make sense to do so but I don't think they can be forced to sell the home in order to qualify unless it's the few exclusions I posted earlier.
Home does not have to be sold to qualify for Medicaid, but has to be under $ 500K in value (some states 750K). What matters is being under the state’s Medicaid financial ceiling for all other assets and income. The Medicaid application states that any assets are subject to MERP if they get on Medicaid. (Yes, I know 500K seems high but you'd be surprised at what property values are especially if your parents bought it in the 1950's and their taxes are frozen so they didn’t worry about it). MERP can then be done on their estate as a claim or lein depending on what your states view and laws are regarding probate.
Say they are in NH 4 years then die. Now after death, MERP can place a lien or a claim on the home through probate (this is how most states do it). So if the executor of the estate wants to transfer real property (house) to settle the will in probate the lien or claim from MERP has to be released in order to do so. But you can do your own claim against the estate for whatever expenses you paid for on the empty house but you need to let MERP know you plan to do this within the timeframe set by each state.
Remember, once they are in LTC there will be no $ to be used on the home as ALL money less personal needs of $ 30-60 a month MUST be paid to the facility. So someone will need to pay for parents house expenses. If the home still has a mortgage, this can be a lot of $$ every mo.
If you do this,. It is CRITICAL
that you keep track of every $ spent. Say you have paid tax, insurance, repairs for 4 yrs @ 8K=32K. Medicaid
paid NH, med’s, therapists, 70K over 4 yrs. House value is 90K which could net 81K max at sale.
But you let MERP know you are filing your own claim for 32K. The most MERP could get is 49K (81 – 32) but only if you did a sale quickly (fat chance) before maintenance and taxes etc continue. MERP declines to do a claim as not cost effective and gives a release to probate court. You finish out probate and get the house 100%. Happiness all around!
Some states have been aggressive with MERP. As states face $ shortfalls, MERP should increase. Imho MERP wasn’t well thought out. What are states going to do with a ton of homes with old people stuff in them that likely has a decade ++ of delayed maintenance? MERP came about 2000-2002 when housing was all a go-go. Totally different real estate conditions now.
Some states have super low MERP recovery rates. Other states are more aggressive. Imho all this is really dependent on each state's view of personal property ownership and probate laws and how the program is managed. Her state just gave out a contract to HMS (they do a lot of state's MERP), so recoup should get more aggressive. I think how it happens is very dependent on what the recovery prospect is - like MERP going after a 300K home rather than 100K home.
Her cognitive abilities really changed in 2010 or so - she probably has Lewy Body Dementia which seems to be quite different in it's run than Alz. There are a couple of others on this site who have family with LBD (and who have great insight in this type of dementia) - in some ways it's super scary because they seem just so competent and normal and then they have an episode that is so unreal but real for them. For her, the LBD episodes with hallucinations and false beliefs got to the point that she flat couldn't function in IL. Her gerontologist was also the medical director of the NH so she went from IL to NH. Bypassing AL. For us, the NH is better than a residential care home or board & care home, as her gerontologist - affiliated with a medical school - and their NP's are on-site regularly at her NH
and get the more specialized understanding of & care for her type of dementia.
But now, people are being conditioned to believe that there is no right of inheritance. If the parents build up an estate, it is just a bad break if they live long enough for the health care system not to consume it all. From the looks of things, it will not be long before the health care system becomes the sole legal heir of all estates in the USA for people who are middle class and poorer. I like this thread because it asks the question why is health care so expensive in the USA? My wish is that people would resist becoming conditioned to thinking that the heirs have no rights to an estate their parents built up, but would fight the rising costs of elder care in the USA.
If you think about it -- why does it cost so little to put a baby in childcare, while it cost an arm and a leg to put Grandmother in one?
Just keep breathing. The water will clear and you will see the way through.
If a person is suffering from memory loss or disorientation, it is the care they need the most. When my mother caught herself with Alzheimer’s, we brought her to. I think it was the best decision we ever made. Their activities of daily living supported her very much. All their facilities were just in line with our budget. I hope it will be same in your case too. It was not just a matter of money; she is receiving the best medical care and emotional support to fill her days with precious moments. They adds a special meaning to "assisted living and nursing homes".