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.
25 or so years ago, when they were in their 60's they took a trip out of the country and at that time my MIL insisted that both brothers be given POA and DPOA equally, as well as put them on the deed to the house, so all four (mom, dad and the two sons) equally owned the house. My MIL witnessed huge taxes paid on a family farm years ago and thought this was the way to protect whatever happened then from happening, although it was an ill conceived plan because, when her house was sold (which it did not have to be as a home is the only PROTECTED asset) the co owners who didn't occupy the house had to pay capital gains on it. Had she let it go into the estate that would not have been the case (his dad died 6 years ago and she is 92). The reason the house WAS sold is because my BIL lives in the same small town, has said he has not prepared for his own retirement and wanted her out, into a AL asap and all of her stuff sold. He forced this issue and my husband advised against it, but nobody listened to him.
Shortly after the AL, she fell down, necessitating that she move to nursing home. If you don't know, LTC is covered by Medicare while AL is not. Mentally she is still fine and we wish that she had stayed in her own home and used her long term care insurance and other assets to pay for the help she needed so she could stay in her familiar environment. But that was not to be.
She is now 92. The doctors say that she could live to 100! She has incontinence and other 'elder' health issues, but medication is amazing these days. I think she'd rather just 'go' but that isn't up to her. She still has $150,000, still receives her pensions (those total about $2800/mo) and her husband's social security. Her expenses are about $4000/mo and she pretty much covers that with ss and pension $$.
A HUGE issue for her has always been to 'leave something' to her family. Obviously my BIL is counting on that, and he was the one who basically forced her where she is and has been holding her purse strings. The thing she has a hard time understanding is that if she ran out of money she would have EXACTLY the same care she is getting now. Nothing would change if she were to need Medicaid. And she would still have lifetime income.
Nursing homes are experts at helping one go through their money. Since she and my FIL prepared so well, we have been urging her to gift $12,000 a year to family members. Even if it were all gone, we would set aside money for her extras, like massages, hair do's, etc. But she has it in her head that she doesn't want to be 'on the dole'. I am sorry, but it makes me so upset to see her stuck in this horrible place (she won't come live in our state and insists even after she complains that it is "ok" there). She really, I don't think, gets it that she could totally run out of money and things would be exactly like they are.
I would urge you to look into a) not selling your mother's home and all of her possessions in it and b) having her gift up to the allowed limit. You need a lawyer in your/her state, but you can help her have a decent quality of life and make her money work as well as possible for her. Personally, if at all possible I would find a nice assisted living situation and help for her there if she can't stay in her home with help and also urge her to gift her family. Once she runs out of money, she still can be cared for in a nursing home until she passes away. If she has to be in a nursing home due to health complications, then gifting to her family may give her joy to see what the fruits of her labor are going to during her lifetime. And then make sure her will is in place for 'real' property, ie, her home.
Wiling to relocate, but Mexico is too far. Thanks anyway!
Perhaps changes should be made so that families who take in their aging parents and arrange for in-home care receive subsidies from the government to do so.
I think it would strenghten family values rather than abandoning parents to impersonal "care-giving" institutions.
I don't know what Veterans benefits that allow a person with income over $2205.00 per month to get Medicaid. (I read the max for Medicaid LTC is $2205. for 2017.) Does this mean their veteran's retirement is exempt? I have read about the option of a Community Group Nursing Home for Veterans. I would be curious to know more about it. Having a home doesn't normally disqualify you from Medicaid LTC, but, their income would. Does anyone know the details on this as it relates to veterans?
When people apply for Medicaid long term care or other state benefits for long term care assistance (Medicaid like programs that cover AL and MC), there is a very intensive search by the Medicaid or state representative for assets and income. Every dime is explored and it's not just handed out without qualification. They require written documentation, bank statements, deeds, insurance policies, income verification, etc. They leave no stone unturned, so, I don't think that rich people are getting this benefit. Plus, the person's financial situation is reviewed annually. And if they do qualify, all of their income goes to the facility, with a modest amount left for them to cover all of their personal expenses, like $66.00 per month.
Medicaid is not for people who just want to get LTC to have a place to live. Most medically qualify as needed medical care and assistance with their activities. So many recipients are disabled or ill.
Even with savings and retirement benefits, many seniors will not be able to afford long term care for very long. It's very expensive. And eventually those who can afford private pay, will not be able to.
I would suggest if cost is of concern, you seek out small, rural facilities. You may even wish to research average costs online to see what states have lower costs. Though no one wants to relocate, some states have significantly lower costs for LTC. In the the state of NC, some LTC facilities that are located in rural and low populated communities have costs that are much lower than large cities. Some are as much as one-third the costs of some found in larger cities.
If they need 24 hr care then those are you alternatives, assisted living homes and skilled nursing. Assisted living homes are economical if you do a shared room and stay under 15 bed facilities where the rates are lower. If they are not needing 24hr care try senior apartments where you can have a call bell assistance when needed and they also clean the apartment and assist with transportation via shuttle bus. Senior community housing is a great way to go and is affordable since it is based on their income. Check your local area on aging agency they will be able to assist you!
Also you can do a live in in exchange for room and board and have them help with care, cooking and cleaning for a stipend say of $1000-1200 per month thats often a good way to go just make sure they are Background checked and are safe to care for your loved one.
I think it turned out okay for the elderly gentleman himself; several months later, he's now safely back in America. But perhaps more by luck than judgement? Plus investigations into the family are ongoing I gather, so I'm not actually recommending this.
Currently I'm 76, still working, live with a daughter, take care of myself, health reasonably good. We sold my long-time house, and some investment properties, but money in the bank isn't making anything lately; even investing well is not magic. My kids, which include an accountant and a lawyer, are watching my assets, but hoping that my physical and mental health hang in there. Ideas, anybody???
The future is never certain for anyone. For those with less economic security or family support, it can get very frightening and I sympathise. But here's the thing. You can sit there and quail, or you can speak up. The results may not be any different (though who knows) but at least you'll have tried.
Still requires money. VA has Aid and Attendance (money) to help with foster home cost. Don't know much else, except to follow the Medicaid plan, where the person's money is spent down to nothing so they qualify for Medicaid to pay for the nursing home. In my Aunt's case, she was already in a nursing home, and Medicaid only paid a set amount. So we had to pay the difference (834.oo) between what the nursing home charged and what Medicaid paid. You need to find out as much as possible about Medicaid. I was advised that my Aunt could keep her home, one car, and a burial policy. And she could not give away her money to family within five years of her entrance into a nursing home. So you really need to know what's what. Don't know if all states do this, but in FL you can find a business headed by a lawyer that will help you preserve your parents estate while qualifying the parent for Medicaid. Some take a dim view of this practice, but essentially, you become the DPOA and there is a contract between you and your parent to be her caregiver. It's still a big process. Personally, if you can get her in-home care, perhaps sharing duties with a qualified caregiver, that might be the most affordable. But most people work and care-giving wears you out!!
No matter what, it's tough to be a caregiver, and it's tough finding a way to pay for home care. Karen, it ain't easy and it ain't fair. You can be proud of your Dad doing right by his family and country. Your Mom is lucky to have you to care about what happens to her. Keep reading at this site and you may see how blessed you are compared to others in this same boat.