My visit with mom went well. She was very with it, and was able to process our conversations enough to join in with her words and thoughts. She was very close to being her normal self.
The doctor has decreased her heart medication so I wonder how much this medication contributed to her confusion. The specialist said her heart is strong, it's just beating too fast so he prescribed some meds to slow it down.
She is in the hospital awaiting placement in a Nursing Home to which she had earlier agreed to but now wants to go home again.
On our drive back we stopped in at mom's house and did some packing, it is quite a chore because she had accumulated over the years. We took a few things to remember her by, and are preparing for a GS before it is put up for sale. We seem to have little choice as far as her house is concerned because the hospital already started charging her Nursing Home fees of $1859 a month so we cannot keep up the house and pay her NH fee at the same time.
Poor, poor mom, what if she wakes up from this nightmare and finds everything gone?
I know your question was not based on expectations, but it really does tell us how we all feel at a certain place along this road.
Let's put it this way: if some miracle occurs, a drug that heals, or something else, and your Mom wakes up one day to be thinking normally again and finds her house is sold ... what happens is, everyone is so happy to have her back, and she is so happy to be normal again, that the house fades into total insignificance next to the wonder of having a right mind.
You are lucky to have found a good NH for that price. Mom's NH in NY (Long Island) cost $11,000 a month. Her money lasted 3 months, and then she had to go on Medicaid.
IF that care could have saved her, we would have gladly paid for it somehow... but in the end it was just her body they patiently groomed and fed and medicated every day, her mind was at the end almost gone. Her last words to me, however, were lucid and showed she understood - I had just told her of my company coming from Germany, and she said on the phone "I wish I could be there."
Hi Martha. Unfortunately mom is on a list and awaiting placement in a number of Nursing Homes, whichever one becomes available first. I hope she gets into a good one and not some negligent one.
Here Nursing Home fees are based on liquid assets, so the fee is set to what they have. Once they run out, I think she will still be covered.
$11,000 a month is bizzare. They make sure they get it all in the beginning. What kind of currency do you have?
I do have a concern, mom's back has been hurting and we have repeatedly asked the hospital if anyone took an xray to see what is going on. They keep avoiding the question by saying they will ask the doctor, well it's been about 3 weeks now and mom's back still hasn't been looked into.
My sister seems to think this all started when she was officially put on the waiting list to go into a Nursing Home, it's like the hospital is not as concerned as they were before and they are charging her NH fees because she is taking up a hospital bed.
you have to have the dr do an xray. i so understand the trepidation you have. i always thought things would get better with my mom, but they havent. the nursing home my mother is in is 6k a month. my father was able to get some money deducted from certain scholarships such as a letter from his clergyman. i also donate what i can. when my father runs out of money, then medicade will take over. 11k is the most i ever heard.
It was all in regular US Dollars! Here in Indiana a good NH would have cost half that price. We considered moving her, but decided that whether her money was all gone in 3 or in 6 months, nothing would make it possible to save it. It was money well spent. Once she got on Mediciad her loving care continued without any change.
Martha atleast that was positive, they did continue to care for her after her money ran out so that was good. Did they base her fee on her assets or was it a flat rate?
Debbie G, how did they base your mother's fee, is your dad still at home or is he in a
NH as well? What happens when there is a able living spouse at home, how do they deal with the NH fee for the other?
I heard the more a person has, the more they take, is that correct? When mom was still with it enough to understand, she was afraid if she disclosed her assets (even to us) and went into a Seniors Home or NH, that they would take everything away. At this point I have no idea what they will take, but know mom has no choice, she needs the care and that is all that is important right now.
Right now I am paying about $6,500 a month for Mom and Dad in assisted living. That will go up when they go into the locked unit and nursing home care is more than that. Basically half of the assets belong to Dad and half to Mom. Whatever they have is used first..... whether it be $1,000 or $100,000. The fee is set and everybody pays the same until all their money is gone and then they go on Medicade. So if Mom and Dad had $100,000 between them then $50,000 is Mom's and $50,000 is Dad's. If the nursing home cost $10,000 a month... they would pay for 5 months until it was all gone and then Medicade would pay for them. There is no slidding scale for ability to pay.
Losing all Mom's life savings to the NH is the reason I completely changed my outlook on money. I don't have a lot, but what I have I use, for myself and others, without a thought to accumulating a large reserve to leave to my children. If AD hits me, it will all go for my care anyway. If not, I'd rather give to my children now than after I die.
Around here, as far as I understand it so far, they base their fee on what money one has at the time of applying, and then they break it down into a monthly amount. I don't think every Nursing Home around here calculates fees the same.?
They are taking her incoming pensions into account as well. Mom didn't have a whole lot in savings but what she has (had) she and my father worked hard for. She still has the house but when it is sold, I have no idea if it will go to the Nursing Home expenses as well?. I'm not sure how that works? Does it really matter at this point, she needs round the clock care that we can't give her.
Martha, you are right, it makes me think too, looking ahead, I would want my children to have atleast some of our hard earned assets. I'm not saying that if I were in the same position as mom that the Nursing Home shouldn't get some of our money, but all? Do they really take it all? What if I wanted my kids to have some?. It's so confusing. We never know when and if we will end up in a Nursing Home for one reason or another?. Definitely something to think about ahead of time.
If you take your money and/or assets and put it in an irrevocable trust and it makes it past the U.S? governmental look-back period (5 years) then you are free and clear with keeping it for your loved ones. No one can touch it but I will tell you This is what ****** off everyone with my mother's situation.
NH's aren't the only ones who want their pound of flesh (aka cash!), Hospice was absolutely the worst to deal with. Nasty as can be. screaming at me that my sister was hiding the money from them and that they would not take my mother without $270+ per day room and board fees (30 days) worth -- in advance, up-front. We told them my mother was covered for 100 days through Medicare and 180 days through a secondary insurance. They claimed they don't or can't deal with secondary's so we said we'd do it for them.
We had already signed over Mother's social Security checks to go to them $1,400/mo. What more did they want? They wanted it all!
It turned out that with the irrevocable trust, we found we didn't even have to probate the will my mother had because the trust automatically turned everything over to us when she became mentally incapacitated for her own care. We didn't know this because we didn't keep looking at the form throughout the years.
Techinically then the money in the trust was ours to use and hospice felt that it should be given entirely over them to. But we had to plan and pay for Mom's funeral out of it as well as the fact that if they took Mom's ssi money, sister would have had no income coming in to live off of and pay household & car expenses, or food! They had no sympathy, telling us to even ask my mother's siblings to contribute towards their costs!
Here in the U.S. if a spouse is still within the primary residence, they are allowed to stay in the primary residence and nothing is done to take it. They (NH's) will want whatever money, bonds, CD's or etc. to be used but again in the U.S. the patient is allowed to retain $2,000. of it. They have to also have their funerals pre-planned and pre-paid.
Once that is depleted, they then start getting the Medicaid monies. Here in NJ, NH costs are anywhere from $8,000 - $11,000/mo. Mom didn't live long enough to complete the 100 days Medicare coverage or the 180 day secondary thank God because even Medicaid was giving my sister a very hard time about the irrevocable trust to the point where the lawyer had to get involved in talking to these people and telling them they had no legal standing with regards to it -- to see it, etc. But they took the bank statements and demanded my sister sit there and tell them what each line item deduction was for 3 months they selected.
My sister was driving a 12 year old car. Hadn't had any true vacation in 8 years, and especially none to speak of for the last two years.
I'm sooo very glad this is over, over, over for us. Protect yourselves! Get the POA, get medical Directives or Living Wills!!!, get assets protected in trusts BEFORE you need it. Your surviving relatives will absolutely love you for it.
Oh, one more thing. If the patient had a car and its an 'extra' meaning the surviving spouse has one as well, they can force the selling of that 'extra' car.
If the patient had a hobby such as RV'ing or boating, they will require that to be sold as well if its in their name. They will also require the selling of any vacation or secondary homes. If its rental income property, I'm not sure of their standing on that, but if it was owned and used by the patient and family, they will require that to be sold -- at least here in NJ. other states may have different rules.
And in NJ, my cousin had to sell her husband's car, his two boats, and their South Carolina vacation home while she was committing him to a nursing home.
When my uncle was put in one towards the end of his life from cancer. he owned a car and only 2 rooms of furniture and household dishes, and some clothes. All his savings was taken by the NH as well as his CD's, bonds, etc.
And my Dad was told that he had to dispose of his "assets" and tell them how much he got for them -- so my father sold his car and funiture and donated his clothing. Since the car was 18 years old and the furniture was 50+, I paid him $1,700 and it was my start up furniture when I first got married.
The TV died 3 days after purchase -- the couch lasted about a year. I still have the bedroom set and the 'good' china he was using for his every-day dishes.
Yes, I forgot to mention that a pre paid funeral also came out of Mom's money before she had to pay that to the NH. Since it was going anyway, my brother ordered a glorious funeral for her complete with all the flowers, refeshments etc. Her cemetary plot had already been paid for decades ago, but that may also have been allowed by NY law.
There is a way out if you can afford it - buy long term care insurance for yourself. I was told that only paid off if you had more than $250,000 in total assetts including house. I do not have near that much, and I do not own a house. And I cannot afford the premiums. So my best bet is to keep my savings low, share with others while I can, and hope Medicaid still exists if I ever need NH care.
This is perhaps one of the things that will be reformed soon, I hope so. It is an unfair burden on the population which happens to need nursing home care by no fault of their own.
Caringsister and Martha, thank you. My mom is already part of the NH system so don't know if there is anything left to salvage?. But your advice comes as a warning for people to look into protecting some assets before hand so in the future, the kids will get atleast something should we need to go into a Nursing Home? My mom could have dealt with this prior to her getting sick, but I think she chose to hide her financial picture from us, and then it was too late, it was too much for her to deal with. The Nursing Home does deserve some payment but it sounds like they go overboard to bleed a patient of everything they have. Making one sell off boats and cars especially when there is a surviving spouse left sounds grossly unfair. Something is wrong with this picture?
There must be a way to protect one's assets while leaving enough for NH expenses should we need it. Caringsister you mention an Irrevocable trust fund. I will have to check into it. Thanks again for the advice.