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medicaid question and others

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Old 12-22-2008, 09:21 AM   #1
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medicaid question and others

My mom is living with my brothers rotating months. She is getting worse in her alz. Now she doesn't know who anyone is, she walks very slow taking baby steps, her table manners are horrible, needs help in bathroom. She still goes out with us to eat and shop and likes going out. But the time is coming when she will need AL or NH. I really feel NH is more convenient as there is one on my corner in Forest Hills NY. But I do have a few questions:

Oh, and thank you in advance for reading this and answering if you can.

- Does nursing home dementia units have activities for patients and can they eat in a main dining room or are they confined to their room staring into space?

- I am planning to use private pay to get mom in nursing home as I understand that is a fast way to get in. But then when she needs medicaid, I wanted to use an outside organization that I found in Long Island called PP Medicaid who helps families through the process - they are very reasonably priced, much less than an elder attorney. What do you think of that vs. the NH social worker doing the work?

- How do you sign the agreement in the NH so that you are not responsible for the bills now or later? I know there is a way to sign it (is it just POA next to mom's name?) or something more detailed so I am not responsible?

It is so embarrassing to see my sisters-in law taking care of my mother (I work and they are stay at home women) - my brothers are not ready to have mom placed so I am letting them make the decision when the time is right.

This whole thing is causing me stress and anxiety. I am planning to use $90,000 of mom's money for her care (and we need to pay for her expenses in her house which is in a life estate) - where do those expenses come from when her money runs out???? what a mess.

Any advice would be helpful.


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Old 12-22-2008, 10:06 AM   #2
Martha H
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Re: medicaid question and others

Dear Mary Ann,

My brother and I did the above, so I know how it worked out for us.This was also in NY State, at a NH called Cold Spring Hills in Syossett.

The NH had many different activities, all appropriate to a Dementia patient. Mom never ate alone in her room but had a spot at a table and ate there every day with her new friends. Later as she had trouble eating and swallowing, a nurses aide helped her. The staff were loving and kind.

We paid for the first 3 months with Mom's own money, but then it ran out. Nobody ever expected or asked for her three children to pay out of their own money. When the money was almost gone, my brother used what was left for 2 important things - he paid an Elder Lawyer to help get Mom into Medicaid, and he pre-paid her funeral so that money did not have to go to the NH. During the time she had applied but not yet been accepted, the NH took her SS check minus a small personal allowance. Mom stayed in the same NH, the same private room, and was treated the same as before. BUT, we were lucky. Medicaid standards have again tightened up. The person really really cannot own any propery (Real estate) or have any hidden assetts, and cannot have made large gifts to family members over the last 5 years. If they did, that money has to go back to her to pay her care.

We had none of those problems since Mom had never owned her own home, so within 3 months she was eligible and in. The financial manager at the NH helped us tremendously too. Your lawyer or other adviser can tell you how the money in the lifetime trust is dealt with. I have no experience in this.

But placing her in that NH was a good decision. Mom was as happy as anywhere else; most of the time she thought it was a 'spa' and for a short while she thought she owned it ...she always had positive delusions. Once she told me on the phone to watch for a plain envelope coming to me full of cash, because she had won the lottery -- that envelope never came, of course. But she felt rich and generous, not like a penniless Medicaid patient!

Good luck with it. The financial hassle and the fact that her life savings went to the NH, the lawyer, and the funeral home taught me a lot about money and material things. They don't matter. If you have plenty, you can pay your way, if you don't, things will still work out. Life is more than your bank account. I am glad I also do not own any property. I hope it all works out for you.



Last edited by Martha H; 12-22-2008 at 10:09 AM. Reason: sp

Old 12-22-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
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Re: medicaid question and others

Thanks Martha for your input. Mom's house is in a life estate (children's name on the deed but she has the right to live there if she wants for the rest of her life). This was done in 2004. I will also have to use her money to pay for the bills in the house even though it is empty (taxes, phone, oil). I just hope all works out. Thanks again.

Old 12-22-2008, 10:55 AM   #4
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Re: medicaid question and others

Dear Mary Ann

Your message is clearly where we were just last month so let's see if what I write helps you at all.

7 years ago, we knew we were closing on parents second house in PA. They also own a duplex of which I am their tenant and my sister and parents lived next door.

Mother was starting to rack up hugh phone bills calling 900 numbers so I knew that when she came into the money from the house sale, she would be vunerable to losing it. Therefore, even though she was still functioning pretty well, I acquired an elder lawyer for us.

While he did his best to talk her into signing the house and giving us a majority of the money she could, she refuseed claiming that she never owned anything on her own and she wouldn't do it. Therefore, the only way to protect her from herself was to put the house and the funds in an irrevocable trust that both my sister and I are the guardians of.

Last month things started to deteriorate very badly and rapidly and we thought that we would have to have her in a NH soon. Now with the irrevocable trust, and the fact that its been more than 5 years, we found out from the lawyer that the NH can only attach themselves to mom's ssi check because basically she doesn't own anything, a trust does.
Right now with the fact that she's no longer taking Aricept and Numenda, my mother has changed in her personality -- no longer very combative and not screaming as much. Right now, Sister want to take a wait and see attitude because she really doesn't want to do this, I guess. Since she's her full-time caregiver and I'm not too involved, I'm letting her drive that bus.

Last edited by caringsister54; 12-24-2008 at 06:08 AM. Reason: unnecessary things edited out to make it shorter

Old 12-23-2008, 11:51 AM   #5
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Re: medicaid question and others


It sounds like your Mom is too far advanced for AL at this point. She will need to be in a NH. They are not the horror places that were protrayed in the movies of yor. they are now clean well lite homes. Your Mom will probably share a room with another lady. She will take her meals in a communal dining room with the rest of the residents. If she reaches the point where she needs help, a staff member will assists her with her meals.

Most NH have activities several times during the day. Everything from sing alongs to memory games to outings. Whether it is bus rides to see the fall colors to casino trips. Unfortunately, when you get the advanced stages, they cannot enjoy the trips to the casinos! They do their best to help keep their memories from slipping even father down the paths.,....

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