80 year old mother on 24 hr. care, financial difficulties

Started by

My mom had a stroke 5 years ago, needs 24 hour care, I have caregiver's assisting me but I need to go back to work. Need to know if anyone has had experiences when applying for Medicaid Longterm help. My mom is on Social Security and gets Medicare now. She doesn't own any property and lives with my husband, me, and my mentally retarded brother who also has health issues. Any advice regarding how I would apply for Medicaid to help with care for my mom?


You didn't say what state you are in so this is generic advice. Check your state's website for information on Medicaid and the process. You will have to gather financial documents - bank statments, savings, or any pension info; social security information and income. For bank statements you need originals *all pages* - even the ones that are blank. You will generally need her id including birth and marriage certs. A good place to get questions answered by a knowledgeble person is your local area agency on aging - or senior center. Many of them have a staff member or volunteer that will help you fill the information out.

I do want to caution you that depending on which state you are in, the process can take a while. If your mom has no assets and did not have any assets during your state's lookback period it may be a bit easier. Always make 2 extra copies (in addition to your file copy) and be prepared to keep a calendar specifically for the process. Make a note of every call - with names and phone numbers + extensions of who you speak to - and the details. Everything you send should be certified and if you fax something, get a transmission acknowledgement.

Good luck - just keep good records and you will be fine.
3931 helpful answers
Yolanda, it sounds like your mother would qualify for Medicaid. You'll have to go through your county social services (adult) to get through the process. Keep good records. It's kind of a pain, but there should be a way. Also, type in your browser, your state's name and "Medicaid waiver." That may be of some help.

Thank you Cat and MindingOurElders - I forgot to mention that we live in Orange, California. On the bank statement -- are they just looking at what comes in like SSI, pensions? That's all she has coming in.
3931 helpful answers
They'll look at everything coming in and going out. Also, if there are any insurance policies, Medicaid will take the cash value of those as assets.

Hang in. It's a frustrating process, but you'll get through it. Cat has good advice about keeping copies, etc. Always good to do.

Hello Carol - One other issue on this and I am planning on following up with experts. I have Power of Attorney, and my mom and I share a checking account. I don't track every little thing that goes in and out regarding her care except for the doctor bills. Our money is pretty much "co-mingled". Will this be a problem for my husband and me tax-wise? We have also been paying for her 24 hour care with 80% of the cost coming out of our own pocket. Thanks if you can share details on what they look at.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support