WendyT Asked October 2011

How do you begin the process of moving your elderly parent from your home to an assisted living facility or nursing home?

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My 87 year old mother has been living with me for 4 years. She has Alzheimers and is slowly but surely becoming less mobile. I would like to have a plan in place to transition her to an ALF or nursing home but don't know where to start. She has a very limited income so priviate pay facilities are out of the question. Does she apply for Medicaid first and then visit facilities that are Medicaid waiver? Is it worthwhile to hire a geriatric care manager to help? What about companies that claim they can get you Medicaid qualified? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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EXPERT Carol Bradley Bursack Oct 2011
You don't need to pay a company to get someone qualified for Medicaid. You just go through Social Services - adult type - and they will help you start the process. If you have nursing homes in your area that don't accept Medicaid, then you'll need to skip those and tour the others. Most non-profits have to accept a certain number of Medicaid patients, but for profits don't (this may vary where you live).
Most ALFs don't accept Medicaid, but with your mother's issues she sounds like she needs nursing care anyway, so I'd go straight to nursing home inspection. If you go to the ltc ombudsman site (www.ltcombudsman.org) and type in the zip code you want, you'll find a contact who can help you with all of this - free. A geriatric care manager could help, but you seem to have gotten beyond the need for one, and they are pricey. That is more for arranging help, especially if you aren't in the area.
Good luck. There is paper work involved, plus prep work with your mom, depending on what she understands and remembers. If her memory is really bad, I wouldn't start telling her too much until you can actually show her where she'll live.
Take care,
Carol
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