What happens when the spouse runs out of money, can't make it on social security, and the other spouse is in a nursing home?

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My parents have very little money. When one goes into a nursing home, which may or may not happen, if the other community spouse cannot make it (rent, food, utilities) on just social security, do they go on welfare? Story too long but my brother and sister will not help take care of my parents in any way. I asked them several times for help when I could not take it anymore and they said no. One is lazy and the other only wants their money, but there is no money left. I cannot take the parent that is left into my home because my house is not set up for that and it will ruin my marriage and my family and I KNOW my two siblings will turn their back. So I'm trying to plan for the inevitable.

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We are right to be worried.
To everyone who is not working and is caring for your parents in their home.... what are you doing to secure your future and not create the same scenario for yourselves? I know it seems like good money after bad but opting out of the system and putting a single relative before your own needs is always risky. Example last year i spent $3000 a month on day care for my kids and my mom and I only took home $4000, so we were living very simply. BUT I was accruing years in my pension and social security quarters, my kids had full medical; we got everyone fillings in their teeth and glasses and I had disability insurance. These are all important things my employeer provided. This year I do not have that. I lost my job and the math works out (for my brothers) for me to stay in mom's home and care for her, but I have lost disability insurance. If I throw out my back lifting mom and we have to hire a caregiver for all of us, there is NO ONE who will cover it. We are all just one illness from poverty. Please everyone think seriously about the hidden risks you are taking. Mom's pension will only be here for us when she is alive. Mom's home will be sold out from under us and where will we be?
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Wow, your story sounds a bit like mine. I am taking care of my mother in her home but she (like your parents) has run out of money. The money she saved was not enough to last into her 80's. I don't work and she gets a small pension. My brother is very wealthy but won't help in any way. Physically or with money. I am really worried.
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I don't see where the legalexpert has responded on this one. Please don't take any steps until you know for certain you are following the guidelines. This may mean consulting an eldercare attorney--if money is an issue maybe your parent can seek pro bono assistance?
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Medicaid rules are dependent on each state's legal. How assets are viewed and what the ceiling is depends on each state. If your dad went into NH and your mom stayed at their home (homestead and her primary residence), then she becomes the "community spouse" and is entitled to a certain % of assets that cannot be counted as an asset or subject to "spend-down" to have your dad accepted financially by Medicaid. All these things are sticky and you really should have an elder care attorney look at their situation for a realistic approach of what to do.
Medicaid review of community spouse situations do a "snapshot" of the couples assets the day 1 of them go into the NH. This can be very good or very bad.

There are things you can do that can benefit them but need to be done in advance.
Say they are 50K over the asset limit. If they have a home, you can use the money to pay down the mortgage, do expensive repairs, buy funeral/burial policies, renovate the house so mom can stay there on her own (ramp, grab bars, etc).
So you have spent the 50K before dad goes into the NH and the "snapshot" is done. Dad qualifies for Medicaid and mom has a better financial & living situation.
You should get advice based on their situation and state from a elder care attny.

If mom never worked and her income is from dad SS or retirement, a portion of it will go to her and not the NH. The amount is kinda low and often she will have to go to court to get increased, which is best done by an attorney. Good luck.
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Dont Guess.
Hire an ELDER LAW ATTORNEY.
The stay at home may be able to get a bump up in his/hers/ ss benefits. Put the house into a Irrevocalbe Trust TODAY. There are many legal things to consider.
Hire and Elder Law Attorney....They are worth the money.
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Thank you to all. Neither paretn is a vetran so forget that. The house is already sold and the money placed in a trust. the trust was created in 1995 so the money is safe as long as they don't break it. But they will have to break it to live off of within a year or two as their liquid funds are running out.

Absolutely Assisted Living is the right environmnet for them as they need a lot of help but can still get to the kitchen, the bathroom and back again. That's about it though. Assisted living is not an option where I am as every facility is private pay ONLY. I asked, believe me. If I put them in AL, we'd have to break the trust in the first six month. When they outlive their money, the AL facilities say this, "Just give us a month's notice so we can fill the bed." That was a bad day for me. Nice.....
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There is a huge range between being able to take a shower by yourself and being able to live alone in a house and maintain it. That is why assisted living is such a great option. Much like my daughter (age 7) managed herself at summer camp, my aging mother did great in an assisted living program. It was a few weeks of heavy learning for her. She had to learn all new appliances and how not to get lost on the way to the dining hall. Neither my mother or my daughter can truly live on their own. Another great option is renting an apartment or house in the same block as caring a relative. The elder can come over for dinner every night, you can send a family member over to mow or take out the garbage cans etc.
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I'm sure a 'salient' person would be able to do quite well on his own! : )
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If either of your parents is a veteran, check out veteranaid.On the left side go to "A&A program". That will give you information on the Veterans Aid & Assistance Program. As a veteran, you can get financial help with monthly expenses of a nursing home, assisted living or home care. The spouse of a veteran also qualifies. There are certain rules - the veteran must have served during a "war time" period. Once application is made it can take from 6-12 months for approval; however if approved the payments will be retroactive to when the applicant applied. This money can assist with paying an assisted living, nursing home or home care. Contact the Veterans Administration Offices directly or check your local county government - sometimes they have a veterans dept. and they will assist you with the application. Many times you will hear, specifically through assisted living & nursing homes, about "special seminars" put on to assist you with the veterans aid & assistance application. Yes, they will help you but they are also trying to get you to invest money in their companies. Just go to the veterans administration - they will have all the answers and will give you all the assistance you need and help you fill out all the forms. Good luck!
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Get some advice on how to split the estate into two pots. One for each parent. They only have to spend down the one half before social services kick in for that individual. It is practical to sell off large assets and move into a more practical housing "for one and a caretaker" now, when the parent is salient enough to learn a new routine and now shower knobs and washer dryer protocols etc. Get one with wide door ways and a roll in shower that is all on one level while you are making the change so they only have to move once. Buy it and it will "store money" for you later.
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