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My mom has dementia which has progressed to the point that she worries she has no money. Her financial advisor told her she has no worries and has plenty of money. Up until now she has compensated me for my 24/7 live in care. Now she says she cant pay me because she has no money. I feel like a skunk writing my own check, but i quit my job for her and we still have to pay rent at our apartment, where my saintly husband lives with our dogs. Suggestions?

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Thats interesting, and a good idea. Best of luck to you.
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My mom lives in an assisted living facility but the lawyer said that I could "charge" for whatever I did for mom that a companion would do, such as writing out her bills, taking her out to lunch (I would bill for my time), taking her to appointments, going to support mttgs held at the facility where she lives, etc.
I know it sounds sleezy but all of the money that I pay myself will be used entirely for mom when the time comes. None of the things that I charge mom for are considered "daughterly duties" according to my lawyer. The purpose of my putting money into an account is for the day when mom's money DOES run out and she is on Medicaid, she will have this little nest egg that I am building for her.
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ngs, I also have a caregivers agreement for $15 an hour, well did, money ran out. But you said your Mother wasnt living with you so why would you have a caregivers contract? My Mom lives with me, cannot walk, cannot talk, is incontinent and I am housebound unless I hire someone for a break. I still only got 8 hours a day out of 24 hours because its considered "daughterly duties" in the eyes of the law the lawyer said.
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tonio,
I consulted an eldercare attorney, looking to the future. Mom is in an ALF and has enough money for a while. When the time comes, probably in about 2 years, mom will move into a nursing home and go on Medicaid. Medicaid only allows about $87/month in MD for any personal needs. Since my husband and I can't afford all of the extra money for clothes, hair dresser, etc (and my sibs won't help out) I have a CareGivers Agreement, signed by mom and witnessed, which allows me to legally pay myself $21/hr, which is the average pay for a companion in our area. I am not using the money for myself but have set up a savings account in my name (required by Medicaid's rules)which I will use solely for any needs mom may have that are not covered by Medicaid.
So, if you are going to pay yourself a "salary" for taking care of your mom, do it legally so that it can't be challenged by any sibs or the law.
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You can use a hoyer lift to transfer your mom from bed to chair, or from the floor .
Please consider having your mother evaluated by hospice. If she is terminal and continues to have little strokes, it sounds like she might qualify for hopice services. They a wonderful agency that people misinterpret it as an end of life only which does a disservice to the patient who is homebound and is truly end of l life but not immediate.
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tonio999---Have you checked your local area resources? Maybe through Welfare Department, or, check with one of the Home Health agencies.
Ask: Is there a lift device to help me pick up Mom from the floor if she falls or slips?
Ask: Is there an equipment warehouse for sharing medical equipment, free, or very low cost, for those who cannot afford to buy medical equipment?
Questions like that might also get them asking you how they might help.
They might also help you find ways to get help that fit your circumstances.
IF your Elder falls on the floor, and you cannot pick them up,
Then do call 911, and have the medics pick her up from floor--they also check to make sure there's nothing injured.
Making calls like that ALSO serves to build a very clear case for getting her into a nursing home, or care home, with full help from Medicaid, as it shows "for the record" what your needs are, and hers.
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Thanks chimonger and cmag for your advice. i getting the idea now and trying to get organized. She has been going downhill pretty fast lately. Tomorrow will go see about the survivorship, etc at the bank. Hope you honor all our vets this weekend. God bless our military people and God please end this war soon. tonio
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tonio999, you wrote earlier that " I do have poa and my name is on her checking acct." Was your name on her checking account as a joint owner with the right of survivorship before you got the durable POA? If so, then that is a different matter. You may want to check with a lawyer about this, but if you were already joint owner with the right of survivorship of that account, then you have more access to the money than someone with only a POA would have.
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IF Mom has dementia, she is no longer competent to handle her own money or legal affairs. That is a condition diagnosed by a Doctor, and recognized by courts.
By having a POA for her financial affairs, that is supposed to allow you to do all her financial things, including paying for her care, whether it is provided by others, or yourself.
A person assigned to be an Executor of someone's Will, gets paid a stipend for taking care of that.
A person providing care, shelter, food, etc., for their Elder, can get paid, as long as there are funds to do so, reasonably. By "reasonably" that usually means that if anyone else were providing same, the pay rate for them, nor for you to do same, is similar.
But it does not necessarily mean you earn the same as a Nursing Home [their overhead is higher than you sustaining your Elder at your home].
ARE you feeling guilty enough that you allow your Mom to handle money?
How much money does she get to handle?
HINT: in some cases, the Elder lacks sensibility to pay their bills properly, but still knows how to shop a bit. In that case, as long as she has paid her bills first [including paying you for what you provide], THEN she could have an allowance to shop with.
IF she has progressed to teh point that giving her money ends up with her "burying it in the back 40", there is no rational logic to let her use any amount of money to her any longer, since it could be seen as potentially losing it or spending it in ways that prevent her paying for needed care.
Oh--
Did you know that the person who provides 1/2 or more of the care/provisions for their Elder, can deduct them as a Dependent on their IRS taxes? Probably on their State taxes, if your State has those, too.
IF your Mom is 24/7 care, and still in her own home, she is truly blessed.
BUT, if you are providing part of that 24/7 care, and not getting paid? Foolish to continue.
OPTIONS = stop feeling guilty for getting paid for legitimate work anyone else would not do without being paid for same. OR, move her into a long-term care facility.
You stated she is demented.
That means she is no longer capable of thinking logically enough to transact nor be responsible or accountable. That means she depends on others for care, and one of those is you!
JUST make sure you are very clearly keeping records of your hours spent doing her care. List hours spent on your calendar, and in the checkbook, or online banking--some online banking allows labeling debits--do that.
OR use something like Quicken program to keep good records of where the money went--you will need those records to prove where the spent-down money went, in case Mom ever needs Medicaide or other Gov't programs to help in her care.
It sounds like you have been doing a good job; the question is, whether you can afford to keep doing it [financially OR emotionally].
That has to be your choice, and whatever you choose, it is OK.
Not one single drop of guilt, got it?
You are doing good work!
{{{hugs!~}}}
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Hi Brindle: Interesting. I think you and I are of the same opinions and goals. I wouldnt go through this for anyone else, except my husband maybe. Compared to AL However, there is just no comparison and the dementia is worse in unfamiliar settings. Thanks for the info and never give up, never, never, never give up. (Churchill) LOl! Tonio
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to sylvestor, you are obviously NOT taking care of your Mother or Father.
I have a personal care contract with my Mother that We signed, had witnesses, and notarized.
I catherize her 2 times a day which a care agency charges up to $70 for. I pay myself $18 an hour and that includes that service as well as showering, meds, Dr.'s and walking her dog 2 times a day. I do not charge for personel time with her, nor for taking care of her bills although i probably could. I have siblings who do not participate in any of this so I don't feel guilty (most of the time). I made her will up to give equal shares to all of us. I doubt there will be anything left. Paying me is much cheaper than assisted living ( where they don't catherize) or a visiting nurse, and or, a nursing home. She is making a little progress since she can now have her dog in the independent section although she is in bed 18 hours a day. I went to my daughter's graduation and she had a setback. She is totally dependent on me and it scares me.
Just like she did her best raising me, I am doing my best.
Best of luck and know that you are not alone in this.
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Ps: her money is not vrom a monthly source. It is from investments, etc. Her monthly income such as from SS is much less than that mentioned by Rev earlier.
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Rev and N1: I do have poa and my name is on her checking acct. I have no siblings. So should i write cks to me for her care or will that be counted as spending down? I will check w financial adviser to see if she should gift money to us. I am a little hesitant to get caught spending down, you know? I dont think she would notice the balance going down as long as i dont mention money. Still feel like a skunk. Gracias!
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Great info here to you, I wanted to add that if your Mom has a healthy monthly menu, dont spend down because she wont qualify for medicaid anyway. You have to have less then $2200 a month in our State. Get that caregivers Contract for yourself, and for help so that you can get a break. good luck
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Since your Mom has "way way too much money" for Medicaid, then get out her checkbook, Tonio. If your name is already on her account, then start writing checks for her care. If your name is not on her account, then pls apply for POA. Hope fully she'll sign the donor sheet. If not, I have no other suggestions.
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Oops, PS: she is 88. tonio
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Thanks for the advice. Mom has way, way too much money for medicaid. I agree with you; it is important but spending down is tough to do because she still has her lucid moments and will not part with any of her money. Should i be doing something more? Tonio :-)
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Tonio, You didn't say how old your mother is now, but my heartfelt wishes go out to you . Someday, and you know this will happen, and sooner than you think, she will pass on, and it will all be over. Then you can move back into your apt. with your husband and two dogs, and live your own life out as you wish.
In the meantime, pls apply for Medicaid for her. This is important.
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Thanks friends. I didnt know about the 911 or the fire dept. I will definitely keep these numbers handy. I got Mom a cow bell in case she has a problem and I am in the yard or the garden. LOL. Tonio
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Where I live you can call 911 to pick a person up from the floor-and here they don't count the times either police of fireman do and if the person is heavier ask for two people - used them over 50 times-you can get lifts but you usually need two to operate them.
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Sometimes with dementia Hospice will determine if your mom is at the point where they can help with some of her home care to lighten your load. My mom has been receiving help from Hospice for almost 2 years and they have been wonderful. It is worth giving them a call to find out. God bless you for helping her.
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Doug, I think your answer is very insensitive and your thoughts should have been worded better. Of course her mom didn't keep record of raising a child. Many children turn a blind eye and she is at least caring enough to be there. If her finances aren't enough you have to do what you need to do to help, even if all don't agree. Give credit where credit is due.
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Thanks to you all for your advice. I receive only 250.00 a week just to keep our apt. My mom is quite comfortable and is not on medicaid (yet)! I wish I were wealthy and didnt have to worry about money, but retirement is really tough enough without having a deficit. Sylvester, maybe you could find room for my husband and two Boston Terriers. I always look forward to your blogs; they are so delightful. Thanks for this latest one. By the way, when I was a baby there were no wipes.

To my other friends, I think we will just leave things as they are and not take any chances. Cant be too careful. Mom is having more strokes lately, so i dont have a lot of time to worry about it.

Does anyone know of something that i can use to lift mom from the floor to bed? Thanks again friends, and that goes for you Sylvester.

Tonio
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Tonio, I had a caregivers contract made up by a lawyer and get paid for her care. Her money went to myself for care, for help to hire other caretakers so I could go out, for her diapers, meds, food, bedpads, clothing, etc. The money was gone in three years and now we pay for whatever ss doesnt cover. You can take rent, ss allows so much but a good contract explaines it all. In a nutsell, you should get paid $15 an hour for 8 hours a day and 10 hours on weekends. You must keep explicit records on every penny spent, and you must pay taxes which are about 30% so save that out, its over $6,000 at the end of a year. Failure to do all of these things makes you liable for the money. SIblings involved? Dont feel like a skunk! Giving loving one on one care if the best gift you can give someone,especially a parent. take care
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tonio meet with an elder care attorney to review all of mom's legal and have them draw up a "personal services" contract for mom to pay you for what you do. It should be based on what the standards are in your community and if you have any specialized education that could pay you a higher rate. Contact 3 or so home health agencies and have them come an do a site assessment of caregiving for your mom and you can use those estimated as a baseline for your contract. If you are a CPA or other professional you can charge more for those hours related to that aspect of her care. You will need to have her do or you do for her a 1099 to you for what you make and pay taxes on it.
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When you were in diapers, did she keep a tab on how much formula and wipes and diapers, and doctor visits and clothing and food and how much your portion of the utilities were when she was raising you? If she did, the average amount to raise a child is 170,000 dollars and that is without College fees...Why doesn't your husband move in with you at your Mother's residence, therefore getting rid of the rent payment that Mom has to pay for. It should be a joint venture if you want to help Mom out at this point in life...
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I was recently informed Medicaid doesn't allow patient care expenses by family anymore. It is considered "love & affection". Check with a Medicaid attorney or Medicaid ASAP, whether you have a contract or not, to be safe. This happened a few months ago, as I understand.
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In my state if you are POA you are responsible for her financial matters and can add your name to her account. Just make sure it is as POA. Having the Patient Care Contract will also aid you if she runs out of money and goes on medicare. They will do a 5 year "look back" and the contract insures you don't have to pay back any funds paid to you.
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Keeping 'em honest: Your bank should have a copy ( signed and notarized) of your POA. When you sign a check to yourself or anyone for that matter, (your mom's account), you should sign your name as attorney-in-fact for_______________Mary E. Smith. It's a lot to enter on one line, but I've been told that that's the way it should go. Check with elder-care lawyer as your state may have some specific rules.
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tonio....what you are doing is not wrong.....however just to be on the safe side and make sure all your i's are dotted and t's crossed......you should have a signed "Patient Care Contract" with Mom. They are perfectly legal and acceptable. It seems like the worry over finances always enters into the equation of dementia at some point. You are doing the same care for Mom that an "outsider" would be doing and you wouldn't think twice about paying them for their services. Make sure you are keeping records of everything spent from Mom's account(s). You never know when you might have to prove that you aren't trying to scam Mom.
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