She is angry and frustrated with caregiving. We are trying to help where we can. We’ve always been close as a family, but as we question her about her assets ie: money in mutual funds and savings, she says “you’ll find out.” She always told us when her & my dad pass, all of their instructions are in their safe. But when my brother asked how to open the safe, she said “no.” She knows about the 5 year lookback with a Medicaid application, she had her mother sell her house for $1 back when she was living prior to entering a nursing home. Whenever I ask what her plans are, she’ll respond “I don’t know. I can’t even think about it.” But the clock is ticking and dad’s cond. is getting worse. My parents scrimped & saved their entire marriage so they’d have $$ “ if they needed it” and always said “ you kids will be set one day.” What I’m asking is how do we get her to stop being so secretive with her own kids and help her with financial planning. Also, I’m pretty up on the Medicaid process, but we are wondering how to protect her $$. Dad is currently receiving hospice care in home 2x/week paid for by Medicare.

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I understand this. My mother was always coy about her assets. If I asked questions about how someone could access her accounts if she was hospitalized and bills needed to be paid, she got mad at me and said, "Don't worry; you'll get yours!"

She no longer trusted me from that point on. She wrote a letter when she first entered the NH to let everyone know that I put her there and to not let me get the condo. (Of course it was unclear who would be getting the letter, and the address wasn't correct...)

And then when her money had to be accessed to pay for the NH, there was just the sort of trouble I'd been afraid of. I'd been trying to get ahead of it. No good deed goes unpunished.

(There was a silver lining, though. I was removed as one of the POAs, and POAs couldn't be paid as part of the POA stipulations. But since I was no longer a POA, I could be -- and was -- paid for what I did for her -- $20/hour -- paid by my brother out of her funds.)

Ditto to AlvaDeer's response. Also, I had to sit down with my elderly aunts with proof of the cost of things (articles, the rent bill from my MIL's NH, the hourly cost of in-home help, etc.) I crunched the numbers and did the math and showed them on paper what the outcomes would be. It needs to be a vey calm discussion as your mom already seems overwhelmed by things. Maybe she doesn't even really know what she has? She wouldn't be the first senior...Good luck!

Do they have wills, Trusts, or DPOA in case both of them are out of commission? Is your mother well now, and with no dementia, because this level of paranoia in a well woman with a loving family is extremely unusual at this time. It is very worrisome. Would your mother, if this has not been done, be willing to see a trusted Elder Care Attorney to get some of these things that should be in writing set into writing? She could see him first alone, then with whatever child she wishes to serve as DPOA if she chooses. This is really quite worrisome. But sounds like the siblings are close and together and meeting and talking and THAT is great. At some point, with Dad already badly failing, and Mom perhaps will follow, there will have to be someone appointed to oversee everything. That will then at least be done by the family and sounds like with agreement, which is a GREAT blessing. If Mom does not have dementia, there is quite honestly almost nothing to be done.

If they do have money, they'll have to spend it for long term care at private pay rates until it's gone and then apply for Medicaid. That's what savings are for, right? I'm not sure what you mean by 'protect her $$'.

My father was very secretive with his finances also, until he fell and broke his hip in 2014 and had to go into Assisted Living. I then became privy to all of his info, took over as financial POA and began using his funds to pay their bills and am still doing so. He passed in 2015 but mother is still alive in Memory Care and paying $6400 a month. When the money runs out, I'll apply for Medicaid & get her into a Skilled Nursing Facility, if she is still alive.

Oftentimes it takes a crisis before a parent will open up about their finances. I hope that's not the case with your folks!

Best of luck.

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