My mother currently is living in an assisted living facility and has for the last four years. She recently has run out of money, although between social security and VA benefits she recieves $2100 a month. It' not enough however to cover her expenses and none of the family are in a situation to be able to help financially. I'm the only daughter living near her and am at my wits end. I don't know what to do. If you have any suggestions on where I could possibly get her some help, I would be tremendously grateful.

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Kepi - Is your question that because your mom's monthly income is $ 2,100.00, she is roughly $ 100.00 over the medicaid ceiling for income? If that's what's what, then you can see an elder care attorney who can place her excess income in a Miller Trust so she can qualify for medicaid. But you need to have an Attny who is knowledge about elder & knows what's what in the county she lives in. Not just any attorney.

Some AL can get a community based Medicaid waiver to pay for care as her staying in AL will be so much less than in a NH.
Each state is different so you have to ask her local agency on aging. Most states have COG's - council of governments that do regional planning & usually the agency on aging is within the COG. Some cities have their own too. Contact each to see if your state does a waiver. Then ask if they take a Medicaid waiver where she is - you just have to flat out let them know your situation. My experience is that the IL & esp. the AL really want to hang onto those private pay $$ and aren't very helpful. But it's worth it to try to negotiate her rate especially if they have existing vacancies and it is not a tiered facility (goes from IL to Al to LTC or SNF to hospice) where they have a flow of residents. Maybe they will work with you for her staying there till she moves to a higher level of care than AL.

If Medicaid in your state does not do waivers then it's either having her move to LTC or SNF or a "board & care home".

What is her medical situation like? Is she ambulatory? Any dementia? Issues with taking med's, dressing appropriately,
cognitive skills, etc. Her age? If she's in her late 80's, but still not in total dementia or lots of assistance needed then you might look for a long-term-care facility/LTC. They are out there as they way cheaper to run than skilled nursing facility/SNF. What we used to think of as nursing homes seems to have morphed into these two types: LTC & SNF.

LTC for my mom is kinda like a minimal college dorm. She's ambulatory so is on a floor with lots of others who still walk and do activities & bi-monthly shopping. The floor below her is more bedridden or wheelchair bound. When you go see to see LTC's, ask to see each floor and wing of the place to get how the residents are. Almost all LTC take medicaid. Your mom's doctor will have to indicate that she is at the point of needing this level of care to be admitted. One way to have this happen easier is to have the gerontologist or internist who is the medical director of the LTC or SNF become her physician- the "continuity of care" then works in her favor.

Medicaid now requires quite a bit of paperwork. But if she's basically spent down her $$ to just having her SS and VA then you have 4 years of documentation as to where her $ was going (to pay for her AL). I've done a couple of other postings on this site of my experience of doing this for my mom.

Board & care is another option. They are much, much less $$ than AL - usually it's 5 - 8 residents with 2 full-time 24/7 owners or caregivers. No true nursing services. But they are few and far between. Your state should have a list of them.

Good luck.

after funds run out....doesn't medicare pick up the rest? Or is that just for total care in a nursing home...


If she's a veteran or widow of a veteran, go to WA State Dept. of Veterans Affairs at I'm sure they can assist you. For extra "ammunition," print out the WA State Resource Guide at

Please, don't leave it for the last minute. Until then, take good care of yourself ... and to your Mom, my blessings.

-- ED

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