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My mom is in independent living with meals provided and meds administered. She had several falls when she was still at home (including broken bones), as well as not taking her meds properly due to memory issues, and not eating enough. The change has helped her health, but it's very expensive, and we are nearly out of funds. I have not yet applied for Veteran's benefits and was not sure if her condition will qualify. I am wondering if she should move to assisted living and apply for a waiver if that is possible. Has anyone had a similar situation?

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Lynn, About medicaid AL waivers, waivers are a diversion of state/federal Medicaid funding. Because they are a diversion, the funding can be quite narrow, or done for a limited period of time and subject to change. It's not like NH Medicaid which currently is dedicated funding (so required to be done by the states to get the federal matching Medicaid $$$). Most states Medicaid do not cover AL or if they do there are long waiting lists along with a limited # beds in a facilities participating in the waiver program. You really need to clearly find out what the waiver situation is and if the facility will guarantee a waiver bed without a period (could be a year or two) of private pay.

Add to this that the current trend for waiver $$$ is for PACE style programs in which the elder stays living at home or living with family but goes to a PACE center 2-5 days a week where their medical monitoring, meals, activities, etc. are done. It's lots more cost-efficient than 1-on-1care in an AL or NH. But family or the elder is responsible for all care or needs all the other time when not at a PACE center. PACE can be really great (there is one by us - the Benson Center & it seems to be a very good program) but it does shift the majority of care from one totally provided in a facility to family at their home. If your area has PACE, your elder Is likely going to need to be evaluated to participate in it first & foremost before they can become eligible for another medicaid program.

The costs of over 55 Medicaid facility care are budget busters for states, so they are looking at whatever programs that move away from the higher costs of any 1-on-1 care. By the time the tsunami of us baby boomers need NH, I just don't see how Medicaid as it is now can continue to exist & pay. It's not gonna be pretty...
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Lynn, I can only address the VA issue. Oakland County has a veterans service which provides free advice and assistance in preparing VA applications for service connected disability and for health care. I believe they help with other aspects of VA applications; the ones I mentioned are the only ones with which I have experience.

There's also a second office, I believe in Troy. You can call either of them to get advice on applying to the VA.

If you do have to go to a VA, go to the one in Ann Arbor, not Detroit. Ann Arbor VA provides outstanding support, and it's obviously in a safer area than Detroit.

There are also offices for some of the military service organizations at the Ann Arbor VA. VFW is one; I don't recall which other groups have offices at Ann Arbor.

The American Legion helped us; applications were sent to them by the Pontiac office and they handled the process from there.
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Well, nobody will cover the rent at independent living, because it is an apartment. Both VA and Medicaid do a five year look back on finances now. These programs will help fund the medication administration, bathing, feeding, dressing and toileting if it is deemed needed by her MD.
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