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My 91 year old mother, who lives with me and my husband, was in the hospital with heart failure and liver problems. She was “out of her mind” for about 2 weeks. She’s now in a nursing home for rehab to get her strength back so she can walk. Before the hospital stay she didn’t use any walking aides. Her mind is about 95% of what it had been but the nursing home wants me to sign papers that make me responsible for all of her expenses. I don’t want to do that. Insurance is paying for the first 20 days. I can use my mother’s money until it runs out but I won’t be personally responsible for her expenses. My husband and I are both in our 70’s and will need our money to take care of ourselves. Am I being selfish?

You are not being selfish. They are trying to con you.
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Reply to SFdaughter
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No, you should not sign making you personally responsible. You could sign your mom's name by you as POA. Then you would be responsible to pay bills with mom's funds, not your own.

Are you her POA? If not whoever is should sign as POA. If there is no POA, you or nursing home could pursue emergency guardianship to access mom's funds for payment.
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Reply to gladimhere
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No, don't sign anything that commits you to her expenses. You are not responsible for them. You are rsponsible for yourself just as she is responsible for herself. Agreeing to pay her medical bills could drive you into bankruptcy.
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PJsummer Jan 12, 2021
Thank you for your advice. I did not sign. A red flag for me was that I was asked to sign when my mother was capable of doing it herself. They said it would be too traumatic for her. With my help, over the phone, she signed the papers yesterday.
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I spent almost a million dollars of MY MOTHER’S MONEY on 5 1/2 years of exemplary care in the best local nursing home I could find and never regretted it for one second.

That said, when my father died intestate, I signed what was at the time, my rights to a third of his estate over to my mother (this is no longer law in my state as far as I know).

In retrospective I realized that my father would PROBABLY have preferred that his legacy be spent on my children’s education, but at the time besotted with grief, I did what I thought would be best for my mother.

STILL, no regrets.

ALL THAT BEHIND ME, I would NEVER have signed making myself responsible for her care.
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coppertino Jan 12, 2021
You are a wonderful woman. I see I am not alone in how I took care of my mom. Almost same story!
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Do you have legal paperwork in order? For example, are you POA? It seems odd that they would ask you to pay if your mother has the means to pay. I would see a Medicaid attorney right away so you know what could happen when your mother's money runs out and she will need assistance to cover nursing home expenses. Notice I didn't say elder law attorney, but Medicaid attorney -- big difference.
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Reply to ArtMom58
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No, you are thinking correctly. I know in my experience, the nursing home tried to get my mom and I to sign financial responsibility papers for my uncle (my mom's brother) who was dying of cancer and was only there for 4 1/2 months. He was already on medical assistance so we saw that as a way for them to get more money and/or money up front without going through the hassle of the red tape. My mom already had full POA and while we oversaw my uncle's medical assistance and ensured bills were paid, etc., we did not sign to be financially responsible for any outstanding bills due.
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Reply to ybd311
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The nursing care facility is using a strong arm which is not ethical or with moral compass. 1st off, if your mom has no assets or abilities to pay, you opt for Medicaid assistance for your mom. You are not responsible for your moms debts unless you have signed to do so. I suggest you research with a elder law attorney. Many will give a free initial consultation where you can ask the legalities of the proposed transaction the home is asking of you. But, I believe that your mind is correctly thinking and you should not be responsible for her expenses.
BEST of luck
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Reply to thingsarecrazy8
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You are not being selfish one bit! Never sign Nursing home admission papers stating that you personally will be responsible for paying for someone else's care. Ever! Mom's money and insurance pays for her care, and once that runs out, Medicaid will take over. You tell the admissions person that mom can sign the paperwork. I would also advise considering strongly not to bring her back home with you if you feel her caregiving needs will be too much for you to handle even if the NH says she's ready to be released.
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PJsummer Jan 12, 2021
Bringing her back home too soon is also a concern. Thank you for your advice.
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Do NOT sign those papers. All you need is a POA for her financial affairs. What the nursing home is concerned about is being "stuck" with her bills. Medicare only pays for the first 20 days.

Once her money "runs out," then you can apply for Medicaid.
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WolfeyKat62 Jan 12, 2021
When my husband went to his SNF/Rehab after his foot surgery, I was told medicare paid for the first 100 days. Feb. 2020. Although he was already on medicaid. I'm sorry the facility is trying to scam you at a very stressful time. You are not responsible for your Mother's medical bills when she has health insurance. That place sounds shady.
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You are correct; your mother's finances should pay for her medical expenses - including rehab/residential home, The rehab/residential home wants a guarantee that they will be paid. Find a place that will help sign mom up for Medicaid if she needs it and will accept Medicaid payments.
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