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My mom is 84, and she is ready to sell her 2nd floor condo (no elevator!) and is looking at moving into an ALF in Indiana. This facility costs over $3K per month, but they have told her (and me and my brother) that once her money runs out (they leave some small amount) she will be able to apply for a state Medicaid waiver and then they will only take half of her SSN each month. The facility seems very nice, and mom really wants to do this. The biggest question is whether or not "something could happen" which would cause her to end up with no money and not being able to live there. I was assured by the staff there that the only reason the Medicaid waiver might be denied was for concealing assets, and this is not going to happen... even once her condo is sold, she will only have about $70K total, and it will all be liquid, not "hidden".

My brother and I are sort of worried, because this all seems too good to be true. We have been assured by both the facility and another lady from my brother's church who specializes in helping seniors find these facilities that this is all routine and there is nothing to worry about.

Has anyone had this type of experience, or what other questions should we ask? Her monthly SSN income is only about $1600.

At this point, our mom could sell the condo and simply get a 1st floor apartment for a while longer, but she really seems to want to move to the facility because she knows she will eventually need help, and because she likes the idea of having the meals and other social amenities.

Any thoughts or advice will be greatly appreciated!

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Even if Mom leases an apartment on her own and hires help to come in, transportation for her on her own can be expensive. Perhaps she cannot drive any more, either. And to independently live in her own apartment, she must be able to care for herself and arrange some coaching for outside help. Without family help or reliable friends to help her to and from appointments or social activities, independent or assisted living in a facility may be a better living option.
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does she need to be in assisted living? is she capable of taking care of herself? My Mother who is almost 87 lives in a lovely senior housing complex. It is independent senior housing. They get one meal a day (in the dining room) and housekeeping once a week. She really loves it well as much as she can love any place without my Dad. There are activities for her to do if she wants to such as cards and puzzles they have movie night and also sing along(which she loves). I would encourage you to look into a facility like that. My Mom's social security and her pension pay for it. It is a big relieve to have her where there is other people, she was SO lonely before. take care....
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Thanks to all who have replied so far... all comments welcome and helpful! ferris1, your comment about being alone is spot-on, but she has refused to get involved or seek out alternate social networks, despite being a devout church-goer. At least in a facility such as this, she will not have an excuse for being lonely. This is a big issue for us (her children) because her complaints have escalated recently.
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She could sell her condo, lease an apartment, have help come in and prepare meals, and each day she can go to the senior centers. It is a lot cheaper than plunking down $3000 per month for the similar services. At 84 yrs. she could live another 10 - 15 yrs. depending on how healthy she is (you don't say if she has any dementia). In any event, she will have a nest egg just in case something untoward does happen. When her $70K is gone, she can apply for Medicaid if she is still living and/or needs more professional help. I suspect your mother is more afraid of being alone than anything else. Reassure her she can be kept busy and have a social network (church, senior center, family, etc.), if she wants. I have never heard of any facility taking only half of a social security benefit. They want it all, after all, they are providing all the care. Look at both options before you decide, and get everything IN WRITING (if you decide to go with the assisted living facility). My best to your mother in her senior life!
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If she gets 1600 a month, and gets 70,000 from the condo sale, Her money should last a good 3 years. Once she is in there, see if she qualifies for VA aid and attendance, assuming her husband was a veteran of WWII. I never heard of a program that only takes half the SS, double check that. As long as her application with Medicaid is "pending" status, they will not throw her out.
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Some ALFs have only a certain amount of space for Medicaid recipients. My mother-in-law has a private room in an ALF, but once her money is gone they will have to determine if they have existing space for her as a Medicaid recipient. The ALF will help her sign up for Medicaid, but those rooms are for two residents, so my mother-in-law will have to share a room.
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It is true in Wisconsin anyway...my mom went through all of her money in a CBRF unit which is one step up from the ALF-it is sad to see the money they tried to save be gone so quickly but, the facility should be able to direct you to the right group when it is necessary-should do it about 3 months before the money runs out, so it is in place when the time comes....if it is what she wants, might as well do it ,as it will come to that soon anyhow-so many folks have problems getting their loved ones into that type of living situation when they really need it-at least she is willing.
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Check out the facility's reputation and whether they provide NH as well for when mom needs. If mom is willing to do it now, no sense talking her out of it. I read your profile, if she is depressed and possibly difficult, she will only get more dependent.
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It depends on what state you are in and what kind of facility you are talking about. If it is a continuous care facility, one that includes all levels of care including nh care, they are usually able to guarantee that you can stay there until you die and if you run out of private pay money they will accept Medicaid and ss as payment in full. This should be specified in the contract , which you should have reviewed by a lawyer. It will be money well spent for the peace of mind it gives you and your mom.
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Have her assign someone she trusts with "Power of Attorney," (POA). It needs to be done through an actual attorney. Consider having her set up a living will trust to avoid probate upon her death and also a POA for health/medical. That person can act on her behalf in all legal matters as her health and mental clarity declines.
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