What if I have to bring him home?

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He is an alzheimer patient in skilled care facility, private pay. If he should need skilled nursing, and afraid he is approaching that, I can not afford the pay. I am probably just over the limit for him to qualify for medi-cal. What to do? I took care of him for 4 years before finding the assisted care facility he is now in. I just could not do it any longer. I still have guilt. But I was seriously thinking of driving us into a telephone pole to end the insanity of it. Thank goodness the facility accepted him where he is now. It is a struggle to pay the rent but I can breathe now. I love my husband of 51 years. I miss him every day. He was my hero. I just wasn't strong enough to endure the dreaded disease as it changed him so much. I worry if I he will have to return home. He is in advanced stage of alzheimer but still ambulatory and extremely hard to manage even there.. Has anyone brought a loved one home? He is 87 and I, 80 Thank you for your input.

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My mom has assets that total close to half a mil....or rather, had. I was her caretaker for about 12 years. Like you, Dot, I couldn't do it anymore, my own health was failing and like your husband, my mom was very, very hard to handle, with almost daily and nightly screaming and wailing around the clock. If you refuse to pick him up, the state will assume guardianship and his needs will then be on them, not you. Nobody can force you to care for someone else if you aren't able to, or just simply don't want to anymore. If your assets are in your name, as well as your husbands, the state can't touch it if he's declared incompetent. They can't force you to sell anything. That's how things went in my case. My mom put all her assets into my son's name years ago, but refused to give anyone POA. When I refused to pick my mom up from the hospital, they called it 'abandonment without malice" because my own mental and physical health were the reasons I couldn't care for her anymore. I've been there for her this entire time, no matter what they call my actions. My son is now her legal guardian, and he got all of her assets free and clear, we didn't have to 'spend down' anything. My mom's name is no longer on anything due to being declared incompetent, and the guardianship didn't cost us a single cent since it went through the state. Good luck, I hope everything works out and you can continue living in peace.
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"if only I had" I'm sure is what many say in your situation about qualifying for help from medicaid, etc. Over 30 years ago, my father passed and told my mother not long before to fix "everything up" for me to take care of her and handle her business, etc. which we did not long after he passed. As for assets, we were poor anyway and didn't have to concern ourself with spending down anything - the house was simply put in my name with my Mom a life time estate 30 years ago. I was blessed in my ability to prepare for the worst and
though it was hard to place her in a nursing home, it was best for both she and I which she would understand if her MIND was still in her brain which it is not, some other entity in torment is in there.

Good luck in getting help - usually mediciad has an 8 year "look back".
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Give A Hug- thank you for your helpful comments. It's always good to know that someone out there realizes how I am feeling and the hard decisions t
hat have to be made. Will keep you posted on things to come.
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Violets, as you have probably discovered, feeling guilty is pretty much the default setting for caregivers. Somehow we have to shove that to the background and not let it drive our decisions.

It sounds like in addition to "what is best for each of us?" you also need to deal with "what can we afford?" If money were no object you'd have more options. That is the reality many of us face, and there is no need to add guility feelings on top of the other stress inherent in the situation.

Bringing your husband home to care for him alone is not an opton. You should not feel guilty about that, any more than your husband should feel guilty for having dementia. It is just a fact you have to work with.

Could you bring your husand home if you had sufficient help in caring for him? What would be "sufficient"? (Don't feel guilty if the answer to this is "no" -- you need to be realistic.)

If he doesn't come home, where would he go? Assissted Living Facility? Memory Care Unit? Group Home or Foster Care? Skilled Nursing Facility?

How would you pay for each of those options? How long could you pay for either in-home care or placement before your money ran out? At that point presumaly you'd need financial assistance, most likely Medicaid. Which of the options you are considering accepts Medicaid?

My heart goes out to you. It is certainly enough of a strain to try to figure out what kind of care is best in your husband's particular situation, but then to also have to factor in the financial realities is very stressful indeed!

You mentioned selling your house. That is a possibility, and it might allow you to pay for one of the options that does not accept Medicaid for at least an initial period. But where would you live? That certainly has to be factored in to what is pactical. You do not have to sell your house to qualify for Medicaid. You are allowed to own a car and a house.

If you are likely to need Medicaid within a few years, I would start the preparation for applying sooner rather than later. Do this under the advice of the elder law attorney.

Again, my heat goes out to you. Do the best you can. Try to lose the guilt!
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My husband is in a NH now after having a light stroke and he has dementia. The NH has done such a good job with him that they are now telling me I might be able to bring him home or move in to assisted living which would mean I would have to sell my house and every thing we have. I am on oxygen 24/7 and use an oxygen line which allows me to get across the upper floor of the house. I don't think I could handle taking care of him . I don't know what to do. I would feel so guilty if I chose to leave him in the NH, which is an option.
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Thanks for the advice. I did see an attorney, but before he was in assisted care. Can't say I received much in the way of planning ahead advice. But will start over. Everyone is so helpful. Thank you so much. It is very hard to get answers. I was led to believe my savings was above the allowed amount after receiving a small inheritance, which I was told would disqualify him.
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Yes, violets. It is very, very tough when one spouse needs to keep the assets in order to continue to live in the community and the other needs to be in a care center. I considered a divorce, so I know what you mean. What we did was spend down A LOT -- to the point where I don't know what I am going to do for my own retirement. It is a crazy system, but it is what we have to work with right now.

Still, I urge dotrt66 to find out EXACTLY what her situation is, and not just to go forward based on assumptions. There will be a way to keep her husband in a nursing home. It may not be ideal, but it will be better than the impossibility of bringing him home.

When I was going through the medicaid application process and discovering that in some cases divorce might be the best option, politicians were yammering about "family values." Made me sick to my stomach.
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I went to our attorney, who is an elder law attorney. I wanted to find a way to get my husband on medcaid with out using up all of our assets. His answer was to either get a divorce or spend down a lot.
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I agree with Jeanne. Please don't assume that he would not qualify for assistance. Even if you were a few hundred over the limit, it would just mean that you have to pay that few hundred toward the care and then you would be under the limit and assistance would kick in.

Please be sure to talk to an Elder Attorney. If you don't know one call your local area on aging and ask for a referral.

Good luck and please take care of yourself. Cattails.
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Do not assume that your are "probably just over the limit for him to qualify for medi-cal." Find out for certain where you stand and what you will have to do for your husband to qualify for some assistance. See an attorney who specializes in elder law NOW.

Do not consider bringing him home. Of course you love him. Of course you miss him. You must do what is best for the both of you, out of that deep love you have for each other. It is difficult for the professionals to manage him in a setting designed to deal with those problems. You cannot expect to be able to do what is right for him in your home.

There IS a way for you to manage this financially. See a lawyer.
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