My Mother needs assisted living services. I can't afford for her to go to assisted living. Will Medicaid help?

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My mother has dementia and it's getting worse and assisted living would help. She has Medicare and Social Security. Will most assisted living facilities take Medicaid?

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Yes, she is asking about Medicaid, which is different from Medicare. I hope she can post an update and let us know if she has more questions or if she has found help from an Elder lawyer. There are even classes at the library, or your local community education dept. Usually taught by elder care lawyers who seek new clients! So a good way to cover the basic questions, and also meet some of these lawyers in person maybe to see if you like their personality (or not)?
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Mallory: She was asking about Medicaid.
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There are many programs under the Medicaid umbrella that could help, short of moving into assisted living, and those should be investigated. But again, it is state specific. There are also many financial models of assisted living. Some require up-front payment of a large deposit, or a commitment to pay for some number of months/years, others are straight monthly rent. I agree it's best if you have some money in the bank so you don't have to say, at application, I have NO money. Crisis planning is waiting until you need help and you're broke to start looking around. You may benefit from a consult with an elder law attorney.
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Original post says she has MediCare (not MedicAid ) and Soc Sec. Unless she qualifies.and applies for MedicAid she won't get it. Usually in my state the MedicAid program is not paying too many people's bills for AL, if, and that's a big if, if they start their AL stay with Medicaid. The ones I visited always always had required.2.or even 3 yrs of self -pay. At around $4,000/month rent that comes out to about $120,000 cash needed (if you throw their SocSec check into the whole mix). if you're on Medicaid you can only have $2500 (?) cash assets. If you own a home, and widowed, you'll have to sell the home. But there may.be AL in other states that accept straight SS/Medicaid and also have zero waiting lists, however I am doubtful. Even if they were to invest 15 million into building a new facility (which happened near me) it will be full before the roof is on.
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1. In general, Medicaid does not cover assisted living, only nursing home (skilled nursing).
2. Some states have expanded Medicaid to cover services delivered in the community, via a "waiver" program. So the answer is state specific.
3. Some assisted living facilities have sliding scales and accept low income patients. These places will have waiting lists, so get her signed up now.
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PPosting another reply to push this up in the general questions......I hope the original poster will post an update (fingers crossed), please let us know how you are doing in this process, Ashmok!
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No one was answering this person except for Mallory.
That's why I started it off by asking if she was on Medicare or Medicaid. Thanks fot your inputs, Mallory and Jeanne!
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Another thought, getting back to asst living vs. Memory Care, what does her doctor say she needs? In my state (MN) where I visited about 2 dozen asst living facilities, they were not set up for dementia patients at all, they would need memory Care, or a nursing home. AL seems more like a step up from senior independent living-- they have "services" available if needed, meals in the dining room and various activities. Residents in AL are basically independent but appreciate the option of prepared meals, assistance with laundry or housekeeping. More expensive options in AL were any services provided by medically trained personnel, usually Medication Management where the resident needed a.little help remembering to take their meds. But a dementia diagnosis is indicative of a much higher level of needed cares.....be very aware that all AL have a "behavior code" and it allows for eviction of any resident who cannot behave appropriately. I have a friend whose mom has been evicted 3x for behavior issues. So if dementia is already an issue you might be thinking towards nursing home care in the near future. One of my grandparents had dementia issues big time! It is very challenging, and not at all within the realm of simple assisted living (the types I visited here, maybe your state has more ramped up asst living than MN).
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You could also go visit asst living places you like, take the tour, and get their info packet. The tour guide will be very happy to explain their reimbursement policies. When I did this for my parents over a period of several years, I learned a couple things (which may or may not apply to your state or region)-- First, some AL do not accept any Medicaid (they will say they are "private pay only" as a PC way of saying scram to anyone on Medicaid ), Secondly, if you do find one that accepts Medicaid, they will not allow you to visit the rooms where the Medicaid recipients live (these areas of the facility are typically in the partial view area of the building or basement with lookout windows and not as nicely decorated), Thirdly, there's usually a long waiting list for ANY area of the facility, Fourthly, those that do accept Medicaid will typically require you to prove ability to self-paced for 2 or 3 years, Fifthly, if you enter the facility as self-pay and rent a nice 1 bedroom with kitchenette, after 2 or 3 years of selfpay you go on Medicaid you will be moved to the dormitory-style floor (they can rent your 1 BR to someone else for more money so why would they let you keep it for Medicaid rates for another 10 yrs?). I don't mean to be discouraging, but just in my experience, it is better to know these possible or probable scenarios when having Medicaid pay your way in asst living. There needs to be a 10,000 more asst living centers built before costs come down to anything approaching an affordable price, and Medicaid recipient can have any type of.choice. Right now there is just not much choice.
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Getting your Mom on Medicaid if she is eligible would be very worthwhile. Various in-home services are available, and the time comes that she needs a care center you'll be all ready with Medicaid.

One of the things that Medicaid covers (at least in this state) is adult day health programs (day care) and that can be a good way to extend the period the person with dementia can stay at home.

Definitely look into Medicaid if Mom cannot afford the services she needs.
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