Mom who is 96 is currently in a rehab facility. She took a fall two weeks ago, and I called 911. She ended up in the hospital and from there into rehab. She did not hurt herself in the fall, but she had a bad UTI, which was the reason they admitted her to the hospital. Righ now I am confused as what to do. They told me, she is not responding to the therapy ( mostly she does not cooperate ) She will not let anyone lift her or try to help her. She is currently unable to walk. Although for some reason she thinks she will take her walker, get up and leave. They said because she is not responding, her insurance will drop her, and have her discharged. I am trying to decide between taking her back home, or finding a full time nursing facility. My funds are limited. She receives both Social Security and a pension from New York. So she does not qualify for Medicaid here in Florida. So that leaves me with private funding. I know she prefers to be here, but it has been a drain on me. I have Afib myself, and the stress is slowly killing me. I had been caring for her on my own, up until now. She has lived with me for ten years, since my father passed on. It's just this past year, that she has become incontinent as well as suffering from dementia. She is still cognitive but, can be a bit much at times. She repeats things over and over, and likes to argue. So my question basically which is usually cheaper, having nursing care at home, or a full time home? Her insurance will pay for some home nursing, but there is a limit to 35 hours a week. I also have a neighbor who is interested in working for me as a companion caregiver. She says she was certified in Iowa, where they moved from. She is not certified here though. I would have to pay her out of pocket. Has anyone else had experience caring for an elder at home? I would appreciate any and all feedback. I am very frustrated right now.

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We did everything we could to keep our mother in her apartment -- a visiting nurse, a housecleaner, meals on wheels, etc. When that was not enough (progressive diseases progress) she lived with my sister for 14 months. When she progressed further we placed her in a nursing home.

We knew we had to do that for her sake, as well as for the sister who could no longer keep up with increased care needs. But we were sad about it. We were absolutely amazed how Mother blossomed in the NH. It definitely added quality to the last year of her life. Based on my experience this is what I suggest:

1. Do what you have to do to retain your own sanity and meet your needs.
2. See to it that your mom gets the best care available under the circumstances. Be her advocate.
3. Don't let guilt or regret blind you to possibilities of benefits to your mother by being cared for by 3 shifts of trained and rested staff.
4. Don't make assumptions about what she might be eligible for. See a lawyer who specializes in Elder Law and is very experienced in Medicaid. I think it might be worth driving some distance if necessary to find such a person.

Sincere best wishes as you move forward. I hope you will keep in touch here and let us know how things work out. We learn from each other.
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If you have diagnosed AFib I wouldn't be too confident about the stress killing you slowly. If you don't mind my saying so. And then what happens to your mother?

God forbid anything should happen to you, but you really can't take that chance. Could the social worker recommend a knowledgeable and trustworthy practitioner to advise you, perhaps? I hope you're able to come up with a good care plan for the both of you very soon, best of luck.
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Pam, you just said what the social worker at the rehab center told me! I know I need to see an elder law attorney. There are a few in the county who handle "trusts" I'm not sure if that's the same thing or not. Otherwise I would have to go to Tampa or Orlando. Both of which are a good drive from here.

Barb, neither she nor I have lived in NY in 40 some odd years. We can't afford NY. I never separated our savings or checking, so I'm in a bit of hot water there. Hence seeing a lawyer. At the rates these places charge, all our money would be gone in less than six months. It's all tied up in my house and car. ( you need one around here ).

F Flyer, For one thing I don't have homeowners insurance. It's nearly impossible to get here in this county. There is only one State run company that will insure homes here. ( sinkhole country ). My neighbor was simply talking "under the table". I think Mom would still need some skilled nursing care. This is basically just to give me some time to myself. Right now I am 24/7.
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Not only is home care more expensive, it will just plain kill YOU. You really need to sit down with an elder law attorney about qualifications for Medicaid in Florida. Ask about a QIT (qualified income trust).
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have you been to an eldercare lawyer who understans medicaid? it seems it might be possible to set up a pooled income trust so that she qualifies for Medicaid. otherwise, I think I'd get her back to NY and hire a geriatric care manager ( all this should be done with mom's funds) and get her qualified for Medicaid there and find out options for care there
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Everything that happened to your Mom also happened to mine. But for me I had to leave my Mom in long-term-care which was in the same facility as her rehab. At 98 we just could not care for her at home, nor wanted Dad to see her in that condition all day long.

When my Mom had passed, Dad was having professional caregivers around the clock. It was quite expensive, $20k per month, yes per month. Eventually Dad wanted to move to senior living, and he loved it there, the cost was $4k for the apartment suite rental and $1k for extra level of care. Once he moved into Assisted Living/Memory Care it was around $5k per month for an one room suite, which he didn't mind.

The care facilities can be costly, but my parents saved for these types of "rainy days". I know there is Medicaid out there for those who need help in paying for such care, but only certain senior facilities will take Medicaid along with self-pay.

If you hire someone who is not from an Agency to care for your Mom at home, you would need to add a "workman's comp" riding on your homeowner's insurance. This help pays for any injury an "employee" has at your home.

Now a "companion caregiver" is probably limited on some of the things they can do, such as bathing Mom, Depend changing, etc. You would need to check with your neighbor to see what are the duties she can do. If everything sounds good, create an employment contract so that if down the line your Mom need Medicaid, there is a financial record.
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