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My dad is in the hospital right now. I'm worried about what Mom can do if dad will have to go into a nursing home for long term. They lost their home and everything in a house fire just a month and 1/2 ago. They are both 78 on medicare and are both in assisted living right now. They have SS and dad's pension and they have some savings. dad has Alz which has gotten alot worse since the fire. I'll say more as people reply. I have more concerns and need to know what to do. Iam lost. Thank you

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So sorry for all you are going through. My mother left me a long time ago - when I was 38. I was able to spend her last three months taking care of her. I know it will be a great comfort to your mom to have you there now. Prayers going your way.
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Mom and Dad have felt tired for several years. Just tired of living. Dad started walking alot slower, losing interest in everything. Then they lost everything in a fire alittle over a month ago
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Dad has numerous blockages, some major. They placed a pump in hime with medicines that hopefully will clear the arteries. He may need a bypass. He is in ICU right now. Mom sounds well. They were both admitted tues, dad with a UTI and Mom with pneumonia but Dad continued to get weaker. They said that when Dad was asleep that his his blood pressure would drop very low. Im really afraid that Mom may give up on living without Dad, they have been married 53 years, Dad is her life. I don't want to be selfish and I don't want her to suffer but of course I would want her to want to live. I don't know if Im making any sense right now
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Kilmar, Our thoughts and prayers fo with you on the journey to Memphis. It will be a great comfort to your dad to have you there.
One thing I need to correct from my previous post is that Medicare now only covers 20 days in rehab not the 100 I stated
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Also want to add; don't be hard on your brother who is "on the ground" so to speak. he's dealing with the day to day issues. Take time to catch up with the situation from his point of view; probably the most important think to start is to listen to what has been going on.
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Thanks for all your comments. Dad had a mild heart attack this morning, , they are going to look for a blockage and transfer him to ICU. Dad has only been getting weaker and Iam really worried that he is to weak. Mom is holding up better than I expected but she's probably in shock and denial. Please say a prayer for my parents. You're never ready for this and seems to come to soon. I certainly pray this isn't the time but Dad is so weak and he doesn't have anywhere that's familial to home to call home, Its been too much too fast this past month and half. I don't want to lose my Dad and Iam afraid of how it will affect Mom. Iam 51 but right now I feel like a child. My wife and I are going to Memphis early in the moring, we're near Atl. Please pray that will recover and that we'll have some more time together
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My spouse was placed in a nursing facility recently. A spend down had to be met for him, so half of all our financial assets had to be spent on his behalf. This did not include the house, though if we had two cars, one of them would have had to be sold. It didn't matter whose name was on the IRA's or other assets, like savings accounts and such, it was split down the middle. Our State allowed me to keep all of my spouse's social security payments to live off of, as the "Community Spouse". None had to be given toward the facility. I would imagine each State has it's own rules, so you might want to look into that. I hired a lawyer to do the paperwork with the State. It wasn't cheap by any means, but I think it was worth it in the long run and the lawyer's fee was written off as a portion of the spend down.
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Klmar63, talk to the financial counselor at the ALF. With both getting SS and a small pension, plus the proceeds from insurance from the fire, and possibly VA Aid & Attendance, they should be in good shape financially for quite some time. If dad goes into a NH, mom is still entitled to her half.
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I am so sorry for your struggles. Previous answers have not for the most part addressed some of the issues. Let me try. I'm assuming the fire exacerbated your dad's Alzheimer's, with losing everything that is familiar. If the insurance is written like many policies, the assumption would be that the home would be replaced. In this case, just being paid for the house would be a better option. Then Dad could stay at the nursing home, and Mom could go to AL if she didn't want to go to the NH. Or she could move into a senior apartment if she can care for herself. This should give time to figure it out. If Dad is in the NH until the money is gone, and Mom moves in during that time, Medicaid will take over. Not what they planned, huh? I'm sorry.

Some suggestions, like Veterans Admin, if he qualifies, and other helps are out there. God bless you.
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With a lot of advice from my mother's Area Agency on Aging care manager I managed to get long term (at our home, not in a NH) medicaid in about 9 months. It was awarded 12 months retroactive. Lots of forms, lots of evidence (but banks will supply account statement copies for free), lots of re-answering (to keep the request active because the workers are overwhelmed), but it got done.
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Thanks Veronica. You are very helpful. Truth is, we don't really own anything outright except the car, and I don't drive anymore. Housing for him will take all of his $3000 a month and leave me with just my SS ($700) to live on. I couldn't meet the mortgage on my house, let alone the utility bills with that. We do have some subsidized apartments in town which will be an option if there is not a very long waiting list. Moving in with kids is not an option either. I'm hoping to become a best selling author and increase my income. So hurry up everyone -- run to Amazon and buy my novels : ) (Ha Ha) (There are actually 7 novels on there now)
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Ferris back in your box please you are sometimes far from helpful
Kilmar I think you need as someone suggested talk to the social worker at the hospital and she should know what the options are for your parents. Start looking into subsidized senior housing and what kind of allowances may be possible from social services. remember that medicare will only cover 100 days in a nursing home for rehab following the qualifying days in hospital.. the social worker should be able to tell you what the spend down requirements will be for Medicaid.

amott I can sense how very worried you are about your situation if it becomes necessary for your husband to leave home. It always helps to know the facts and then you know what rescources may be available to you. The common perception is that Medicaid will take everything and I will only have my SS and I can't live on $1000 a month. Instead of panicking you can do some searches on the web and find the facts. Your local area on aging office will be able to help you with a lot of information. I know you will be able to keep the house if you own it and one car plus all your household effects and depending depending what other money you have and income some but not all of that will have to go to your husbands care. Then if your income is really low you may qualify for some assistance. I am slightly younger than you so have the same worries but the picture is not as black as things to be painted. i hope that helps a little. just ignore other peoples negative comments unless of course you have always wanted an excuse to live in a tent there are lots of books on collecting wild edibles too if you get peckish. Hugs. Time to worry when you know the facts.
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Has anyone here tried to get Medicaid long term care for their elderly parent? If so, how difficult was it?
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My MIL went to the nursing home after a hospital stay, on rehab (skilled days). My FIL (with dementia) was lost at home without her, and went into the NH with her at full rate pay for him. I can't say it was a good idea, or good experience for either of them, as my MIL didn't get the individual care and recouperation she needed to get well from her hospital stay. At first in the NH, they had a king-size bed (their own) we were allowed to take to the room, along with pictures and items from home to make things comfortable. They were there for 3 months, but eventually my FIL ended up falling a lot and had an increased rate of incontinence and toileting issues, and the NH ended up putting them back in separate hospital beds (due to lack of space and changing the bed too often). The NH was not a good experience for either of them, but it could have been for my MIL had my FIL not been there, depending upon her for his every need. After the skilled days were over, we brought them to our house to live because neither of them could live at home anymore and needed 24hour care; my MIL no longer could walk at all, and my FIL could not take care of himself either. At first, everything was going good with them at our house, MIL was (and still is) improving by leaps and bounds, but my FIL now is back to the incontinence again, and having toileting issues (meaning he does not want to use it on his own now for #1 or #2). I think my FIL is jealous of the extra attention she gets with PT/OT, and from us helping her try to walk again, he is now like a little child with the things he says, but I know it's the disease talking. My MIL said if it ends up to where FIL has to go to a nursing home, she will NOT go with him, she will stay with us...she said he would drive her crazy if she were to go in with him. His dementia has progressed, and now, while he was always controlling and made her wait on him hand and foot throughout their marriage and was very mean to her and her children, he now doesn't want to do much of anything on his own. He doesn't want to put his kleenex in the trash, dress himself, make any decisions, put his hearing aid in to where he can hear TV, won't change out of soiled clothes, or doesn't want to get out of bed. His toileting issues are getting the best of my husband, and I am not sure how long he will be able to hold out changing depends all day long, and the combative arguing my FIL is doing on a daily basis not wanting to change out of wet/soiled clothes.
Looking back, what we should have done was had family members stay at the house with my FIL on a rotating basis, and let mom do her rehab skilled days in the NH by herself. She would have been much better off if she were there alone recouperating, with us visiting her. Not saying this is the solution for everyone, but if hindsight is 20/20, allowing the person to rehab by themselves and focusing on getting better without having to think for someone, or always worry how their other half is doing.
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I can't imagine anyone 78 living in a tent, regardless. My dad would say he stayed in a fox hole for days......yeah when he was 20 but not when you are in your late 70,80,90's. I would hope that your mother(the person asking the question) can find someplace affordable for her. Maybe there are some low housing for seniors that she might be able to get into. We are all going to get there someday and hopefully things will improve.
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Ferris 1, you paint with a large brush!!!! Your tough love response is only practical if this 78 year old spouse has the fortitude and health to live in a "tent in the woods." I'm just wondering why you lived in the woods for only 3 months and how long ago was this, and even more concerning how old were you at the time? Perhaps when you did this, it was not out of necessity, but rather out of desire to do something different???? Otherwise, I guess what you are saying is one has to "adjust" him/herself to whatever their individual financial circumstances dictate in what might be a difficult time in life Well, this may be easier for some than others..

The comments above that offer meaningful suggestions are helpful, but as many have suggested, there is very little help from anyone other than family members, friends or charities.

Those of us who are lucky enough to be in reasonably good health in our senior years can certainly entertain survival options that speak to a drastic change in lifestyle, however, that is most likely not the case for many. I think the answer here is for family to help out as much as possible even though in most instances it is not the most desirable resolve for son or mom. Every situation is so different and individual to those who find themselves in such a position that it is impossible to give any meaningful advice.

My advice would be to evaluate whatever options you have and execute those options that best fit the circumstance. Don't depend upon help from government, however, if there is help available there, by all means take advantage of it.

I applaud you for your concern as to what will happen to your mother, but beyond concern, start finding a way to convert those concerns into practical changes that you can live with which could mean taking on more responsibility than you may have anticipated.

Parents don't want to be a burden to their children any more than the children want to shoulder their parent's later-life issues. But, there comes a time in all of our lives when we have to make changes that we could not have imagined.

Give your mom as much support and help as you can and know that it is the right thing to do. When all is said and done in the end, you will know that you did what you could when you could. After all, there is nothing more important in life than family helping family...... And, if you won't or can't help out in this situation, you simply have to live with that too.....

Good luck!!!!
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Did your folks have homeowners insurance? I would think that might be enough to help your mom get into assisted living, near your dad.
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47augie: I think either she is joking or she isn't 78 yet. If I tried to sleep on an air mattress it would take 2 people to get me up on my feet again : )
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I'm so sorry that your parents' lost their house in a fire; having your dad in the hospital on top of all that must be really hard!
I do hope the social workers at the hospital are able to give you good advice...
Are you worried that your dad will need the Nursing Home for health reasons or due to dementia? What does your mom think about moving to a nursing home? Are there any continuous care communities that would be a possibility? Could your dad return to the Assisted Living with extra support in place? I hope thinking about these things will help you. Do you have people to give you support at this time?

And OliviaC, I just had to laugh....my family has always said that my mom and dad will need to get rooms in different wings of the nursing home or maybe we'll get them settled in two separate homes in the same town and we'll all have a little peace!
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Klmar, when you speak to social workers, discharge planners etc etc be firm that your parents come as a package. They're a married couple, they won't be separated unless at your mother's express request. Do you have official advice from any sources?
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Are there public baths at Vandenberg or nearby Lompoc or Lancaster. How did ferris1 stay clean and refrigerate her food. Are her responses jokes?
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I forgot to add, the propane tank is for a Teflon grill with which you cook food upon, and the food taste great!
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I've actually lived in the woods for three months at Vandenburg AFB in CA and it is quite nice! Get a tent, with a propane burner and you are all set! We had a blow-up mattress on a fold-out frame with flannel sheets. There were other campers too. Again, take each day at a time. A lost aircraft could fly out of the sky and hit you and you would have worried for naught!
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ferris, that is all well and good, but only if the 78 yr old relatively health woman has a place to go. There is no place around here that I can afford if I have to put my husband into AL or NH because it will take all of his income. If I'm lucky (or unlucky) enough to require a NH, then Medicare & Medicaid will be there for me. Until then, since the car is paid for, I guess I could park in the woods and live in the car??
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Since you do not say if your mother has dementia or not, I will assume she is okay at this point in time. What will she do? Carry on like other 78 yr. olds are used to, and since you are younger, do not worry about what she will do. You can only "worry" about yourself and what actions you take, but allow your mother to be the adult she is, and she just might amaze you with her resolve! My best to both your parents.
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I do not know about other countries, but I agree elderly care in this country has become nothing more than a profit making unaffordable option for the majority of seniors. You either have to be poverty stricken or weathy to be able to utilize these services. Affordable care isn't about healthcare options anymore. It is also about affordable senior care options as more of the babyboomers are becoming elderly. Longterm care insurance is no longer affordable or realistic in their coverage. Medicines have kept human bodies alive longer than cognitive brain function. How are future generations going to be affected by the massive explosion of the babyboomers entering their senior years as regards to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? Is it fair to have these generations pay into a system they will never benefit from in order to maintain the boomers senior years? The american free enterprise system isn't about the rights of corporations and their profits, but about guaranteeing freedom of the individual enterprise in their property rights, contracts and other business activities. Enter the cost of senior care and you can kiss that all goodbye. You are right, the US is becoming more of a regressive form of governemnt then progressive then meeting the needs of it's citizens.
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This isn't an answer, just a complaint. In this great country of ours, we have no national standards for what happens to our loved ones in their old age. You can complain about what happens in these cases in other countries, but it would be helpful to see just how the elderly are treated by more progressive governments. I don't think anyone should have to figure out what to do in these situations. I see "A Place for Mom" mentioned by a realtor here on this page. Again, there is nothing for those who don't have the resources for expensive care. Social Security and Medicare are not enough. Form your own conclusions, but there are several countries I know about that have helpful and effective legal provisions and standards: France, Germany, Scotland, Canada, England, Denmark, Sweden. We are left alone and subject to those who only will help us for a profit. Criticize me and call me names, but please consider what is real and what is myth.
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A Place For Mom is a good start. www.aplaceformom.com/‎
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I will be watching to see what answers people come up with because my husband's dementia is much worse. We are the ages of your parents. I worry that when he needs to be put into a home, which will take all of his income, what will happen to me. My SS will not be enough to live on. I hope you get some good answers.
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My husband's father (94) was in a Rehab/Nursing/Assisted Living facility after falling. His mother (92) stayed at home. What we discovered was that an assessment needed to be done by NH/Assisted Living to determine how much care mother would need help with on a daily basis to determine the price of her moving there with father. She could stay in the same room as him if she wanted to pay full pay for the bed. It came to over $6,000 for each of them. Mother would qualify for Assisted Living which means separate rooms. That took it down to $4,000. And honestly, with their relationship, it would be better.

Are you concerned about your mother's emotional state if they separate?

ba8alou - good question! klmar63 - was your father or mother in the Military? VA assists with this type of care too. It benefited my father. Also, since your mother is so young, you need to check into Medicaid for your father. They allow for a split of assets so that mother will still be able to hold on to half if his costs spend down. We are checking into that too.
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