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Aspen, you really need to talk with a lawyer experienced in Medicaid for your state. Medicaid is administered differently in each state, with different waivers for assisted living in some states and not in others. All require an assessment and certification of medical need for Medicaid to pay for care in an assisted living/skilled nursing facility/nursing home. If your father will stay out of nursing home/assisted living, then he is a "community spouse". There is a calculation as to how much of his pension he is entitled to keep so that he is not "impoverished" by your mother's care. There are assets that can be kept within certain $$ limits. A good lawyer in your state certified in Medicaid and Medicare planning will be able to help you because this is not a do it yourself project for most people. The lawyer will need to look at 3-5 years of bank statements, investment accounts, any assets like car or house owned (or transferred or sold within last 5 years), social security award letters for current year, pension award letters, who your parents insurance is through and an idea of current medical costs, a written assessment of the needs of the spouse seeking placement in assisted living, etc. Medicaid is not taking the pension - but they will require that a portion of your parents' money be paid for their own care. It's very complicated but intended to keep people from dumping care of family members on the state and federal budget and keeping their money for family members and friends. If your father wants to stay with her, if he has medical need also Medicaid might pay for part of it, but then all of the pension will go to facility payment needs. That leaves nothing for house expenses if they still owe one, credit cards, etc. Very complex when a couple is involved and worth a lawyer's consultation.
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Hello freqflyer. Thank you for this information. Do you know if my father's steel mill pension would be taken by Medicaid if mother is put into medicaid nursing home? I know this would be of concern to him. Also, dad does not want to be separated from mother could they both live in an assisted living facility which medicaid would pay for?
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There are two options, one would be for them to hire caregivers, if it is within their budget. That would give Dad a much needed break from caring for your Mom. Depending on your Mom's health issues, mobility, memory issues, would depend on how many hours of caregiving she would need to receive. This can become expensive.

The second option is for your parents to downsize, again if it is within their budget, move to Independent Living which offers extra care package for your Mom. Something like that would cost around $6k per month depending on where you live. Yes, it's expensive, but less expensive then having 24/7 caregivers in the house.

Now, if your parents can't budget for either of the above, then have Dad or you check with Medicaid [which is different from Medicare] to see if they qualify. Call their State Medicaid office. Mom could go into a nursing home and Medicaid would pay for her care. Your Dad may not want to be separated from your Mom. Depending on his health, and if he needs around the clock care, he could go into the same nursing home. If your parents own a house, Medicaid would put a lien on the house so that they can be reimbursed for your parent's care.
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It depends on the situation. What are the health issues with your parents? Do they have funds? Where are they currently living and who takes care of them? Do they drive? Need more information
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It depends on what form/type of care your mom requires and also if you dad also needs care. Do they need 24/7 care? Help with meals, transportation, medicine, bathing, toileting etc?
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