My father needs 24/7 care. His wife makes all decisions. They have no money and asking for financial assistance without permitting input. ?? Messy finances may not permit getting VA benefits though they have no money except SS which does not cover much. A care taker has been hired (8hrs/day) but is unaffordable and he needs more care and is declining rapidly. The VA gives 1 hr/day. I (daughter) have tried to make suggestions without receptivity. They run a huge negative cash flow and need assistance. Benefit advisors are not helping even though my dad is 94. Family is having to select what to pay for out of their own retirement funds. Geographical distance makes situation more challenging. Aging care attorney cost is prohibitive. They need VA benefits and medicaid immediately but without the 'correct' help, approval is questionable. Now that the doctor has told them he needs nursing facility, she is looking. I have been emailed "there is nothing to discuss. Either I pay the bills or not". Overwhelmed with sadness. Any suggestions as to how to navigate to alleviate stress so my dad can be at peace would be appreciated. One aging care professional advised that we can do little as long as we have no authority. The advise was not to pay for anything. No easy answers but your experiences may provide help. Is there a way he can remain at home with hospice/VA/medicaid?

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Jumping off of what Jeanne says, do you children have a clear idea of what is going on financially from talking to a professional and not simply from getting wife's version of what she is being told?

It sounds as though she is confused.

Getting a consult with an elder care attorney is not unaffordable; it is something that you all cannot afford NOT to afford.

If money is to be spent, THAT is what to spend it on. But make sure that s/he is a NAELA certified attorney who understands both Medicaid and VA benefits for the state in which Dad resides.
Helpful Answer (5)

I don't understand what you mean by "messy finances" that prevent them from qualifying for assistance. Have they given money or other assets away? Otherwise, if their income and assets are under guideline limits and they have medical need, they should be eligible for Medicaid. (I don't know about VA benefits.)

Who are the "Benefit advisers" who are not being helpful? Is that a VA position? Have you called the Area Agency on Aging in your parents' state?

Applying for Medicaid for a married person is a bit more tricky than applying for a single person. Assets of both are counted. And the thresholds are different, to avoid leaving the community spouse impoverished. Ask the Aging Agency folks how to get help filling in the application.

When you say "Family is having to select what to pay for out of their own retirement funds" do you mean that you and other family members are paying bills for your parents? Stop! Can they pay the essentials (electricity, water, food, etc.) from their own income? Do not be using your own money for loans, credit cards, etc. If it is you they are asking for financial assistance, really, there is nothing to discuss, except to be sure they have the essentials. (Maybe if you are fabulously wealthy and extremely generous you could support them. But if not, who is going to pay for care in your own old age?)

Mom needs to be looking for a nursing home that accepts Medicaid. Often they will take the patient "Medicaid Pending" and help with filling out the application. I hope someone can also advise you about placing him in a VA facility as an alternative.

Your heart is in the right place. But please, keep your wallet closed and help them get the assistance they really need.
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Do you know what benefits your dad is getting from the VA now?

Have the adult children been involved at all up until now or have mom and dad been trying to handle everything on their own? The forms are confusing and the formula used for the VA benefits (and to some degree NH Medicaid) take into account not just assets and income, but also expenses and medical need. It might be that some signals are getting crossed, especially if your parents are in denial about how much help they need.

Co-mingling VA benefits and Medicaid is a little tough. Is your mom healthy enough where she could stay alone in the house if your dad needed to go to a long term care facility?
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Something you and she need to think about. You don't want her, as the community spouse, to end up impoverished. Medicaid applications can be complex to fill out and she probably needs assistance to maximize what she gets to keep to live on.

Can she hear that from you?
Helpful Answer (2)

Do not pay for anything in these circumstances.

Does wife have POA? Is she competent to understand the situation.

An eldercare attorney will usually give a free consultation to advise what can/cannot be done.

Can one of you fly out there for a week to see what is really going on?
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