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I am new to care giving to my Mother-in-law. I don't think I can do this for the long term. She has minimal Social Security and no other income. My husband will retire in the next few years and I am retired and have medical problems. We won't be able to continue care for her. What do to be proactive about the future for her living circumstances?

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As for getting her in, as Pam said, call several drivable nursing homes and schedule tours. As the admissions person to explain the process to you, what will be required, and also what kind of people they accept. I know that must sound foreign, but if the 22 nursing homes I contacted for information, only 16 would even consider my mothet because she had dementia and she walked and the rest did not have a secure (locked) dementia unit.
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As for the best way to get on Medicaid, start with "community medicaid." Community medicaid is for people still loving at home. The lookback is much shorter, something like 2 months and you can get started with that by going to your local social services office. My mom's primary care doctors office, who had a lot of elderly patients, was surprisingly helpful. On medicaid, you can have no more than $2000 in assets. Once your mil goes into a facility, they (the medicaid office at the facility) will convert her medicaid to "institutional medicaid," which requires a 5-year lookback. You will need 5 years of bank and other financial statements showing she didn't transfer or gift a large sum of money, just to qualify for medicaid.
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Apply for Medicaid now. That's good that you are proactive now instead of reactive later.
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And also there are rules about veterans 'aid and assistance' and Medicaid --_you cannot receive both at the same time .
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PS - if she or her husband were veterans there is funding available through the veterans administration up to about $2000 a month for some in-home care but $2000 can go really fast with most of the companies that provide home care services at $20-$30 per hour .
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Good Luck. There possibly are resources in your local area you could check for info- community centers, etc. the County offices are where you would enter Medicaid(enroll or apply) if in fact there are minimal assets. Each state runs their medicaid program differently but in all states you enter that system via your county health services offices. If its a further out thing(like in 5 years or so that you want to get her into other care) you should begin to take care of all her financial and medical directives like establishing a trust abd her basically handing over her assets to whoever she wants them to go to-with Medicaid- establishing a trust for at least five years before the person enters a Medicaid facility-is about the only way to at least leave your family a little bit of something behind and not have the state take every last penny . It takes a lot of time to work through this stuff and it's emotionally draining as well. Bedt of luck.
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Look for Senior Services in your area. Also look up Senior Care Consultants. That is who we used and there is no charge to you. Most are very knowledgable.
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Now hear this!!!!!

For better or worse, it is extremely easy to setup on-line banking. So, setup an account for your mom with her bank (honestly, a child can do this), and then you have access to all of her banking records and even photographs of the cancelled checks going back years!!!!!! 

It will all be there for you in the comfort of your own home.  No need to beg the bank or pay for records.

As for the rest, good luck! Listen to these wise people.
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Seniorseeker, there is a difference between needing a facilty due to medical issues vs. needing help due to finances or a previous home being too large to live in. Considering the loss of her daughter (losing a child is often much more devastating than losing a friend or a spouse) your MIL is also grieving.
Have you considered Senior housing. She may (or may not) qualify for subsidized housing where the rent is a percentage of her income. Her assets may preclude her from qualifying for that, but there may be other options in your geographic area.
Medicaid (to my knowledge) only supports facilities for those unable to take care of themselves. Usually that means that they are unable to perform 2 or more activities of daily living. Senior housing in my area often includes some level of social services interaction. Call your county office of aging to get started on what options are in your area. Good luck and let us know how this progresses.
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I really don't think you need a lawyer for this because if you are like most that's another expense you cant afford. I suggest going to this site https://ssabest.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-finder#benefits&qc=cat_31 This will give you a list of benefits your MIL should be entitled to. One thing you need to remember is that once Medicaid is established they can and will take pretty much everything she owns once she goes into a facility. I don't mean EVERYTHING, but they will look at the house, bank accounts etc. Even life insurance. I was told if my mother had any life insurance over $10000 in GA they would take. She wanted to cancel what she had over $10k but I just changed ownership to me and I paid it. When the day comes that you need her to go to a facility, I think you have a couple options. But if its a case of "she is sick and I am tired" if she is admitted to the hospital she can in turn be transferred from there to the Care Facility.

The Care Facility (Nursing Home) usually takes all their funds but just a few dollars and I mean a few, like $20. Its a good idea to get her to sign a POA (Power of Attorney) for bank accounts, medical records etc, Does she have a Will? Does she have an Advanced Directive. These are all simple forms that you can do yourself. The Will may be a bit different depending on her assets. But it sounds like she really doesn't have much so it shouldn't be complicated. Just something that shows where those things she has collected over the years like her wedding ring will go. You can over complicate this but you don't have to. Just think "what would I want to happen if it were me-Do I want CPR, do I want Life Support, Do I want buried or cremated, what do I want to be buried in, who gets what -all these found in Advanced Directive and the Will. I hope this helps. Just want to add this, was your FIL in the Military? Did he retire? I found out they would have paid me to care for my mother if she didn't want to go to a nursing home or they would pay several hundred $ towards assisted living. Seems the amount they would pay me was about $1300 and what they paid towards AL was only about half. If they paid me, I would have to show where my mother was actually paying me to care for her. But our money was put in a pot to pay all the bills, so it really didn't matter. She pays me and it goes back in the pot, I just needed that record. Mom passed before I could get the 1st check. I found out about it too late and she was already very sick. You will need your FIL DD214 from the Military to get started. May be worth a shot. Good Luck
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You will probably need to pay for copies of the bank records, but you might be able to convince the bank to give you the records because of the fraud. Probably not, so be prepared. If there is anyone at the bank you know, see if they can be the one to help. Someone at mthr's bank looked at her past statements to help us look for fraud there so we did not have to buy all of the statements. If they know what they are looking for, it's a lot more productive.

You can obtain "tax transcripts" online and free, which really was where we had to start with mthr.

I am so sorry that you had this experience with the in laws. What a stinky sister in law's husband too. I imagine he was caught up in a net of wrongdoing too, which is why he burned the statements.
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First of all, contact an Eldercare lawyer. They can advise you about Medicaid. Second, go to MIL's bank and request her bank statements. Everything is electronic these days. A lawyer can help you with documentation and help you, miraculously, get Medicaid. It's the best place to start. Best wishes.
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A good way to look for records is to start with her tax returns. Any income she had would have been reported there. From there you can go to the different institutions.
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My mother-in-law's daughter died in September. When we were in the process of moving her into our home we tried to gather any information on her banking and only came up with about two recent bank statements. The statements only revealed that she had less than $200 in funds. We never found any other bank statements. The daughter's husband just took a lot of statements and burned them. He claimed they weren't worthwhile. We will try to recapture some of the bank statements through the bank.
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You might have an issue with Medicaid due to the funds from the reverse mortgage going to the daughter - it might disqualify your mom for a long time. Get started with the Medicaid process. I'm not sure how you go about it, but I think my stepmom started with a local agency for the aging. She had me come to an interview where they gathered information. You will need five years of bank statements from you MIL. Get it started and come back here for questions - this is a great forum.
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My mother-in-law is 88. She is mobile but she had to move in with us when her daughter passed away. She could not live in her home alone. It is too large and she doesn't have sufficient funds and the daughter talked her into a Reverse Mortgage and depleted the funds. So the home will go into foreclosure. How can I find about Medicaid? My mother-in-law only has h e r social security as income. I just don't want to wait until the last minute to have her established in a nursing home.
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One great thing about Medicaid is that Medicaid will pay for your Mother-in-law's care, but it will be in a nursing home.   Yes, she will eventually need a higher level of care.   It isn't easy for a senior citizen to take care of a much older senior citizen.  Believe me I know, and my parents were still under their own roof, and me under mine. 

It is good that you are planning ahead.   So many of us where thrown into the mixer without any warning.

Here are some articles https://www.agingcare.com/articles/convincing-parent-assisted-living-142136.htm

https://www.agingcare.com/Nursing-Homes
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Go for tours at nearby nursing homes. Ask lots of questions, they will be happy to answer them.
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