Helping my dad with Parkinson’s in assisted living. Any suggestions?

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My dad remarried in later life and his Parkinson’s has progressed to the stage where we all agreed assisted living was needed 6 months ago. Cognitively, he has good days and bad. Unfortunately he only has so much money and within 6 months, all of his money will be gone in order to pay for the assisted living facility. The family would then like him to get on Medicaid to pay for the facility. But his wife doesn’t seem to understand how this will affect their joint finances. Ever since he’s moved in, she has seemed to become more detached from the situation. Now she is suggesting one or more of his sons should try and obtain guardianship over him. The family can’t afford to pay for this facility when his money runs out, and he seems happy living there. We are confused about how to move forward with Medicaid (which the facility will take) when his wife doesn’t seem to understand how such an application will also affect her. Any suggestions about how to proceed would be most appreciated.... thank you.

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Just his money will be gone, so it makes sense that he could apply sooner rather than later (he's already under $90k left). I don't think she understands that if he applies for Medicaid, they are going to look at her assets too (she has more significant assets in retirement funds and what-not), as they are joint assets in their marriage (no matter what she believes otherwise).
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You say "all of his money will be gone" within 6 months. Does that mean all the assets in his name, or does it include all of their assets -- his, hers, and theirs? Does his wife have assets in her own name? Does she have income?

It would be a shame if he spends down more than he has to before going on Medicaid. Medicaid will not insist that he spend everything -- there is an exemption when there is a spouse. And not all of his income will necessarily go to the nursing home, depending on their situation. Some could go to supporting his wife. In Massachusetts, for example, "If you are a married person and one spouse will still be living in the community, the asset limit is $111,000." That means Medicaid will kick in when there is only $111,000 in cash, savings accounts, and other assets the two own.

Please start this ball rolling as soon as possible, so Medicaid can begin as soon as possible. (This assumes that Dad qualifies medically and by income.)
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Talk to your county department of aging . They should be able to clarify how Medicaid works in your state. You can also do a computer search for your state on medicaid rules for the community spouse (your Dad's wife). It should give some clarity to the situation.
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Perhaps the administrator of the facility can help if you can arrange a meeting with step-mom present.
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