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You need to see Elder care lawyer and separate your finances.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to Southernwaver

You hire an eldercare lawyer that specializes in this type of business. It may have a cost, but well worth the expense to protect assets.

This forum can guide you with certain issues but this is best left to a professional since laws vary in each state.

Good luck with this difficult situation.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to AMZebbC

Just saw an elder care lawyer and our financial advisor this week (similar situation) and glad I did. You need professional guidance through this difficult process. Feel like I can finally breathe without having an anxiety attack. Would have had no idea how to handle this without their help. And now I can focus on my husband's recovery. Best of luck to you....
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to KLS1953

Please hire an elder care law specialist attorney near you. It won’t be free, however it will save your assets in the long run. They will usually do a consultation for free, so at least you can gain a better understanding of why you need an attorney. It may involve setting up a trust ( laws vary by state, so again, it’s imperative that you hire a local attorney who specializes in elder care.

Also, timing is important also. If you ever needed your spouse to qualify for Medicaid, Medicaid has a 5 yr look back for assets, for example you can’t “gift” assets to a loved one or friend within 5 yrs of applying for Medicaid. Medicaid will want those funds back to pay for your husbands care before Medicaid assistance will kick in. So you need to start protecting your assets now.

Again, there are many rules and they vary by state, so you see how a specialist attorney is needed to help you navigate through all this.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Donttestme

I went to an elder law atty about my husband who has PD and Lewy Body. The atty told me I should liquidate our investments and apply all the money to our mortgage, then refi to get the lowest payment possible so I could cover it with my retirement income because a nursing home would take his SS and retirement income. As it is now, I could not pay all the bills with my retirement alone. He said an annuity would not be good in our situation because we have too much monthly income. As others have said, it varies by state so seek professional advice.
Have we taken his advice? Not yet. We are thinking about selling the house as it is way too big for us. Then we could buy a condo or townhome.
the atty also said as a last resort, we could get divorced and divide the assets before he goes into a facility. I don’t think I could do that. But it is an option.
don’t try to figure it out yourself. You need professional advice.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Penguina
KPWCSC Jul 15, 2024
Penguina, My heart goes out to you. If you still haven't followed your atty's advice, you may want to consider trying to find an attorney who would give a free consultation for a second opinion before moving forward. Some of what you are saying does not make sense to me, but I am not a professional. I am concerned you may have an atty without the experience you may need.

I see from your profile you are in SC. If you can not find a highly qualified atty nearby, with a free consultation, I highly recommend a trip to Lexington: Chasity Stratton at Even if you don't use her, the website has a lot of insightful info as it applies to SC.

We consulted her and only paid once we agreed for her to provide certain services she offered... we could have walked away without hiring her at all. She is up on the latest law changes in SC. I was very impressed with her advice and felt our money was very well spent. She helped us prepare for the eventual need for VA and/or Medicaid benefits as well as probate issues which fortunately we haven't had to use any of these yet. Private message me if you would like more information.
Talk to an Elder Care Attorney. It will be an investment but well worth it.
And unless something medical happens where he needs nursing care a "nursing home" will not be the first step.
The terms for facilities would be
Independent Living. Not what you would be looking at.
Assisted Living. I strongly advise against AL for a person with dementia as the AL is not a locked facility a person can wander out.
Memory Care. For people that have cognitive issues and may wander.
Skilled Nursing. For anyone of any cognition that needs some type of medical / nursing care. (anyone needing equipment to transfer them, anyone with any "tubes" and in many places anyone on oxygen)
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Grandma1954

AshleyWay, if someone doesn't have dementia and then suddenly acts like they do, it could be a possible urinary tract infection (UTI) which can mimic dementia.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to freqflyer

Sounds like a very sudden decline... has he had a thorough medical exam? Often there are other illnesses that can cause dementia-like symptoms. When these are discounted then he should see a neurologist to confirm.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Geaton777

Unfortunately, there is a 5-year look back period for any sheltering or “gifting” of your funds prior to placing your spouse. My husband is in memory care, and I am using our life savings, paying $7,100 per month out of pocket. When there is $120k+ left, the VA will pay $2300 per month to help. Other than that, when your assets (except for your home and car) dwindle to $0, Medicaid will pay. A very unfair system where there are two spouses.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Mcquadefam
97yroldmom Jul 14, 2024
Please see a certified elder care attorney to protect your community spouse savings.
If you're asking about applying for Medicaid to assist or pay for NH, money is considered for the at-home spouse to prevent that spouse from being impoverished.
If life savings is considerable amount, you need to talk to elder atty who can explain how long you might be self pay for husband's NH care and at what point Medicaid would kick in. Lots of other things could come in to play, so seek legal council. Rules can be confusing and detailed. Atty can help you prevent costly errors and explain how it works in your state.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to my2cents

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