My otherwise healthy mom is 74 with MCI. Her mom died at 92 of AD. How can we afford memory care for 20 years if necessary?

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She lives with me now but I won’t be able to care for her forever. She has about $110k in assets plus social security. I have to save for my children’s colleges and my own retirement! Thanks for the advice.

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AND very important, you do not intermingle money. Mom keeps her own accounts, does not share or co-own an account with anyone.
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Reply to gladimhere
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You find out about Medicaid. You do not use her money for anything that is not for her. If you are paid by her for her care or room and board you make sure you have written agreements in place. You document every expense of hers and she pays for it. Document, document, document!
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Reply to gladimhere
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Edithatlarge Sep 13, 2018
Thanks very much for that information . I’m new to all of this and just overwhelmed. I’ll start documenting and get an elder care attorney. Thanks again.
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Go to an elder care attorney--the law is very complicated and it varies from State to State. If you plan to put her in a nursing home, there is a five-year look back law. In addition, Medicaid has an estate recovery law--anything that goes into probate Medicaid can seize. If you plan to put her in a nursing home, all of her assets go to them. $110K will not last long--it costs about $90,000 a year to care for a single person. Quite frankly considering you will sacrifice your life for that loved one for years and years, it is not worth that $110K. You also better establish who is Power of Attorney and get a legal document drawn up by an attorney to prove it. You absolutely NEED this. Once you get Medicaid involved you will discover just how dirty the government is when it comes to money.
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Reply to cetude
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ItHappenedToMe Sep 14, 2018
"Once you get Medicaid involved you will discover just how dirty the government is when it comes to money."

That's the absolute truth.
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I'm going to get political here -- how do you make sure your mother is cared for? You, and all of us, must pay attention to what are election candidates are saying. Medicaid is there to help you, to help all of us who need it and who qualify, but it won't be if we don't vote the interests of our aging loved ones and our family members. Medicaid MUST be a top political priority for all of us with aging parents. I never thought about politics this way until my mother's dementia. Our elderly are not a priority for politicians and they must be -- we have to vote to save Medicaid!
As of today, you will be able to get Medicaid for your mother once her assets are spent. However, I would start acquiring information about MC care facilities for NOW, so you have an idea about what's available for her. Make sure the facility takes Medicaid -- that's the first question you should ask, then go and visit. There are elder care navigators (a new field of social work) that can help you through the process as well. They are helpful. It seems overwhelming, but the more you know now, the better.
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Reply to ArtMom58
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With my husband (dementia and then a couple of strokes), I also was overwhelmed, but hired a really good Michigan elder law attorney to get him on Medicaid. He spent 1-1/2 years in a nursing home. We were by no means broke, but in order to keep money for me in my own old age it was certainly worth it and cost me about $10,000, but saved me thousands and thousands. As the primary wage earner, still working, I had to divest him of everything in both of our names (my 401k, bank accounts, will, etc.). It was heartbreaking but it can be done, and you have to provide the attorney with mountains of paperwork, but it worked and it is legal. He passed away on July 9 of this year and I miss him, but am grateful every day for the actions I took.
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Reply to magpie123
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I am sure most People will agree irrespective how you plan for the future it very rarely pans out the way We intended as some thing unforeseen always seems to get in the way.
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Reply to Johnjoe
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You don't have the legal right to save your mother's money. This will be used for her care if it becomes necessary.

But, you also don't have the legal responsibility of paying for her care - she will be required to "spend-down" for the much needed Medicaid if she needs to be in a Memory or Nursing Home.

You'd better be keeping receipts and records for where her money is going.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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My husband and I retired at age 62 and lived solely on Social Security quite successfully, enjoying our retirement together for several years. Then he began to show symptoms of Alzheimer's (his mom died of it at age 79). He was at home with me for 6 years as his health deteriorated from Alzheimer's, CHF, and eventually prostate cancer. Late in 2017 our children helped me realize that I was risking my own health by trying to continue caring for their dad at home. So in October 2017 we applied for Medicaid benefits for him, and he was approved in December. Fortunately, I had already put the necessary documents in place giving me Power of Attorney, and other documents that are important. After Medicaid approval, I searched for a couple of months to find a Memory Care facility that would accept a Medicaid resident, finally finding one that is 40 miles from home. The distance makes it difficult for me to visit more often than once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions, etc. But I am so grateful for Medicaid because there is no way we could ever have afforded the cost of long-term care in a facility.
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Reply to GrammyJo
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Please consult with an elder law attorney in your state. Find out how she can become eligible for long term care with Medicaid. This is not a do it yourself project. The rules differ between states and are very specific. The penalties can be severe. In California currently, a person can transfer to a nonrevocable trust $7000 per day When the money's all been transferred, they become eligible for Medicaid. (This is how the middle class depends on Medicaid.) The money can be spent on her care, but doesn't effect her eligibility for Medicaid. Again, check with an elder law attorney.
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Reply to maryqesq1
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Addtionally you need to get a POA and a living will for her in place immediately. Medicaid is the way to go. 5 year lookback on how she spent her money, so you may need an eldercare lawyer if she created any penalties.
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Reply to JoLoBx
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