How do you find a place for your mother who has dementia and has no assets at all?

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Even with Aid and Attendance (if she gets that) will not be enough to cover some of these places and we just don't have the money to help out. My parents never planned for their future so now it all falls on me.

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This doesn't apply to original question but does follow the thread about a pitch for the sale of financial instruments....look into Long Term Care Insurance, LTCI. There is an excellent booklet called A Shopper's Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance put out by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. It clearly defined terms, explains the long term care coverage provided by Medicare, how to compare policies, how to determine if you even should consider purchasing this type of insurance, and who is not likely to qualify medically for the insurance. The NAIC is an association of state government officials. By the way, for the federal employees and annuitants, order a LTC package of info from OPM. I looked mine over and realized that relatives such as a spouse and adult children could also qualify for their own policy. Also something to think about, if someone could qualify for LTCI medically but might need help to cover the high premiums, would the adult children kick in for the insurance payments? Might be a great way to insure that the need to provide care won't derail their own career and finan cial future down the road when an elderly parent does need care.
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It's always good to talk to a elder care lawyer when dancing with these questions. There are people with plenty of money that think they can get free government assistance but it doesn't work that way. A spenddown is required but certain restrictions apply (and your records can be checked). If it is appropriate for a person to remain at home then spending money on home help/products/whatever for the best possible "quality of life" is what I would suggest. Once a person is spent down (usually to a $2000 asset limit) they can apply for Medicaid- however at that point they have little money/control over what happens next. "Spending money" is a hard concept for many seniors that have saved all their lives- but if that is required for them to remain safe, at home, and have "quality of life" as long as possible then "spending money" would be in their best interest vs. seeing everything disappear quickly with out of pocket nursing home costs and then applying for Medicaid assistance.
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If your mom has extra money in the bank, she will need to spend it down before qualifying for Medicaid. You can still get her into a facility, but she will need to use the extra money to pay for her care until it's gone. This is sad but true, but this is how it is
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Thank you igloo. Very interesting. Do you know if an irrevocable trust is considered by Medicaid for assets?
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Igloo572 --

Your explanation about annuities is thorough and enlightening.
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Señorita - IL is independent living...like they live in an smallish apt that is within campus that provides for some meals at the cafeteria and activities and daily check-in. My mom was in IL in a tiered facility...there was IL, AL & NH and a hospice wing all on the same campus. IL is always private pay; AL is usually private pay and some states do Medicaid waivers for AL. Often tiered facilities are CCRC - continuing care retirement communities & these usually have a "buy-in". The buy-in types are expensive 200-300k. My aunt - who I was executor for - moved into a CCRC less than 2ms before she died & the contract was totally written for the benefit of the CCRC. Personally I'd bet that a lot of the older & establshed CCrCs are going to have problems providing the things in the contracts in the near future.

There are also subsidized senior apts. but those usually don't have daily cafeteria type hot meals and activities. My late MIL was in one.

About the "dinner" card.....well those are more than likely from a "senior financial advisor" who probably is an agent with an insurance license who is selling annuities. They might be called all sorts of things at the seminar but are annuities. Annuities usually pay pretty significant commission structure for the agent for the life of the policy which could be locked in past whatever is actuarial tables for your age. Personally I find most annuities to be a pox on the scared & gullible financially unsophisticated elderly.

Annuities by & large are never Medicaid compliant, so if you need to get Medicaid to pay for NH, you are going to have to surrender the policy and it will be very VERY very costly. If you go to the dinner ask what the commission is in real number $; ask if it can be written to be Medicaid (Medicaid not Medicare) compliant without penalty; and what the surrender value & charges & fees will be at 5 years, 10 years, etc.; ask what $/% of early withdrawal can be done & what the penalty & fees are for doing this. Ask if they hold a Series 7 license. Ask for their insurance licenses registration with your state and for what types of insurance product - sometimes the ones doing the dinner are not a license agent but a salesperson working for an agent. Ask for the name & contact info of the compliance officer (for consumer or policy holder issues) for them & or their district. If they give you hard looks, tell them a fib...that your nephew is an investigator with DOT (US dept of treasury) or IRS and he told you, his beloved Auntie, that these were important things to ask about. Usually the more high end the restaurant, the more affluent the audience pitched to. if you go -hey its a free meal & outing! - and they start uncomfortably pressing on you...tell them all your $ is in an irrevocable trust with the catholic church as the beneficiary of the trust, that will stop them in their tracks.
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Senorita --

I suggest that if you attend the seminar, listen carefully, take notes, and don't sign anything. If it sounds too good to be true, that may be the case. If you can, bring a friend with you so the two of you can discuss the information that is presented. I feel uneasy about their statements, "you don't have to spend down your money" and "receive benefits even if you have significant assets". I have been the sole caregiver of my late mother and my late husband, and don't regret having spent on consulting legal professionals.
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Igloo572 what is IL? Also, I received a card in the mail about attending a seminar about paying for NH and it said things like "you don't have to spend down your money" and "receive benefits even if you have significant assets". Anyone know about that? This is in California.
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Someone else mentioned exactly what I was thinking:

Get your mom on Medicaid. Medicaid is a needs-based program that covers people who have no money or assets
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This is just from my experience; I'm not a financial expert. When my husband became ill, but still knew what he was signing, we changed from joint checking to individual accounts. Medicaid took both incomes into account, but the separate accounts made things easier to work out.
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