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My mother has dementia and had to move in with me. She is still able to make decisions about her finances. I take a portion of her ss for household expenses. I documented how much more it costs her being here. Is this ok to do like for instance more groceries eating out etc.?

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My Mom still had her house. Her bank statement showed all the bills that were paid. Medicaid goes back five years with statements. Mon received a small pension ($200) a month. I used this for anything she needed, Depends, toiletries, buying soup for her, clothing and her medications. I kept receipts for each month with the total of $200 on the outside of the envelope. If there was money left over, I rolled it to the next month. After going thru all this, I realized I could have used the checkbook summary booklet. Already has the debit and credits. (I don't do spreadsheets) Medicaid didn't ask for the info but I have it in case. Also, nice to have if a family member questions you.
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GOBSMACKED MEANS WHENEVER YOU WOULD HIT YOURSELF IN FOREHEAD BECAUSE WHAT IS BEING SAID IS SOOOOO SSSTTTUUUUPPPPIIIIDDD

In my country we know what it means - when you see someone SMACK themselves in the head because something was said that was so idiotic [you know you have seen this many times] either by themselves or by someone else then that's GOBSMACKED -

I won't even go where you guys jump over hoops over the way your health care is mismanaged - you all say 'may', 'what if', 'if', etc without anyone really knowing what the rules are - GET THEM IN WRITING & DON'T GUESS - why can't there be clear rules? -

I can't even comment further because there isn't anyone who knows the real regulations nor will anyone check this & get it in writing - not going to where you live any time soon & I'm not alone
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Yes; literally, "smacked in the mouth." The expression, which is very mildly vulgar (you wouldn't say it to your great-grandmother), invites a visualisation of dumbfounded surprise. Such as one might feel if one politely asked a waiter for a spoon and was told "get it yerself" or returned to one's correctly parked car to find a handwritten note under the wiper blade that read "how did an a***hole as big as you get into a space as small as this?" - which also makes one blush to the roots of one's hair, I can tell you.

I never did work out what had so offended the note-leaver.
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Gobsmacked= astonished, astounded

You can gift without tax consequences up to a certain amount, but you can NOT gift without consequences from Medicaid. Medicaid will look at all financials for the past 5 years and may count even $50 gifts to kids or grandkids against the person. If your parent can pay for 6 years, and during the last 5, not give any money "away" from Medicaid's standpoint, that is a good situation to be in.
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What does "gobsmacked" mean?
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moecam: Oh, yea, I am definitely not gobsmacked.
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There is a financial look back for medicaid - typically 5 years but check for your particular state, In general, for that period of time, mom's finances have to be accounted for, and to prevent penalties, to be used only for her care. Thus, while it is legitimate for her to be contributing to her expenses while in your home, it is necessary, for the purposes of medicaid, to document that. They will want proof. It might be wise for you to meet with an elder attorney (at mom's expense) who is familiar with medicaid to understand all the issues and see that they are covered. It is important to have a good accounting of expenses, receipts for expenditures, and reimbursements etc. I believe that Mom is allowed to gift a certain amount a year without penalty. As her caregiver, you could have a contract drawn up by the lawyer for payment to you for the care you give. This may be the furthest thing from your mind and many of us care give for free, but it is a legitimate expense.

The important thing is to be well informed, so there will be no nasty surprises in the future should mom need medicaid. Good luck.
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She has enough money to pay for about 6 years in nursing home so how would this affect Medicaid if she needed help after that
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If she is still mentally competent, and capable of making her own disshion I don't see a problem as long as she agreed to that's what the money is for. If you're feeling bad about taking the money because she's your mother, your not taking anything she's paying for her needs .
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LL - we don't have such a system in my country - but surely if cheques are made out as 'RENT' or 'ROOM AND BOARD' then this should be okay - otherwise did she just reappear from place unknown that has free room & board? - it should be any extra expense should be paid by the one getting the help - this should include a 'senior sitter' for at least 2 hours a week so shopping, caretakers dr app't, going to gym or what ever is needed - you're not going to take advantage of your mom but you have needs too

FYI - I spend $2347.87 [$1760.90 US] per month for my mom in nursing home which includes private room[they provide hospital bed], food, laundry, nursing [she's diabetic etc], housekeeping, physio & recreation - meds are extra but most are paid by government so last year I paid just under $200.00 [$150.00 US] - total for year was $21,280.80 US [tax deductable too!] excluding clothes & new wheelchairs etc

You guys gobsmack me with having to bend over backwards to not pay anything that seems justified as living expenses because you're running scared about what these people are going to okay - are there no clear guidelines? - everyone says 'but what happens if ', 'she may be denied', 'if', 'may', 'perhaps' - go find out from those who know & get all your information from official sources -

Otherwise you are impoverishing yourself supplimenting your mom & what will happen to you? - can you charge for your labour? .. probably not but ask because even 2 hours a day will add up & there is no way that's all you'll be working - otherwise the nursing home will be getting money that you deserved long ago because you were too scared to ask the right people & I bet they won't give it back when you find out what you should be entitled to all along

GET THE CORRECT INFORMATION FROM THE RIGHT PEOPLE - go in person, get the person's name, employee # & as much documentation as you can - I'd put my cell phone on audio record to be able to show who gave you what information [& DON'T TELL THEM YOU'RE DOING IT] - then if they try to change something you have proof of what you were told & when - maybe do it 2 times to be sure they are saying same thing but use different office to get a different person & if they say the same thing you will know BUT IF DIFFERENT insist on clarification
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I've been looking into this myself. Each state has its own rules where the medicaid lookback is concerned. Most states look back 5 years. In my state you can have a care contract (where you are employed and paid for taking care of the person). I haven't found the details about rent. I don't feel like it should be called rent. It's sharing living expenses. Anyway, I'll probably talk to an eldercare attorney to find out the facts for our situation. I was told there are also social service agencies and other eldercare specialists that may have answers. Good luck.
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Yes, but what happens if you can no longer attend to her health needs at home? When she has to apply for Medicaid to go into an NH? They will look at the 5 year lookback and she may be denied. IDK.
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Take a good look at utilities from before & after she moved in - all the electricity, water and heat - especially if she likes it warm - when my son moved out we were surprised how our bills went down especially as he took 20 min showers! - then the difference is what you could justify quite clearly include in rent
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As Golden23 stated, save the receipts. My mother taught me that because she went through it with her Aunt.

So when I became CareGiver with my Dad - I had 7 years of receipts and no one questioned, "where did the money go?"

"Someone" suggested to my Dad that I was stealing from him.  God Bless him, he told "someone," everything I have is hers.  She can't steal what is already hers.  :)

When he passed, everything that was left was divided equally as he had wanted.  
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Absolutely! If she was living in a nursing home, they would be taking it all but a small allowance. It costs money to support not only yourself but others and it wouldn't be fair if she didn't pay her fair share so yes, this is absolutely more fair than if a nursing home was caring for your mom. I don't even think it's fair that a nursing home takes everyone's whole checks except for a measly small allowance, that's taking advantage right there but just a portion of it going to the caregiver, that's fair, far more fair than a nursing home putting their hands in people's pockets and robbing them blind. Nursing homes are well overpaid and give not enough service especially to the poor and there should be new laws set in place to better protect nursing home residents, especially financially because it's the nursing home is ripping off the people coming there. Sadly there will come a point she will need to be in a facility because this disease tends to worsen as it progresses so prepare yourself for that. What you need to do is help her save as much as you possibly can right now and maybe even take her to arrange her funeral preneed while she still has her mind at that point she can still make some decisions. What you'll need to do is put the funeral policy in the funeral homes name and make them the owner of the policy. Getting her to make those decisions now will protect you from having to make those difficult decisions and as long as she keeps paying on her preneed policy, it'll remain active. Be prepared though to take serious precautions to keep the future nursing home from taking so much money that they can prevent her from paying on that preneed, you want to prevent this from happening now before she ever reaches the stage of needing a facility down the road. If she makes all of her arrangement decisions now, then with the funeral homes help she'll be able to pay on her policy and hopefully before the nursing home grabs all of her check. In fact it wouldn't be a bad idea to go ahead and pay off her preneed now and keep the paperwork in a safe place. That way, this will be more secure than trying to worry about the payments later. It's good that she could still make decisions, so she must be in the early stages. I strongly encourage you to go ahead and take advantage of that now while you can and don't wait for someone else to come along and make those decisions for her because it might not be what she would've wanted. I don't know what all other things you may want to put in an order, only you'll know for sure based on your current situation, but if I were you, I would have a serious talk with her about any expensive assets she may still have such as any cars, real estate and even stocks, bonds, and any other accounts you may not currently know about. Another thing is her expensive jewelry, see what she wants to do about that and anything else that may need to be dissipated elsewhere if it won't fit in your home or other storage arrangements. Have her pick out what she really wants to keep the most then see what she wants to do with the rest. Don't be surprised or even angry if she's not quite ready to let go of some stuff, some people must get to the point of being ready so you may have to use some of her money to rent out a storage unit.

I must forewarn you though as the only survivor of my dad who had Alzheimer's, be very careful not to cross the line when caring for this person, especially when it comes to the point you must completely take over all of her financial matters. Someone who turned out to be an apparent fraudster befriended my dad and ended up with his house and who knows what all ever else he had before he died. There were eight different cases on public record involving unpaid taxes and a foreclosure against the person who became dad's POA. Be very careful when the day comes you must make more and more and more decisions for your mom, especially were finances are involved and guardianship is required. Money can be very tempting, especially when someone becomes incapacitated, be very careful not to cross that very fine line. I understand you have very good intentions for your mom, but just be careful not to cross that line because you never know when you might and the right people find out and come after you and maybe even win their case. I've been studying about elder financial abuse specifically because of my own pending estate case. You may not believe this, but more times than not it turns out to be a family who ends up abusing the elder in some way or another, and one of them is financial abuse. It wasn't so in my case because I wasn't allowed to be in the picture, it was my parents decision sometime after my rescue by CPS where I became a ward of the state and aged out of the system at 21. Years passed before the entrance company contacted me and making a long story short, it wasn't until my dad died that I started finding some things out and it all started with a gut feeling that something just wasn't right about the situation. No one would listen and months later I finally found someone who would listen and actually did. I found a good lawyer through my state bar association and that's how I was able to open an estate for my dad and start an investigation into the whole entire situation. Chances are very good I'll be looking at an asset recovery later when everything wraps up and all information is gathered. All of this because suspicious activity points clearly too someone who most likely took advantage of the fact my dad first and foremost had money, lots of it and he had a house and who knows what else. It's sad he developed Alzheimer's but i'm sure good will come out of it because now I can share my own story and my own findings to help others dealing with similar issues as my own. I can also use my story to warn others do not cross that fine line that so many people end up crossing while caring for incapacitated people. I hope my story is a constant reminder for those times you may be tempted to go to far because maybe I was meant to deal with what I'm dealing with over here in order to do my part to help stop and even prevent elder abuse.

There may even be times when your mom drives you crazy but don't cross the other fine line of other types of abuse such as physical, verbal, mental, or emotional. Learn all you can about elder abuse. Learn what to look for and make yourself accountable or even have an accountability partner or two. I would highly suggest maybe even setting up video surveillance so that you can play back later in case you make a mistake. If you do, you'll see it on video and you can go back and make it right or change the behavior if you can't exactly right the wrong by apologizing to your mom if she gets to the point she no longer understands or remembers.
I wouldn't be the one doing all of the caregiving if I were you, I strongly encourage you to please get help, you need it. I would also warn you against what we often hear about, caregiver burn out. Caregiver burnout can actually lead to abuse intended or not. Just be careful, especially as your mom becomes more and more dependent on you, and hopefully you don't live in Oregon where I saw became law where it's now legal to starve and dehydrate the mentally ill. I think the people really need to fight back against this to stop it from happening and even overturn that law. Again, hopefully you don't live in Oregon, I pity those who do at the time of incapacitation. "When the law gives you the right to do wrong, there's something wrong with that right" as singer and songwriter Danny Ray had once written in one of his songs. He's a Christian artist who has visited our church multiple times over the years and his songs are definitely spot on
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Yes, it's fine. Keep good records showing how much she's paying and what it's for. Her fair share of utilities bills, household maintenance, groceries, toiletries - these are basic items that she'd expect to pay for wherever she was living, so you need have no qualms about it.

For trips out, birthday presents, personal items: you could keep a petty cash book for her and file receipts in it. Again, it's a matter of being able to show that you're managing her money safely for her - not that you're doing anything wrong, just that you need to be able to prove that you're not in case anyone wants to know.
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I did not take any money for the first couple of years after mom moved in with me, but I discovered later I should have from the beginning. But in New York state you absolutely can get reimbursed, it's called creating a rental agreement between you and your mom. Since she is living in your home, you are considered the landlord and your mom is the tenant, in a manner of speaking according to the law. Weird to look at your mom as a tenant, I know. But that is how the law looks at it. Question for you, are you also POA? Is your mom competent enough to sign the lease agreement? Basically you draw up a lease, you can find basic ones on line. The rent is X amount, that covers room and board, food, etc.
In my case I cover all her expenses now in my "rent". I am not POA, and because there was a trust involved and then I had to get mom on Medicaid, I had to get a lawyer involved. Long story, but the lawyer drew up a basic lease agreement and my brother, who is one of two POA`s signed it. That lease was sent into the pooled trust with Medicaid and they send me a check every month for rent from mom's spend down account in this trust.
I don't know what state you are in, but you can usually get a free consultation with an elder attorney and ask the question. I'm not a lawyer, but it would seem every state would look at it as a landlord/tenant situation. Please act on it soon, better to have all the right documents in place as early in the process as possible. Good luck. Take care of yourself too.
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Sure it's OK to charge mom for the portion that it costs you (room and board, so to speak). If you can keep some log of your withdrawals from her account, you will have that information available in case anyone (legal or family) would want an accounting. You have a right to be compensated, as mom would have to pay for her lodging and food anywhere else.
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If you are asking if it is OK for your mum to contribute to household expenses since she lives with you, yes it is.

It is also necessary to document the extra she costs you, and what you take from her ss in case of future need for medicaid.

Good luck. This is a hard journey..
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Fromzstore, as you asking if it is ok to ask Mom to up the portion of her Social Security for household expenses?
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