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Ok, I just have to admit this. I’ve finally been able to admit it to myself. I’m not going to be able to continue being my mom’s caregiver. If I continue I will not survive it. Which would leave my husband, kids & grandkids without me. I have several health issues, some quite serious, and one especially can lead to sudden death. With 3 of my serious issues stress, anything strenuous really compound these issues. I’m really struggling. My mom nor my family can afford to place her somewhere. We can’t afford in home health. She won’t qualify for Medicaid for about 18 months. What can I do???

We are dealing with the same issue. It’s affecting my health tremendously. We finally broke down and hired an elder care attorney. The money paid has been worth it. We finally have someone helping us navigate the complicated Medicaid process. I’m sorry you are struggling.
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Momsonlychild Oct 29, 2020
I’m just beginning the process. I’ve been wondering if I, too should hire an attorney. So you feel it’s the thing to do?
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Momsonly, consider contacting Gabriel Heiser, one of the experts on this site. It seems to me that I recall that there are sometimes compassionate exceptions made in Medicaid denials.

Mr. Heiser would know about this.
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Momsonlychild Oct 29, 2020
Thank you so much for being helpful!
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Hugs. I get where you are. The Medicaid thing is really the sticking point, right?

Would it be worth your time to contact a local political figure, to seek help for getting her Medicaid status reviewed? Would that sort of advocacy help you to feel a little more stable when addressing your own welfare?

We haven’t done a Medicaid situation for many years (I appear to have been designated my family’s caregiver-for life, I sometimes think), but the last time we did, there was “some” leeway between “no Medicaid” and “partial Medicaid” status, and my husband and I were able to negotiate an arrangement that provided for my MIL’s care but didn’t require the sale of the property.

Would it be of help if you could find a way to reduce the 18 months, or change the qualifying terms in some other way? I have no answer to this, but perhaps you could seek out someone savvy to give you some other thoughts?

Your situation CLEARLY represents a significant hardship to at least you and your mother. If you’ve attempted EVERY LITTLE POSSIBILITY, BLESS YOU, and please forgive me for suggesting the obvious, if it seems too obvious for you to benefit from.

I suspect that this may happen to more victims than just you, and it sure does represent a flaw in the way the system works.

Hoping and praying that you come up with something that will be able to pull you and your mom out of this logistical swamp.......
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ExhaustedPiper Oct 28, 2020
I agree Ann, the system is flawed. For example, a "nice" facility can charge 5-8 grand a month rent for a 1 bedroom mini-apartment, granted, it comes with meals, and other assistance. But look at someone like the OP, why doesn't the GOV aka Medicaid give HER an allowance for giving her mother what a top notch facility would do and then some, for years now? IMO family or not, there should be something in place for "caregiver credits" on this look back stuff. Even with no official contract in place it doesn't take a genius to figure out somebody was doing the work!

I feel for the OP.

MomsOnly, if you are still reading, have you considered consulting with another attorney, one that specializes in Medicaid issues? I really hope you can because it's possible something can be worked out, even though the second one apparently said nothing could be done. A new attorney might even find a flaw in the old attorneys work that would help. I don't know, but the only way to find out is to get another opinion with a Medicaid specialist .

In the meantime, you MUST step back for your health. I hope the home health you applied for comes through soon. I hope you continue to come here for support. Even venting can lighten the load. Also, tell your mom that you are wearing so thin that your health is affected. Tell her YOU need help, maybe that will motivate her to do a little more for herself?

Also, can I ask-- where is your dad in all of this? I know they had a nasty divorce, but you are still his child, and YOU need help.
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Adjusting to life in a condo after being in a house must be hard. Is that what the storage bill is? The rest of your furniture & belongings? Or Mom's things?

Does Mom need 24/7 care? Or daytime supervision? Would a daycare program be sufficient?
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Momsonlychild Oct 29, 2020
I didn’t have a hard time adjusting really. With my husband being a veteran I’m used to living in base housing. I’ve always said my home is wherever he is. Storage is limited in our condo and Mom’s so we do have things in storage, mainly my piano I’ve had for 46 years. Mom does require 24/7 and there’s never a break from it, but my health just can’t sustain it anymore. Every solution comes down to lack of funds.
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I feel bad for your mother because she is now vulnerable in the sense that she gave you her condo from her divorce and now she’s the one who pays rent for her own apartment. That’s not fair to her.
I don’t think you should bail on her now.

The reason why she doesn’t have the funds to pay for her own long term needs is because she gifted you her already paid for condo? I’m trying to understand.

If so I feel you are responsible to care for her until the 5 year look back is over.
I also don’t understand why you and your husband won’t get a mortgage & buy it from mom thus she’ll have enough money to pay for LTC.

You’ve benefited greatly from your mother’s unselfishness. Now she needs you to be unselfish as well as her situation has changed.

So in my opinion you either buy or sell your mother’s condo (that you are living in) and use the money for her care or you care for her yourself until she becomes eligible for Medicare at 65. Does mom have health insurance now? Who is paying for this?

Medicare does not pay for long term care. If you are steering her into Medicaid she’ll have to spend down her assets to qualify and will then be placed in a Medicaid LTC center.

If not for your mother, you & your hubby would be out on the street. I don’t feel you should abandon your mother & throw up your hands at this point.

What do you expect to do when mom turned 65?
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mstrbill Oct 24, 2020
I think you have posted in the wrong thread or are confused and need to reread here. The Mom in this thread is 78 and already has Medicare. Even if the condo was sold, the money that would be liquidated would not last very long after being spent on care, and possibly then OP wouldn't have a place to live anyway.
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What I know about state guardianship I've learned from reading about it on this site. If explain this incorrectly, I hope someone will correct me. What I've understood is that when the state takes guardianship (or when anyone else takes guardianship, for that matter), you'll give up all control of what happens to your mother. The guardian can place her wherever the guardian thinks is best. You can supply input, but the guardian has the deciding word. Thus, the guardian could, for example, place her in a facility that's not close to you. If your mom were sick, the guardian would decide what should be done. From what you've written, these things might be difficult for you and for your mother as long she remains aware of what's happening. (It's not clear to me if she knows now, since you've said she's in the late stages of dementia.)The flip side is that you would no longer have any obligations--personal or financial--for her. You would be able to focus on your health and other needs, and on your life with your husband.
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Momsonlychild Oct 24, 2020
After reading this I know it’s something I’ll never be able to do. Thanks for sharing this with me.
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I THINK I get the living arrangements now...

I understand that if the condo is sold it won't fix the problem - as not enough to fully fund Mom's care for the 18mths, plus you would need to move, causing much stress.

It looks like the priorities have been to live close to Mom & have affordable (but separate) housing for both you & Mom.

But stuff happens. Your health has changed the situation. If Mom's living situation doesn't stretch to rent AND home care - something will have to change.

What are the priorities right now?

Could Mom share your condo (to stop paying her current rent)? Would this allow enough $ to cover her care plus some towards shared food/bills?

Or could you share Mom's condo & rent yours out for income?

Could you both stay put but rent out any spare rooms?

Many people living in expensive cities here, downsize to a regional town where housing is much less to buy & rent is a bit less. Is this an option you could take?
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Momsonlychild Oct 27, 2020
Our condo is very small, no room for mom. We can’t rent it out due to my husband works from our home due to the constant noise and interruptions here. We also can’t afford another storage facility Bill as we already have one. Even if we could do this it wouldn’t come anywhere near covering her memory care. We are at least 6K short per month. 😪
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You said earlier mom is in late stage dementia? Is she far enough into the disease that she would qualify for hospice care?
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Momsonlychild Oct 27, 2020
We’ve tried the Hospice route before but she didn’t qualify then but may now. We did have Pallative Care which was a nurse visit once a month, but we butted heads and when I requested a new nurse they dropped mom from the program.
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I am suggesting that if you rented out YOUR condo, there would be money to fund some level of in home care.
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Momsonlychild Oct 22, 2020
Yes that’s what I responded to.
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I think I understand the housing situation now.

How about renting out YOUR condo and using the proceeds to fund mom's care?

How about moving back into your condo and calling APS, telling them that your mother is a vulnerable adult living alone. Allow the State to take guardianship.

Certainly, if mother needs to go into the hospital for ANY reason, I would move back to your own condo and refuse to pick her up. Let the state take over.

I'm sorry that you were so misled by an unqualified eldercare attorney.

I understand that you are on disability, but is your husband employed? How is it that together you don't have the funds to pay for rent or a mortgage? That is not meant to be an unkind question, just trying to figure out the logistics here.
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Momsonlychild Oct 22, 2020
Thanks for your concern. Even if we rented our condo we still couldn’t come anywhere near the money needed for her care. We looked into that. Care here in Wilmington is very high, one of the highest in our state. If we sold the condo it would maybe pay for 10 months or so, then what? Then we don’t have a home we can afford. Our income was drastically cut about 7 years ago. We owned a beautiful home but had to see it before losing it. We didn’t make a dime, in fact it costs us money. But we were out of it and that’s when we started renting. Keep in mind we also help my mom with expenses such as food, medical needs, etc. I don’t even know about state guardian care but will look into it.
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I still don't understand the housing basics.

What is stopping you from selling the condo that your mother received as part of her divorce settlement and using that money to pay for support with your mother's care?
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Momsonlychild Oct 22, 2020
I live in it, it’s my home. It’s about 200 steps from my mom’s condo. If we sell it it might pay for 6/7 months of care and then I don’t have a home.
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Dear "Momsonlychild,"

When my dad passed away in 2004 at the age of 82, I told him right before he took his last breath that my husband and I would take care of my mom. She was still pretty self sufficient at 79 and hadn't been diagnosed with Alzheimer's until she was 89 in 2014. So for 10 years I went back and forth between my childhood home and our own house to help.

I too, knew I couldn't keep on like this. There was no money to have in home care of any kind, no other family in our state and she couldn't move in with us. We had a small, two-story house with both bedrooms and both bathrooms upstairs plus our dog.

She always wanted me to promise her I wouldn't put her in a nursing home - and I didn't. But, I did have to move her out of the house I grew up in since 1968 into an ALF. The only way she could afford it was by me selling her house in order to pay the monthly rent.

After surviving COVID and nearly dying of severe dehydration in April, a placement agent given to us by the discharge case manager at the rehab she went to after being in the hospital, found a facility for us. We moved her into the new facility in May in their memory care unit and she's now under hospice care. She is 95 and doing quite well which has helped me with my own health crisis when my doctor said I would either die of a massive stroke or go permanently blind from developing Temporal Arteritis at the young age of 52 back in 2015. I take a low dose of a chemotherapy drug to keep things in check. In my case, if something happened to me there really wouldn't be anyone who could take care of her. Her 5 remaining siblings all live in other states and range in age from 75 to 90.

I needed to take care of me in order to take care of her. I hope you will find a way to do the same.
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Momsonlychild Oct 22, 2020
THANK YOU!!! It seems you actually get what I’m saying. Like you I have very serious health issues. With my heart issue stress really exacerbates it and like you I could literally drop dead. There are several other issues too. I’m on disability and of course I’m thankful but the payment isn’t any where close to my previous income. For about 5.5 years I like you was constantly running back and forth all day. At this stage mom
cannot be left alone at all. So we left our home and moved in with her. We too live in a small 2 BR condo but really the 2nd BR is quite small. I’m glad you’re doing better and that your mom is settled now. Thank you again for understanding. God will find a way.
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Have you consulted an eldercare attorney about possibly undoing the poor financial decision that your mother made in gifting you the condo? That's the source of the lack of medicaid, yes?
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Momsonlychild Oct 22, 2020
Believe it or not it was an Eldercare ATTY that set this up. He didn’t put mom on the title but she has lifetime rights(not sure how that plays out).
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'I truly can't keep this up for my own health'.

That's OK. It really is.

'What options do I have?'

Your options are to tell Mom this. That you have reasons you cannot do what you were doing. That a new plan for her care will be required.

Or do you mean *what options does your Mother have?*

Unless other family members have offered free caregiving this will be to pay for the care she requires. You mentioned she cannot afford home heath care - I presume there is not a lot left after Mom pays her rent?

I would have thought she could sell her condo to pay for her care, but she has gifted it to you instead - is that correct? So no longer has funds or assets to fund her own care? It seems you are very close & share your lives & funds, so if that works for you all, continue that way.

Do you live together in the same condo or separate? If separate, could you move in together to save her rent?

If you already live together, is Mom paying the rent to you? If so, to provide her the gift of free accommodation would be a token of gratitude for the gifted condo imo.

I may have all this completely wrong, I must say I am confused by it!

No-one would wish money problems on top of health problems. If the rent/funds are the barriers here, then hopefully a local financial counselling service can help.

I wish you well.
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Momsonlychild Oct 22, 2020
Thank you. If you read further up I explained the condo issue, too lengthy to repeat. We live in mom’s condo that she has been renting since she moved here. We pay a lot of her expenses. I’m an only child and there’s no family to help. My husband is very worried about my health and finally I am too. We truly feel stuck.
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Why is she 18 months out for Medicaid? I assume she is 63-64 yrs old?? Why does your Mother need full time caregiver at this stage of her life?? It sounds like there are other family members. If she cannot live independently can she live with one of the other family members? How many "other" family members are there? Your question is loaded with can'ts but no explaination of your Mothers situation?
If you have all these health issues yourself why is your Mother even considering allowing you to care for her?
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Momsonlychild Oct 22, 2020
I’m an only child, there is no other family. Please read up to see the lengthy condo explanation. My mom is 78 years old and is in the late stage of Alzheimer’s. I don’t understand why no one can see that I don’t want to place my mom but for my health issues I need to. It’s not likely going to happen anyways I was just looking for a suggestion that I may not of thought of.
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I am so sorry you are having a difficult time. Stress is certainly one of the biggest issues with caregiving. I would suggest contacting elder services to see if they can help you. There has to be some solution. Maybe you will get some better advice from others on this site. I hope you take care of yourself and wish you the very best. Hope you find a solution for your mother. Prayers sent to you.
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Momsonlychild Oct 22, 2020
Thank you! You are always so kind. I’ve been thru Senior Services here and I’m on a waiting list to get a few hours of free in home care for mom. I’ve consulted an attorney and it seems we are going to have to wait the 18 months. I just don’t know how I’m going to make it. Hope you are doing well.
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Hi Momsonlychild, I'm sorry you are in this situation. I know it is extremely stressful. If you've reached your limit and can't do the caregiving yourself anymore and can't get help from anyone else, and your health is at risk, you are going to need to get out of this situation for you and your families' well being. Your options are to contact a state social worker (APS) and let them know you need help, or possibly get help through the local hospital if she needs to go there for any reason and then refusing to take her home. Either way, the state will likely take over the care and protection of your mom (guardianship). Realize that that may be best for all involved. I think in your case I would start by contacting social workers in your state and tell them you need help because both you and your mom's health is at risk. If the state does take over mom's care they will likely try to recover what they can for costs involved, but they are not going to leave you homeless so please don't worry about that for now, it will work itself out. Your first priority now is to protect the health of yourself and your mom.
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Momsonlychild Oct 21, 2020
Thank you so much!
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I'm incredibly confused.

The condo. Your mother gifted this to you (you and your husband, is that?) over three years ago (were you living somewhere else before?). You and she continue to live in it. She rents... what, then? To whom is she paying rent, for what?

You mention that if she were to move or to die, you and your husband would have nowhere to live. Well - so, what's the plan? Because may she live forever and everything, but this is something you are going to have to address.

If you have explored and have decided that you cannot afford either placement or in-home services, then there isn't really another option, is there: you will have to find a way to manage your mother's care needs. What are they?

I put it this simplistically not to be harsh, but because in the end there just *are* the practical facts, and they have to be looked at in the face. So. Over a 24 hour period, what work needs to be done to meet your mother's care needs, and who is available to do it?
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CTTN55 Oct 20, 2020
CM, thanks for reminding me to look at Momsonlychild's earlier posts.

But you are right -- now there are more questions.

We aren't being negative when we bring up issues here, Momsonlychild, unless it is that you really only want to vent? (That is fine, BTW, but sometimes the OP won't admit that.)

A few months ago your mother was in a steep decline. What happened? Do you really think she's going to live for another 18 months?
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Medicaid doesn't care if the condo is your home. The look back period is more than three years. A person can't just gift their assets to their heirs and then expect the state to pick up the bill for their care because they don't have any money left. You have two choices here. 1) Put her in a care facility because you cannot care for her anymore. The property will have to be sold. Lifetime use doesn't count if she goes into long term care. 2) Sell the condo she rents as an income property and pay for homecare. This is how it is. You're not going to get her care paid for while she has assets.
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Momsonlychild Oct 20, 2020
The look back period is 5 years I know this. That’s why I said we had about 18 months left. Mom doesn’t rent a condo for profit, she rents it to live in. Medicaid does care if mom has a child of any age living in the gifted condo that is disabled which I am. I’m really here for support, answers and maybe just a little kindness.
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You're right to admit that you're not able to handle being her caregiver anymore. If she's not qualifying for Medicaid for another 18 months, then use the money she has to spend down on some homecare help. Also, you can get her placement in a nursing home even if she doesn't qualify for Medicaid yet. They will take her remaining assets and then they take care of the Medicaid application. Call some nursing homes in your area and ask to speak to a social worker. Tell them what's going on. They will take her in a facility. Or, if you need to do something immediate you can do what is known as an ER dump. Bring her to the hospital and tell them you need a Social Admit because there is no one to take care of her. They will admit her to the hospital until they find nursing home placement for her.
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Maybe a social worker can help
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I'm not sure what you should do but just wanted to say good for you for admitting that you can't do this anymore. It's not easy.


Hope you can get your mom care elsewhere ASAP so you can focus on your own health.
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Momsonlychild Oct 20, 2020
Thank you for your kindness and support, I really need it at this time. I don’t need any more negativity for sure. God bless you.
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Well, if your mom won't qualify for Medicaid for 18 months, is that b/c there was a transfer of a large amount of her funds to you? If so, use those funds to pay for a care giver to come in and take care of your mom; your profile says she lives in Independent Living...so I assume she doesn't live with you...? Lots of assumptions here, I know.....but given little info, that's all anyone can do. My father transferred his portfolio over to me (the only child) back in 2014 and put it all in my name; I've been managing their finances ever since, using their money and keeping a very strict accounting of it as we go. Dad passed in 2015 but my mother is still alive and living in a Memory Care ALF. She will run out of money in 2021 and then I will apply for Medicaid; the 5 year look back expired in 2019, and I've been using their money for their care ever since the transfer in 14. Hopefully, you are in the same situation where there IS money for you to draw on for her care.

If not, I don't know why she wouldn't qualify for Medicaid for 18 months.

Is there someone else you can call upon in your family to help out? Your kids or nieces, nephews, etc? I know how hard it is to be the 'only child' and what a burden it leaves upon us. I'm thankful my husband has been very helpful with my folks, but even so, the mental and emotional burden ALL falls on me.

Sending you a hug and a prayer for a good resolution for your mother and good health for YOU!
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Momsonlychild Oct 19, 2020
Mom doesn’t live in an assisted living facility don’t know why my profile says that. My MIL lives in a Memory Care facility. I live with my mom and I’m her only caregiver 24/7. 3 years ago she gifted us a condo to which she has lifetime rights. We can’t sell it for one it’s our home, mom rents her condo and where would we go if she’s placed or passes? There’s NO MONEY for anything except her current living expenses.
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MoC, I looked through some of your previous posts.

1. Is mom on hospice?
2. Is her pain under control?
3. Why doesn't she qualify for Medicaid?
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Momsonlychild Oct 19, 2020
Her pain is better, she’s not on Hospice and can’t get Medicaid due to look back period.
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