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Hello,

My mother, who is 65, has always been mentally ill. She has suffered from anxiety and OCD her whole life, and has always been irrational. But since around June, she is completely out of it -- she doesn't know what's going on, has lost her short-term memory, and is scared to be alone. Even worse, she is extraordinarily obsessive all day long. I fear for my father's health, as he storms out of the house every day out of frustration. He is 71 and I fear he will have a heart attack. To make matters even worse, she is EXTREMELY belligerent, defiant, and emotionally abusive, constantly. She refuses to admit anything is wrong with her and is driving everyone mad, tearing our family apart.

She has seen a neurologist and had MRIs, but they see nothing significant. The doctor suspects she has dementia that has made her mental illness flare up. She is impossible to live with or deal with and it is becoming increasingly apparent she will have to live in a facility (though the doctor wants to test medications first, but I don't have much faith in that route).

Now, my mother is an extremely ill and controlling woman who has a large sum of money tied up in her and my dad's names, along with a house that's paid in full. Before I pursue having her live in a mental health facility, I want to protect their assets. My question is, will the facility take everything she owns as payment? Can we prevent this by putting their assets in a trust in my and my brother's name. And finally, how on earth do we do this when it is guaranteed that she will not under any circumstances allow this, cannot be reasoned with, and will become violent if we even suggest it?

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Mom has Medicaid? Just making sure you dont mean Medicare. Big difference,as I'm sure you know.
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Back to your original question. As mom already has Medicaid I assume the look back was already done so nothing will probably change. Hopefully once they are satisfied they don't come back again as long as she does not file a tax return that shows income from investments.
I do not approve of hiding assets from Medicaid as all taxpayers end up paying the bill but that is between you and your conscience.
The main problem I think is getting her committed for long term care. It does not sound as though she will go voluntarily. This is a terrible mess at the moment but I think you will be able to get it sorted out and get Dad's sanity back.
If you can find a way when she is behaving badly and clearly presenting a danger and you can call 911 and get her transported to the ER that will be the first step.
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But to answer your other point, there is no way she would be competent enough to behave herself if taken in for several days. She can put on an act for a doctor's visit, but if she had her personal effects and medications taken away she would act like a complete lunatic and it would be very obvious how ill she is. In fact, when I went to the neurologist with her and my dad, and stayed behind to talk to the doctor privately, she was making a scene in the hallway and trying to barge in, and finally had to be relocated to another room and told to stay there. She fought with the nurses the entire time.
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Veronica, thanks for your thoughtful and helpful reply (minus the snark at the end). I appreciate it very much. My mother actually has Medicaid, and I am going to talk to a lawyer to understand what to do next, but wanted to see if anyone here had any ideas. Thanks for your condolences — my mom has actually become a danger to my dad because she is so impossible to live with and relentlessly abusive and verbally abusive and belligerent that I worry for his health. I worry that he will have a heart attack. We've taken her to neurologists but they see nothing significant, so I know this is largely a psychiatric issue. Her doctor suspects maybe it is dementia making her existing mental illness flare up to the point of being impossible. Imagine living with a raving, obsessive, belligerent lunatic all day long. That is what my dad is going through, and I feel helpless. I can't get any medical professionals to understand how dire the situation is, because she puts on a show in front of other people.

Again, thank you for your help.
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People come here for help and those present offer their best solutions. Rainmon is a frequent contributor and having been attacked by PM myself recently totally understand her aggravation.
To be honest no one actually knows the answer to your question but broadly speaking when someone enters a facility long term they have to pay for the care until their assets reach a certain level when they can apply to Medicaid.
Medicaid is administer by the individual States so details may vary, but any couple who has assets has them considered as joint including such things as houses and cars. The community spouse is the one that stays home, and is allowed to keep a certain amount of the joint funds, plus his home, a car and personal effects. You local Medicaid office can give exact details.
Unless you mother has been certified as incompetent, that is unable to control her own affairs she will have the final say in this matter. If she refuses to go no one can make her unless she is deemed to be a danger to herself and others. Even then she probably would only be detained for two days while she is evaluated. If she is still competent enough to behave herself she will be released.
Frankly i don't know what the solution to your problem is but trying to hide money from Medicaid is not one of them. They have extremely long tentacles. I am so sorry for your Dad to be having to go through this but in reality only he has his own solution.
Let me know if I have overstepped the mark and I will be happy to get on with my life. Good luck to you.
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Stop harassing me.
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Don't ya just hate anonymous, public forums? Really sucks when people disagree with you or challenge your way of thinking.

So basically, if you don't have a helpful tip on how to defraud Medicaid and the taxpayers - keep your opinion to yourself?
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If you can't provide an answer to my question, kindly exit the conversation and move on with your life.
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Not so personal if you are expecting taxpayers to foot the bill.  While you hid assets...
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Rainmom I appreciate your question but that is a personal matter and not relevant to what I'm asking. Thank you.
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I'm just curious- why do you object to your mothers care being paid for from her own assets - especially since you say she has a large sum of money ?
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Thank you so much for this enormously helpful answer!
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You and your father need to talk with a lawyer before you do anything. Medicaid has a 5 YEAR look-back period and any money/asset/property transfers that are made within that period are subject to scrutiny. If you move money/assets to you and your brother, it will trigger a Medicaid penalty equal to the transfer. Example, a facility is $200 per day; if parent transferred $20,000 in that 5 year lookback, it triggers penalty of 100 days. Medicaid will NOT pay a dime until person or family have privately paid for care for 100 days. And Medicare does not pay for custodial care in nursing homes. This is not a do-it-yourself project.  A lawyer will be able to work with your father as a community spouse if your mother needs to go to a facility, and figure out the best methods to take care of both parents. Please understand that many assisted living facilities do NOT take Medicaid, so a lawyer that is versed in both Medicaid for your state and elder law is a MUST.
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