If mom goes into assisted living, will she lose her home and the money she has in savings? How do I protect her house and savings?



I agree with Frequent Flyer on this one. My Mom went to a Memory Care unit in Sept. of last year & it was self pay. Then she fell at my house on Thanksgiving & broke her ankle so she had to go to the skilled nursing care/rehab facility. Medicare paid for 101 days & now she is on self pay there. We thought that she would be able to go back to the Memory Care Unit after rehab, so she was paying for that also. Unfortunately her dementia got worse & she couldn't go back to Memory Care. I am working with an Elder Care lawyer now because I am not sure how much longer her assets will last. It's really complicated & we're going to start on her Medicaid application sooner rather than later. I think I can understand your reasoning here; my mom worked 2 jobs all her life & her deceased husband made sure he took care of her, but it's really sad that all of those assets have to go for her care, when, if she were in better health, she could be enjoying herself.
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Reply to coralmae

Yes, elder law attorney is appropriate here. But keep in mind that there are two types: NAELA and CELA.

NAELA stands for National Assn of Elder Law Attorneys and it is just an association of lawyers who practice elder law.

CELA stands for certified elder law attorney. CELA folks received more training and are therefore more expensive.

When you call an attorney, ask them if they are a NAELA or CELA. They are obligated to tell you.
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Reply to Worriedspouse

her savings SHOULD be used for her care. Once they are gone, Medicaid will take over, but she is not entitled to keep her savings preserved.
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Reply to Karsten

I think many people get confused about what the community spouse can keep in order to survive while their mate needs to be in a nursing home.
if the nursing home resident is single then all the assets can be exhausted before Medicaid can kick in. If the house is not sold them Medicaid will place a lein on it and at the death of the owner they will claim their money which usually means the house will have to be sold.
Difficult for relatives to understand if they were expecting a nice inheritance. It is only fair that if there is money available the public should not be expected to care for an inpatient if there is money available. If a relative has been living in the house caring for the elder for a certain period of time they are usually allowed to remain till they either move out or die.
A consultation with a eldercare lawyer its absolutely essential.
When their is a significant estate involved it is essential to plan early in life because medicaid currently has a five year look back and there are rumors that it could be extended.
Long term care is not the only answer. Assuming you are now 45 and will need care at 72 count up the cost of the monthly premiums and consider what they money could be worth if left untouched and carefully invested by the time the owner is 72 yrs old. it might turn out that you can fund your own long term care and if you don't need that you will have the use of those savings. That money would be totally lost if you never needed to use that policy.
It is important to know how long that policy will support an elder. Some may only fund 4 yrs of long term care.
As a previous long term care assessor i know that the insurance companies are very strict in their assesments. It may appear to be a very simple interview with no Drs involved but things like the way the home is kept and the cleanliness of the applicant and the appropriateness of the clothing for the climate. There are all sorts of observation that the client will have no idea are being observed. i would often ask to use the bathroom and observe what was lying around for example depends when incontinence was denied but they smelt of pee. When a claim is made the insurers will often do all they can to at least delay payment. Pretty brochures are just that pretty brochures.
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Reply to Veronica91

Seek an elder law attorney. But if she has assets they should be used for her care. Medicaid is for the very poor to help them get necessary care, not to protect one's to leave an estate.
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Reply to anonymous439773

This is definitely a topic for an Elder Law attorney.

Residential care, whether assisted living, memory care, or nursing home, is expensive. If mom's monthly income covers the cost, WONDERFUL! HooRay! If it doesn't, she will need to start using her assets, including savings, to supplement her income to make the monthly payments. If she has enough in savings, she won't have to sell her house (although keeping it up will be costly.)

Once she has used up her savings and other assets she will need some other way to supplement her monthly income. In the US that way is typically Medicaid. Medicaid is only available when the person runs out of her own money.

Consulting an attorney who specializes in Elder Law and help you set things up to be advantageous to your mother within the law.
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Reply to jeannegibbs

Protecting her assets should have been done years ago. Keeping up her home is going to cost money. Why not sell it and use the money for her care. If she ever needs Medicaid she will be able to keep her house but none of her assets can be used to keep up the house.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Protect her house and savings from what? And, for whom?

What you're asking, when you think it through, is: how can you access an expensive, highly skilled, all-inclusive service for your mother without having to spend her money on it? And seeing as she, like everybody else, can't take it with her... Who do you expect to benefit from this money-saving exercise?

That said, there are cost-effective ways of planning care; and as FF suggests you would do best to consult a reputable attorney specialising in elders' services.
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Reply to Countrymouse

Sailtootsie, I would recommend you and Mom visit with an "Elder Law Attorney" as such Attorneys know their way around the maze called Medicaid. And while there, if Mom's Power of Attorney or Will is old, time to have both items updated. And while there have the Attorney do a POA and Will for yourself.

Assisted Living is usually self-pay, once in a while there is a State that will offer Vouchers to help pay for Assisted Living. Now, if Mom goes into a skilled Nursing Home using Medicaid, then this gets complicated regarding her house and assets.
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Reply to freqflyer