Hello All--

I just joined -- and reading up on this forum has been so helpful. I've been wringer in my life, but seeing my mom's body and mind deteriorate like this has been the most stressful experience of my life.

I'm sure my story sounds familiar-- elderly mom does not want to leave home. My mom has been living in her home 46 years -- but it's now unsafe. Very unsafe.

My mom has good days and very bad days. Sometimes she's almost her old self and seemingly lucid. Other days, my brother has found her in the kitchen, in the dark, staring down at the floor -- not asleep -- but in something like a trance.

My brother and I think the isolation and loneliness is making the situation much worse. We have talked extensively in the past about moving my mom to some kind of residential community with other seniors -- but she doesn't like old people. (My mom just turned 91! She was working until 4 years ago when she was in a life-changing car accident.)

She's had a pretty significant decline over the last six months -- and she has finally admitted she might be safer in a smaller home. The stairs are steep and super dangerous for her.

If we were wealthy, I would not be writing this post. My mom has very little in the bank, but she owns a house in Cherry Hill, NJ -- we are about to put it on the market - and if it sells, we would be lucky to get $350,000. But there are some heavy debts to pay -- and I'm looking at something more like $250,000, all said and done.

My brother and I are making plans to see an elder attorney to do the pooled income trust thing --

Sorry to take so long to get to the main question: I am hearing mixed things regarding NY and NJ. I was under the impression that the Medicaid look back was impossible to circumvent in NJ -- and was limiting my search to NY. Then, yesterday, I spoke to a man who runs a service helping people find AL for families and told me the opposite -- that NJ was better. That someone could be private pay for a year in a place, money runs out, and then full Medicaid steps in.

We are looking for a forever place for mom. And we are seeking a one-bedroom apt., not a tiny room.

My brother lives in South Jersey, I live in Brooklyn. We had been hoping to keep her in NJ, because that is what she prefers, but if I could find a place close to me (NYC or somewhere along Metro North) that could work.

Does anyone out there know about NY versus NJ -- and/or have any places they would recommend?

Lastly, we are Jewish. Not super religious or kosher, but, very culturally identified. And communities / AL that have a decent sized Jewish population would be the ideal.

Thank you so much for reading this long post!


Hi, As you can tell, I'm in Brooklyn also!

Think about finding out who mom's local Area Agency on Aging is. Call them and ask for a "needs assessment". One of you should be there, since mom won't open the door to folks trying to help.

You need an unbiased, professional opinion about what mom's needs are. She may not be able to handle living in a one bedroom apartment with access to a stove. But you can't possibly know that.

Does she have a diagnosis of dementia? Dementia is progressive and is only going to get worse, so plan for that. Mom needs a place where she can stay on the same campus as she declines.

Yes, to Segoline's point, "Senior Advisors" like A Place for Mom get a commission, paid for by the placement, not directly by you.

How would mom qualify for Medicaid in NY? She's not a resident. Medicaid is a State run program.

We had a choice between placing my mom in NY and Connecticut (this was private pay) and were told that regulations in NY are much stricter, i.e., at least at the time, if a patient needed a two person assist, they could only be in a NH, not AL in NY, whereas in Connecticut, the regs allowed for that level of care to happen in an AL or Memory Care.

Do you have POA for finances and health care?

In most places, you can get your mother into a "nicer" facility if she can private pay her way for a year or two. Is that what you are planning? Why are you doing a pooled income trust now, before Medicaid is involved?

Welcome! and (((((((hugs)))))))

Also, this link:

And this:
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

First of all, welcome.

Get the house appraised. Medicaid is a stickler for selling at Fair Market Value.

Is there a Jewish senior services org who can make some recommendations?

New Jersey has filial responsibility laws. New York does not. To date Pennsylvania is the only state to aggressively pursue.

Each state is different in what they offer in terms of types of living choices. If you know you will eventually need Medicaid, make sure your choice accepts Medicaid. Some require private pay for a certain amount of time.

Beware of placement agencies. They receive a commission.

You might have to go outside of NYC. Having read the Times a bit, lots of stories about care facilities being sold for real estate development.

More people will chime in.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Segoline

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter