My mom and grandmother have been living together for a couple years in a house with both of their names on the deed. My grandmother has been slowly deteriorating in both physical and mental health for a few years which is why she moved in with her.

We actually think she may have a form of dementia but she denies having any mental/memory problems and gets very angry if we say anything about her changing.

However, lately she has been much worse. She gets very angry and paranoid about my mom. She treats my mom terrible even though she’s the one who has always been there for her and does everything for her. I hate to see my mom getting torn up from the way my grandmother is treating her.

Just recently my grandmother has threatened to check herself into a nursing home because she doesn’t trust my Mom and doesn’t want to live with her anymore.

My question is:
Since my mom and grandmother's names are on the deed to the house will Medicaid be able to force my mom to sell the house and give them my grandmother's half of the house for repayment?

My mom isn’t worried about finances, she’s just worried about her mom of course. But the thought of them forcing my mom out of her home is terrifying. Does anyone know if they can do this?

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I know "in hind sight".

There should be Medicaid Seminars where they make people aware of Medicaid rules. Since needing Medicaid may be in Gmas future, your Mother should have not put her on her deed. It would be nice if since its within the 5 year period that Medicaid won't count it. Because if it had been the other way around, Gma giving Mom half, Mom may have to relinquish her half.
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Grandma sold her house, moved into your mother's house, and your mother - in effect - gave her half of her own house so that GM could 'feel she owned something'? Well! - that was extraordinarily nice of her.

Did GM give your mother the proceeds of her house sale? Or else what happened to the money? Medicaid will certainly want to know that.

Hmm. If we are beginning to picture an elderly lady in failing health who is digging her heels in about moving from her own home, but is at last persuaded to do so on condition that she becomes a joint home owner, and your mother is so concerned about her that she just agrees without really thinking it through and clearly without taking advice...

Your mother needs professional advice about both the financial and the care aspects of this situation. I should get in touch with your local Area Agency on Aging and ask them where to start. Don't despair! - but don't let the grass grow either. This should be capable of being sorted out but the longer you leave it the more complicated it will get, and the harder GM will become to manage, and the greater the stress on your mother.

Does your mother currently have any outside help or support?
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A consult with a lawyer is a good idea.

Did Mom move in with Gma and thats when Gma put Mom on the deed. If so, this could be a problem since Gma did this within the five year look back. Medicaid may look at the house as Gmas. There r compensations for people who move in as caregivers that a lawyer could help with.

In my opinion

If Medicaid excepts that Mom is co-owner, upon Gmas death a lean will be put on her 50% of the house. This will have to be satisfied at time the house is sold for Market Value. Your Mom can probably live in the house, just the lean will have to be satisfied when/if she sells. Or she can just pay the lean and have the house free and clear. She will be expected to pay all utilities, taxes and upkeep.

Again, a lawyer is a good idea.
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Mismalo Oct 11, 2018
GM sold her house and moved into my moms house. Looking back, they shouldn’t have put her name on the deed but we weren’t thinking about anything like this happening. And she wanted her name on it because she wanted to feel like she owned something.
This doesn't quite add up. If your mother is not worried about finances, why is the thought of her being forced out of her home [by Medicaid's future claim on half of the property] terrifying?

I agree that it would be sensible to get professional advice on how best to approach the whole situation, and I agree that if your grandmother recognises that her care needs would be better met in a Nursing Home your mother would be well advised to support that.

It is quite unusual to hear of a lady who both refuses to discuss her mental state and, but, at the same time is expressing a wish to move into a facility. Do you think it could be that your grandmother doesn't want to admit to her daughter or to you that there is anything wrong with her, but secretly knows that there is?
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jeannegibbs Oct 11, 2018
My Aunt Ethel checked herself into the community health center -- the same one she worked at for many years. At first she said it would only be for the winter because she had a hard time with chores like shoveling, but once there she stayed there for the rest of her life (which was until she was 100.) She recognized she needed help, and did not want to rely so much on her children. Hooray for her, right? But I'm not at all sure she would have been willing to discuss her mental health. So while the situation is quite unusual, I firmly accept that it can happen.
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Mom really needs to consult an attorney who specializes in Elder Law. Paying for experienced advice now can save lots of grief down the road.

GM is allowed to own a house and still qualify for Medicaid, so there will be no immediate consequences. She will not have any money to pay her share of the insurance, property taxes, household maintenance, etc. Can Mom continue living there under those circumstances?

The biggest issue will arise when GM dies. Generally the state expects to be reimbursed from GM's assets, which is usually only a house. Spouses are allowed to continue living in the house. I don't know about the situation you describe.

It sounds like it is in GM's best interest to move to a nursing home or perhaps a memory care facility. Consulting an Elder Law Attorney now can prepare your mother for what to expect, and to protect her interests as far as possible under applicable laws.

Please try to reassure your mother that the paranoia of dementia is behind her mother's behavior towards her. GM hasn't really stopped loving her. It is her brain that is broken, not her heart!
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JoAnn29 Oct 11, 2018
I like that last sentence
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Your mom should talk with an elder law attorney. If there is any way your mom can take your grandmother up on her offer to move into the NH, she should GO for it before she changes her mind! So many people have trouble convincing their loved ones to get facility care, even when it becomes too much to handle with keeping them at home.

An attorney would be able to advise your mom on Medicaid rules and requirements and if there is any way that your mom can continue living in the house if your grandmother were to go to a NH.
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