My Mom cannot afford assisted living. What do I do?

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I have come to the end of my rope and my mother refuses my help (I am living with her). She is not in bad enough health to go to a home but is short about $1000 a month for assisted living. I am so stuck. She has been throwing fits for days and I'm afraid if I go to work she will surely go down hill.

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3930 helpful answers
Both wonderful suggestions from caregivers who know.
Thanks everyone,
Get senior social services involved immediately. They'll have many good ideas and can possibly place her. I certainly couldn't take care of my mom if I worked. And I'd NEVER quit a job to care for her. I'm an only, by the way. Love my mom to pieces. But I would not sacrifice my life for her. And she wouldn't want me to.

Chicago is a very expensive area to live. There's an assisted living facility 8 miles from me that starts at about $1,500 a month for 3 meals. Maybe you need to start making calls. The average Social Security check is $1200. If she has savings, she can make up the difference.
Look to see if there are "board & care" homes in your area. They cost significantly less than AL. It is small scale congregate living within a home and can work for those who just are too OK for AL but need more of a system than IL would do. Most are about 6 - 10 residents with 2 -3 staff.

Also google your state's Medicaid program to see if there are any Medicaid diversion programs that will pay for AL. Now finding an AL who will take her will be the harder part in all this as most will have just a couple of beds that are diversion and they get filled from a waiting list based on current private pay residents.
This site is for all caregivers to find answers, seek support from one another. We all comment based on our life, our experiences, what worked for us, what did not. If we were to only comment on what would apply to what would really work for the questing poster's seeking advice, no one would be commenting. Because we Don't Know what would be the real solution. Instead, we post what worked for us. Then it's the questing poster's decision to decide if these advices fit with their situation. If it doesn't, they check the next person and the next.

Just because a person has burned out does not give them the right to accuse or attack other posters' comments. When I found this site about 2 years ago, I was passed burned out from caregiving 2 bedridden parents, clinging to my full time job because I'm not independently wealthy nor were we poor enough to qualify for the federal government's program (for housing, foodstamps, etc..) I had 7 siblings and no one stepped up when dad had his stroke and became bedridden. It was just me and my 2 bedridden parents. Mom was basically a vegetative state on oxygen, stomach tube and trache (constant suctioning every 10 minutes day/night or else she literally chokes to near death if not suctioned in time).

When I found this site, my therapist said that I was close to dying from exhaustion. I was very bitter, angry, resentful, hated my siblings, my parents, God, myself and the whole world. I already decided that I was going to kill myself as the only means to get away from caregiving.

But not once, have I ever attacked anyone here on this site. Yes, I attacked verbally against my siblings, my dad. But not to the strangers here. My bitterness/anger has nothing to do with them. Why should I attack them? So, just because one is burned out and bitter does not give them the right to criticize posters' comments if they are trying to be helpful. If you don't like it, skip it. If you think they are being hurtful, you report it. What I did was vent here all over the different threads my anger and bitterness against my family. I kept venting until I got most of it out of my system. You see, I kept it all inside of me. I'm just so glad that at the time I was venting, no one criticized me like I've been seeing all over this site. There are soooo many bitter angry people here. No thread seems to be safe anymore.

Most important of all, I just keep worrying about the newcomers. They come here seeking for help and I don't want them to be scared off by all the aggressiveness on this site. Sigh....
I contacted DADS and they put her on a waiting list for assisted living that is state funded or supplemented.
Well, Destroyed, my mom is dying in the other room. All the money in the world is not going to stop that. But the family who sits with me as I sit with her? Those who hug me tight and tell me I'm doing the right thing? Priceless. The man in my life who runs my errands and becomes six extra pair of hands when I need them? Who sheds the same tears I'm shedding? Money can't buy that either.

Our government doesn't float old people away on icebergs. If someone is destitute? They will get the very same care my mom would get in the nursing home that will charge her $9,000/month because she has it. I know this because shirt-tail family has an aunt in that very same facility. She was Medicaid from Day #1. Has been in that facility for six years. She is 101 years old. They can't say enough good things about Lexington. And, since mom rehabbed there for two months? I can't say enough good things either.

When family surrenders . . . when they say, "I can't manage anymore," there is help galore out there...AFTER that person has spent their own money. Families want to "save the home" -- "save their inheritance" -- have a low-cost place to live while they're "care-taking" their loved one -- who don't EVER want to see them spend what they've saved all their lives to accumulate?

Those people are their own worst enemies. Money is NOT the problem. Trying to hang ON to it is the problem.
Sorry, I'm not pickin' up what you're puttin' down.

My "family" is my cousin. She comes over once a week and calls every day. My friends? They Facebook me for updates. One, busy earning a living and caring for her own disabled son, and once a month for 3 hours, we get together for dinner with two other of my friends. I never see them otherwise. Those people, and Tom, my partner for 14 years give me my hugs and support. Not exactly a long line. But enough.

You want to throw stones. Okay, I'll play catch with you.

Why are you spending your life savings caring for your parent? Just what kind of care does this parent need that comes out of your pocket? Medicare and a supplement pays for every single thing for my mom. She did work, though. So her Social Security check is the national average of about $1200 a month. After her Medicare and supplement premiums, she has $750 left -- includes a Part D drug program, too. She pays for nothing. Until a year ago when she moved in with me, she got the best medical care on the planet from Loyola University Hospital. Didn't cost her a dime,

What's it costing you? What have you spent your life savings paying for? Why are you different?

And lastly, a repeat of the post you were responding to:

"Our government doesn't float old people away on icebergs. If someone is destitute? They will get the very same care my mom would get in the nursing home that will charge her $9,000/month because she has it. I know this because shirt-tail family has an aunt in that very same facility. She was Medicaid from Day #1. Has been in that facility for six years. She is 101 years old. They can't say enough good things about Lexington. And, since mom rehabbed there for two months? I can't say enough good things either."

Now. If you expect to stay home from work, have your mom pay for the roof over both of your heads and the food you eat in exchange for your care-giving? Then I understand the problem. And it's not the system.

I refuse to believe your state has snake-pit nursing homes. What state? I'll do some homework, 'cause I'm betting you haven't. My money's on you don't want mom in a nursing home because you lose your place to live.

If the care you've witnessed isn't stellar? Well, it's not going to be stellar. That's where you, as her advocate, come in.

And speaking of helping others...where's your OWN contribution beyond attacking those who offer well-meaning suggestions?

I live a blessed life. But the resources I mentioned, Meals on Wheels, a cleaning lady to come in twice a month for $28, a snow shoveller for $15 or $20 a time, a $1000 stipend for companion care . . . those are available to anyone, means or not. Senior apartments available for around $800/month in terrific neighborhoods. Walk to everything. Many MORE services available that mom doesn't get because of her assets. You've got them, too. Give me your state and maybe I'll have a look for them.
I would look to see if there is any subsidized housing for seniors in your area. This would be cheaper since they go by your income. I was going to do this with my mother because she is on a very limited income, but she needed a lot of help that they didn't offer so she is in an AL. It is very expensive but they do take care of her well. However she only has enough money for 2 years there. If your mother is pretty independent than she would probably do okay in a small efficiency or apartment, and you could hire someone to come in a couple times a week to help cook, do laundry, housekeeping whatever. It would be a lot cheaper than an AL.
In home care would be your next option. It is expensive. The cheapest I was able to find was $12 and hour. Depending on how many hours a day you would need someone. If you live with her then you need a break even if it is work. Find someone to come in for those hours you are at work. Do NOT deprived yourself of your life then you too will go down hill, then you will need someone to take care of both of you. Not sure which state you live in, but some states are starting to pay for assisted living or at least some of it. My state hasn't yet, but I am working on getting this done. Even if someone came in for a few hours each day to make sure she had breakfast and lunch and some company. Good luck and best wishes.
Destroyed, read your OWN posts: You've offered not one iota of advice to the opening poster, only stopped by to tell us all what a ****** job we're doing trying to help her.

I don't know your back story. Haven't been around long enough.

I can't even imagine why you sign on except to disrupt the forum and take your anger out on a bunch of OTHER caregivers who're doing the best they can with what they have or don't have. Such is not the case with you.

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