Hello, My parents are 78 and 77 years old. They still live in their home and my father still drives. Their health is failing. My brother and I do not live in Lewis County so we are unfamiliar with any assistance that may be available to our parents. We are trying to be pro-active so that we don't have to make last minute decisions with them. I believe in the next year they will need some type of assistance. Either in an assisted living residence or nursing home. Any information you could forward me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Rebecca

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jacobsonbob, same here regarding parent's stock. It would have been a nightmare on Wall Street if I got the stock prior as my parent's stock also went back over a half a century.

I realize parents want to see their grown children and grand-childen enjoy their "inheritance" now, without realizing the financial consequences involved.
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Start by preparing a list of EVERYTHING you can think of and then go from there.
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Get in contact with caseworkers who are associated with reputable in-home care companies.
We had the assistance of a great caseworker who was referred to us by an in-home care. It was extremely last minute and then complicated by having to rush Mom to the hospital.
He was more like a real estate agent. We told him everything we were hoping to find for Mom/step-father. They have a wonderful dog more like a service dog for my Mom.
This assisted living group home did marvelous things to help with the transition. They even took in the dog!
They have a contract with a mobile Medical doctor's service.
Mobile Vet services
WI'll take residents who are ambulatory with them to the grocery, transport service for church services etc.
This assisted living group home even placed a doggie door in the patio door for the dog....yes, I have to pay for this, but Lady needed that as she is house broken
They have game day i
They live in a beautiful house, wouldn't even know from the street that it's an assisted living facility!
Cost?? It costs less than what I would have had to pay for in-home care, that would have cost me 2x more and not 24/7.
I live out of State and the manager text pics to me, calls when immediate attention is needed.....
The people who own, manage and staff are Romanian. They take care of the residents like they would their families. Their culture is one that even if you marry, generations live in the same home and the younger people take care of their elders like it was in this country like 3-4 generations past.
I always thought because of hearing things in the news, group homes were horrid. This place I don't worry. Mom's youngest brother checks in on Mom a few times a week for me.
I can sleep at night knowing these people are taking care of Mom/step-father and not for the money.
It's worth the $4400 a month!
I happen to be lucky enough that Mom, this was always a joke between me and Mom, had the smarts to invest her money so I have the funds to care for her.
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If you want someone to help guide you through the situation, to help set priorities, and to get the right assistance at the right time, please consider hiring an Aging Life Care Professional. (They are also called Geriatric Care Managers.) They can take an objective look at what is happening and devise a plan based on their needs, their choices, and their resources. A local care manager is an expert at the resources local to your parents.

You find one by doing a ZIP code search on

I recommend them frequently on this site because having one for my father was so helpful for our family. They helped us avoid problems with him, as he started to get into trouble with his dementia, while living alone.

The others' suggestions here are good, but they focus on one aspect of your parents' life. The ALCP will help you be ready from all perspectives.
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Rebecca, If your parents have more than $50,000 in net worth, that is home equity, savings, investments--they need an Estate plan prepared by an Elder Law attorney in their state. ASAP!
Google "Elder Law attorney in Indiana," or wherever they live. The attorney will help them decide what they want and need to do and prepare all the necessary paperwork.
Most will give you a free initial consultation and quote a price for what you need. It's a good idea to take a comprehensive financial statement when you go--the attorney may even provide a form for this beforehand--and take any wills, POAs, living wills, etc.

Someone mentioned long-term care insurance; but with failing health, they won't qualify, even it were worth the cost.

Their local Area Agency on Aging may be a good source of information about local assistance; but in my experience, they are more helpful for folks who have little means.

If they don't have much net worth and you think a NH stay is in their future, then they probably need to start Medicaid planning, with an Elder Care attorney's help.
Don't let them deed over their property without talking to an attorney who understands Medicaid rules.
God bless you and your brother for thinking about this! Good luck with getting the folks to go along with you!
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In addition to the good advice you’ve gotten above, your Area Agency on Aging May have a list of resources. Also check with AARP for planning checklists. You are so wise to be thinking ahead. It eases the transition for both you and your folks. Knowledge is power. Wishing you the very best.
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Research your state. Medicaid has a 5 year rule (need verification) about owning property in their names. Deed their house to someone who doesn't have property in their name (keep the homeowner exemption for tax purposes). Its not fraud, its simply protecting assets. This will put parents in their 80s so should be done sooner than later. Talk to an estates / trust attorney. I worked for a group for over 20 years. This is where I would start without knowing any further particulars.
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freqflyer Jul 2018
I agree to disagree. I would not deed the house to a grown child, this will create issues later down the road, and especially if Medicaid is needed. Quitclaim deeds are a red flag with Medicaid. Plus there may be an issue of a "gift tax" the elder may need to pay, depending on the value of the house.

Thus if it is time to sell the house, that new person on the Deed will find out that he/she may need to pay Capital Gains Tax for the IRS. Thus, the math bases for that capital gains will be way back when the elder had first bought the house. If the house is inherited, the math bases for capital gains will be what the fair market value of the house is at the time of the elder's passing.

Yes, your suggestion to speak with an estate/trust attorney [or even an Elder Law Attorney] is an excellent idea. Each State has their own laws regarding deeds, quitclaims, etc.
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Most definitely make sure they have wills, a revocable trust, they have given you or your brother durable Power of attorney and medical power of attorney. Once that’s done, you can get on their accounts to write checks, transfer funds etc.
have a frank talk with them of their care during this time of their lives. As someone suggested get them to move near you. My dad was in another state and would not move to be near one of us so we moved him into a IL apartment. He had mild cognitive issues but health wise was good. After 3 months he realized his mistake and so we moved him again to be near me. Again into IL as he didn’t need any help. Eventually after a few falls and rehab the decision was a move to AL. It really depends on your parents needs for assistance whether they qualify for that or not. If you can agree for them to move, then the process consists of finding a place, placing the home on the market. We used a Senior Move company to pack, move and unpack what he wanted in the new place. They do it all within a few hours and was wonderful. The rest that was left was picked through by us girls and then we arranged for an estate sale. Then the home was cleaned, placed for sale etc. all this was done with us living out of state, so it can be done. Once you’ve found 3 suitable places for them to move to, set up appointments with the marketing director or whomever to tour them with your parents and have lunch there. Good for you for thinking this out now.
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Some banks and financial institutions may require that a Power of Attorney be executed using their format.  If you can get information on your parents' accounts, check with the institution whether they will accept a POA prepared by an attorney.
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freqflyer Jul 2018
If a parent is still able to get around and is still of clear mind, one can just take that parent to the bank to have any checking/savings accounts changed. I did that with my Dad [90's] so I could sign checks for him on his checking account. The bank manager was great about helping us get everything set up :)
RebeccaW, first thing to look at is your parent's net worth. That may not be easy, as some older parents will not share such information. I was able to find out my Dad's financial once I took over paying his bills from his checking account.... all bills and statement were forwarded to my house.

Once you know the net worth, including the equity in the house if your parents own. As MACinCT had mentioned, there will be sticker shock when it comes to moving to Independent Living, Assisted Living, or a Skilled Nursing Home.

I had major sticker shock when my Mom had to move to long-term-care, it was costing Dad $12k per month, yes per month. Then my Dad needed professional caregivers at home, and once it was around the clock that sticker shock was $20k per month, yes per month.

Independent Living facility worked out great for my Dad and he loved it there, it was $5k per month, and later down the road he needed Assisted Living/Memory Care which was $7k per month. Now, there are add-on options that can up the cost an extra $1k per month, such as pill management if your parents are in Independent Living.

Very important are legal documents, such as Gladimhere had written in her answer. My parents previous Wills and POA's were older than dirt. The Elder Law Attorney recommended a Revocable Trust, new Wills, new Power of Attorneys, and Medical Directives. It was another large bite in the wallet.

Check with your parent's county on aging to see what the county offers their seniors. Such as senior day care centers, Meals on Wheels, etc.
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Look into Long Term Care Insurance for Assisted Living and Nursing Homes as your parents will need to pay $5,000 to $10,000 EACH per month at any of these facilities when they eventually need them.
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Your folks will probably push back. First and foremost they need to get to an attorney for powers of attorney, dnr's, wills etc.

Many here have had a hard time getting folks to plan. This is their job.
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Thank you for recognizing to stay a step ahead. As my husband and I age we are considering moving closer to one of our children. You forward thinking will also help you consider your future when you begin to decline. There will be ups and downs in the aging process

When you go to visit, start taking them to independent and assisted living facilities. They may be best off in independent living which have more opportunities for sharing space. Get their input an what they would like. Many places have lists of additional caregivers for assistance as they may have several clients in the same place. To extend beyoun assisted living.Be prepared for sticker shock.

Keep in mind that there is no way to do this from afar. Another idea is to convince them to move closer to you before their lives begin to crumble.
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