My Mom has SSI of $1250/mo. Other total assets are $22,000. We need financial help paying for sitter. Where do we go? - AgingCare.com

My Mom has SSI of $1250/mo. Other total assets are $22,000. We need financial help paying for sitter. Where do we go?

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Mom lives with my sister and her husband who both work. We live in the state of LA and were told she does not qualify for Medicaid. The $22,000 will be used up in approximately 10 months due to a daily sitter in the home, medical treatment, compound medications, etc. She has Parkinsons and cannot stay by herself, so we must have a sitter during the day. My other sister who also works, alternates nights with the main caregiver. The outside sitter comes in at 7:00 a.m. and leaves at 5:00 p.m. Family tends to mom on the weekends. Is there any financial assistance available for situations like this? Also, is there financial assistance for alternative treatments; i.e., acupuncture, chiropractic treatments and supplements? She has tried conventional medicine and has side effects.

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Believe - your in Lake Charles? does Oschner reach where your are? If so, look into getting into their Medicare "gap" program to get extra services. The big "O" has really good community bases outreach programs in NOLA & the Northshore, now you need to do whatever within their provider network but the staff and facilities are really great. We don't use them (I'm a Touro Infirmary girl, love the hospital & programs) but lots of our friends parents get incredible value with Oschner. If not, if Peoples Health is in your area, see what their Medigap program is for seniors.

Now for Park, you want to have your radar on for how Medicare pays for services. A lot of how Medicare is structured for non-hospital based care is based on "progress" - so if they are not progressing in their care they get discharged. But for Parkinson's - since it is a chronic disease, the progress doesn't happen. There was a huge change in evaluating people with Parkinson's, MS, secondary polio, etc and the whole not progressing discharge with Medicare last year. They no longer have to be progressing, they now just need to show that continuing care (like OT, PT) enables them to sustain ADL's to live in the community.

About the 22K, if mom does not have a prepaid funeral & burial done, you might want to look into doing this as a big spend-down to get her to qualify for Medicaid sooner. The FH will know how to do this so that it is a NCV policy (no cash value) for Medicaid approval. Also if mom could benefit from new glasses or a specialized walker, you can buy those for her and that will also be a big chunk of the 22K so that she will qualify sooner for Medicaid. At this point in time, she really does not have the time frame to do anything creative with her money. She has to spend it down on her care & her needs. I think you want to get the spend-down done in a couple of months so that she can apply for Medicaid the day that her bank statement has her assets under 2K.

Also you mentioned she is getting compounded meds, if this is a smaller pharmacy and mom is private paying for the meds, see if the pharmacy can advance bill you for say 6 months of compounded RX's. A great spend-down. Good luck.
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You may want to consider looking into a "Family-Type Adult Home" in your area. They provide long-term care to individuals who requires 24/7 assistance and/or supervision and they're SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than placing your mom in a corporately structured facility, like an assisted living community or nursing home. Adult Homes can only accept a maximum of 6 patients, so the care ratio is literally 1:6 at maximum. That's GREAT in comparison to the typical 1:20 ratio of a nursing home. The caregivers provide assistance with activities of daily living (ex. dressing, grooming, bathing), provide live-in sleeping accommodations in private or semi-private rooms, provide 3 meals per day + snacks, medication management, activities, and so much more!!! You may want to look into it. Good luck!
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Was you mom's husband or her in the service? If so she may qualify for VA assistance and aid. However it is a long process. If she does then post again and I'll other information.
In most Medicaid state systems she has to have less than $2000 in assets. It sucks I know. Also they will most likely look back 5 years, so she can't even gift the money to you! It may be different in your state so check. Once the money is gone you can apply for Medicaid.
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That $22,000 is for your mom's care. Spend it on her care. Caregivers, equipment, medications, etc. Once that money is almost gone apply for Medicaid on behalf of your mom. Medicaid probably won't cover the hours your caregivers are working now but they'll throw you some crumbs. By that time your mom may need a nursing home and that's really what Medicaid is for if someone can't afford to stay in their home. Not many people can.
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Does mom have Medicare? Maybe she would do well to change to a Medicare Advantage during the upcoming open season. There must be an organization for Parkinsons, check with them for advice.
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She'll qualify for Medicaid when she spends down her $22,000. Talk to them again. Check with your Council on Aging. They may have special programs. Our county provides $1000 a year for respite care. It's not much, but it helps.

It's tough when care givers are still working. There's no easy answer, that's for sure,
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