Not well enough to live but not sick enough to die.

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I am a 32 year old single girl who works full time, is finishing a graduate degree, owns her own house, and until 1.5 years ago was a pretty happy person. My mom became ill in the Fall of 2015 and has consistently been back and forth between skilled nursing and the hospital ever since, with the exception of a 4 month time period in which she went back to her home out state. But, she didn't take care of herself AGAIN and ended up worse than before. We are struggling to get her in a nursing home her income can afford (not low income enough for Medicaid but I don't want her to be financially drained in a year). She is only 68 years old. I feel hopeless because this could go on FOR YEARS. She is consistently too sick to have a fulfilling life but every time I think this round of illness will be the one she bounces back just enough to keep living. We've said our goodbyes 6 times. I am an only child and my father passed away four years ago. Now I'm faced with having to clean out the home they lived in for 35 years (borderline hoarder situation) and has never been updated, so I can sell the home to help pay for her care. I'm seeing a therapist and am on anti-anxiety and antidepressants so I'm trying to take care of myself, but I can't get over the feeling of pure helplessness that this could go on for 5, 10, 20 years! I can't imagine having her as a ball an chain for that long. I want to have my own life and date and have a family and travel but how am I supposed to take care of a family when I already have a full time child? Are there any other younger caregivers on this board? Any advice for a situation that could possibly go on for many many years? Thank you in advance...

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It is kind of you to want to get Mother's house ready for sale, so she has money to last a little longer in a care facility. Given your own health issues, I think it would be best if you hire someone to empty the house, and either sell it as-is, or hire someone to update it a bit. That is enough responsibility for you!

I agree with Katiekate. Get Mom into an appropriate care facility. Let her pay for it as long as her money holds out, then Medicaid will take over. Be sure all of her resources are used on her care during that period. If it looks like she is giving any money away that will complicate Medicaid application.

Be sure to select a care center that will accept Medicaid when the time comes. For example, some assisted living facilities will take Medicaid after the resident has self-paid for two years. Just be sure you understand their payment policies before you commit.

It might be good to consult an attorney specializing in Elder Law, for guidance on this journey.
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You can solve the "not low income enough" for Medicaid. Talk to an attorney about creating a Murphy Trust.

Basically, this would transfer her income into a trust that has Medicaid as the beneficiary. This would bring her income below the line.

I would seek to move her into a nursing home...and then let the rest fall where it may. Getting a nursing home she can afford? It sounds to me like you need to step back and let the system take over. When she has exhausted her hospital stay with Medicare...then let social services deal with placement. Do not let them pull you into this.

I would not become her POA. I would not trouble myself over her home. I would not worry about her being "financially drained". Her assets and income will pay to whatever extent possible, then medicaid takes over. None of this is your responsibility unless you make it so. You might be stressing yourself out. Back off, Let the system handle this.

No one can make you into a doormat unless you lay down and allow it
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