My mother (55) is mentally ill, with no income and now has cancer and a failing kidney. What options do I have for her care? - AgingCare.com

My mother (55) is mentally ill, with no income and now has cancer and a failing kidney. What options do I have for her care?

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She's mentally ill but does not see doctors or have medication. She receives no income, has no health insurance and has been taken care of by a previous partner who has been deceased for few years and more recently been living off of my grandmother's income which isn't enough to really support the both of them. My mother was recently diagnosed with cancer and had to have surgery regarding kidney failure. It's clear that she shouldn't be left alone anymore but I have no clue about where to start or what to do to help her. She needs housing, income, health care.

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Here I go again...
Contact Hospice.
With the diagnosis of cancer and kidney failure she would qualify. (If she is not doing aggressive treatment)
You will have a Social Worker assigned to you and the Social Worker can help you navigate the process for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid if needed.
(if you are in the USA I do not understand why she is not on Social Security and Medicare)
In any case Hospice will provide supplies and equipment that she will need.
Contact several and "interview" them. The Hospice that we use is a Not for Profit and the service and care is amazing.
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Call her county's Human Services department and ask for a needs assessment. Explain that it is urgent. (They often have a backlog.) A worker will come out and interview your Mom. Be there! Sometimes pride or confusion keeps applicants from being candid and honest. Human Services will advise Mom about next steps to take, how to apply for whatever she may be eligible for, etc.
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About housing -- that is a tough one because she won't be able to afford assisted living and may not qualify for Medicaid-placement in a nursing home. If you'll contact the county's Human Services department, they should be able to send out a social worker to see if there are ways to help. Social workers have knowledge about resources that most people don't know about. It is worth a try.
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Are you in the US. The first thing would be to apply for Medicaid for her so she can receive her medical treatment. With cancer and failing kidneys, I don't know if they would want to treat the mental illness at this time. It depends on how seriously the kidneys are impaired and what type of mental illness it is.

To get the ball rolling, have her complete her advance directives and select her POAs for finance and health. If she has no income and insurance, I am sure she could qualify for Medicaid in her state of residence.

Is your father still alive?
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If she is truly mentally ill, then she has to be evaluated by a doctor. And forms have to be filled out. And don't miss a deadline or the process starts over.

Likely you will have to start the process. Take her to a doctor, get her evaluated. Take her to social services and start the process. Unfortunately, 55 is late to be thinking of these things.

But, be aware, depending on what state you and she reside in, that filial responsibility laws can apply.
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What mental illness does she have?

Why isn't she getting disability income?
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No social security? She never worked? Her husband never worked?
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