What are some options when Mom starts to run out of money and has 24/7 care in-home?

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That's what Medicaid is for. Your mom may or may not be able to use Medicaid to pay for in-home care. In most states she won't, but some have programs like Money Follows the Person where you can do this.

Otherwise, look for a nursing home that accepts Medicaid. It's best if you can get her in one and pay the full price for a couple of months at least (again, depending on your state). But the main thing is that you need to start working on Medicaid for her now. It takes time to get on the program.

Good luck. Please keep in touch with us and let us know how you're doing.
Carol
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The Aid and Attendance benefit is available to veterans who served at least one day during wartime and their wives or widows. The benefit for a widow is about $1100 per month and is paid when the widow's assets fall below $80,000 according to the veterans' service officer who I spoke to last year. Contact your county veterans' service office for application information.
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This is where we collectively fail to care for the elderly who need 24/7 home health aides. Normally, Medicaid (the medical care program for the poor) does not pay for home health aides but will pay nursing homes twice that cost to "care for the elderly". It was mentioned the elder has to completely impoverish themselves to "qualify" for the help they need. Of course, becoming impoverished has a mental effect on the elder too, many only live a year and a half in a nursing home. Most nursing homes have Medicaid patients but they want to have a person come in with $250,000. or more then the will spend down the elders life savings, then they may (if they want to) "help" process the elder's Medicaid application to pay for the on going stay in the nursing home.
Each nursing home wants to get the end of the person's savings first so it will be very difficult to find a decent nursing home if you attempt a placement in a nursing home for your mother after spending most of her money.

If your mother was in the military or in some cases was married to a man who died in the military, you may qualify for a monthly allowance which might help you keep her in her home with aides.

Otherwise Americans need to have a long term care policy which they paid for independently to get any money for home health aides to stay where the majority want to stay, in their own home. Oddly enough it is also cheaper to stay in your own home but we are set up as a nation to "funnel" the elderly into nursing homes.

This is very difficult if you love your mother and know she can be handled out home but is just running out of her life savings. Other nations do better, unfortunately only the wealthy can "afford" to stay in their homes.

Good luck especially in the Christmas season, it is a tough decision to make.
However, we seem powerless to change this funding arrangement so just try to get the best nursing home she qualifies for under Medicaid. Shop and investigate all places in person and unannounced if possible. Check with their online ratings if rated by your state and the federal government.
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When you no longer have money to pay for 24-hour in-home care, then you most likely can't have 24-hour in-home care. Medicaid will provide some care to keep you at home, but when the need is for 24/7, then it is more cost-effective to be placed in a nursing home, and that is what they will cover. If you are entitled to VA benefits and your income + benefits will cover the cost of in home care, great.
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Apologies, was trying to be helpful. The vast majority of people NEVER think prevention. The vast majority of caregivers end up in total family crisis and only then think about how to react on an emergency basis - immediately thrust into being a defacto geriatric care manager with no clue how to deal with dozens of life changing decisions. We see this everyday. A simple grap bar or decluttering of stairs could save society a 500k Medicare bill. If we as taxpayers are going to be compelled to pay for, in part, poor planning for aging in place, than society has a say in home safety just like existing building codes do for various design elements already. Our company does over 30% of our work pro bono and has a long history of saving families from rushing to hide/spend down money just to what...end up in a bad nursing home situation. Plan people. Be responsible please as a civic duty. Medicaid, the primary advice given in this thread should be a last resort. It ain't pretty, trust me...
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The widow of any veteran, whether he died during service or later is eligible for the pension, as long as she/he has not remarried. I don't know if the benefits survive if the person has remarried and divorced or widowed the second time. My mother draws about $1100 per month which pays a "companion" for about 25 hours per week. We get doctors orders from time to time for skilled nursing, physical therapy and occupational therapy.These services are paid by medicare, not medicaid. Rather than let her go into a nursing home setting, we are choosing to keep my mother in our home. She is usually somewhat herself. Occasionally she has a bad spell with a fit of temper or paranoia. Her doctor says it is from TIAs (mini strokes). We do not have the challenges with her that many of you are dealing with. We are selling her home which is 3 hours from us to invest the money in a home near us that we can rent out for income to increase the hours that we have help. That should get us a full time person and a part time person. I don't know if this is an option for any of you or not. Right now it's working for us.
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Hello everyone. After many years of helping families in the mid-atlantic stay in their homes, we are now helping in all fifty states. Here is how: in many, many cases the need for prohibitively expensive, private pay companion care is a result of not have a truly safe and accessible home for the senior to navigate/perform their ADLs (Activities of Daily Living - getting mail/food/dog out/toileting/cooking, etc.). Unsafe, high-risk fall conditions are easily mitigated with sensible, low cost home modifications that, when combined with new remote patient monitoring tools, increasingly well designed, can significantly reduce the caregiver burden/requirement. And the good news is, as a society, we are rapidly beginning to provide grants, credits and even reimbursement to pay for these resources. By far, the key is PREVENT THE FALL. It's all downhill from there for a family who will be in crisis as mom/dad will never be the same post fall in all ways, behavioral, cognitive, physical, mental, etc. We provide free home safety assessments nationally and in Canada and then also help find the money to pay for any modifications. Caregivers, ask yourselves - is there adequate lighting for night navigation, grab bars where needed (bathroom especially), safe entry to home with snow/ice, any stools in use in kitchen to reach tableware, etc.? Prevention is the key. Seniors, even if they have NOT YET fallen, have a fear of same, will not verbalize it, will resist help, but need home mods to live independently at low cost. Craig M.
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You should certainly apply for medicaid and start to look for a facility that accepts it.
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Check out the pooled income trust for Medicaid spend-down. Not sure if this is just NY
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talk to your local/regional VA. When I did, they told me that my mom would be eligible for monthly benefits (my dad was in WWII) when she "spent down" to $80000 in assets. ( as in the answer above) Ask about the residence (if she owns her own home/condo). They told me that was exempt. They also told me it takes about 3-4 months for the application to go through the system. They will need your father's discharge papers. said the benefit is between $1100-1300 a month That could pay for a HHA for some additional hours each week(depending on what you are paying them)
Re medicaid, I was told that in NY state you have to spend down to $6000 in assets before you can apply. Also if you have transferred a home to a relative, etc it has to be done 5 yrs. prior to applying for medicaid. I don't know all the details, but my brother has a friend whose parent applied for and got medicaid. apparently something was amiss with the house issue and medicaid came after the family and wanted them to pay back the money medicaid had given them for the care of the parent. So best to check with the rules and regs in your state. Or if you can afford it hire a social worker who specializes in these types of things or attorney to help you. In the long run it might be worth the money. You could also contact your county's Dept of Senior Services for advice or to give you some contacts in the community who might help you for free. You will end up doing the legwork ( ie forms to fill out and phone calls, meetings) but it will benefit the situation
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