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I am on a joint bank account with my Dad who will be applying for Medicaid in a couple of years. He has been in a NH for 5 years. Can I pay myself a small salary for handling his financial affairs or will that count as a tranfer for the look back period. One caseworker I talked to actually told me that I could spend the money on myself since its my account too as long as the item was for me personally and I had a receipt. Can this be correct? I'm in Texas.

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Interesting. Since it is a financial matter, I would ask an attorney. For many years I have wondered why at-home caregivers, many who had to give up a well paying job to care for a spouse, are not paid by an outside source. Professional help gets paid, organizational leaders get paid, millions of tax dollars are given annually with so many loopholes it is incredulous-- so why not at-home caregivers! I've heard where nieces, granddaughters are taking care of relatives and getting paid by various programs---but why cannot spouses receive the same benefits? Yes, there is bitterness. I had to quit a very good job 9 years ago to care for a spouse with Alzheimer's. I seem to ask more and more---are at-home caregivers being taken advantage of by the healthcare industry? Alzheimer patients basically sit around the house, take their prescribed medicine and vegetate while the caregivers work like dogs. Does the industry realize or even care what caregivers do!, Besides the daily worries, concerns and stress, we make certain medications are taken, nutritious meals prepared, cleaning done, washing clothes and sheets daily, paying bills, scheduling and keeping appointments, trips to the various doctor's offices, grocery shop, walking the dog--the list goes on. Caregivers basically give up their life to care for another. Friends no longer visit--communication is not enjoyable when a person doesn't know who they are, a dinner out is no more. Becomes embarrassing when the spouse throws food across the table. Daily arguments over the hidden TV remote found in the pajama drawer, dirty socks stuffed into shirt and pants pockets, hygiene at a standstill, flashlights strewn all over the house--at least 2 in every room in the event there is a power failure and when boredom really sets in, fun to scare the dog by shining a bright LDS light in his face. All this is met with denial---someone else did it! I'm so exhausted at night I barely make it to bed. And, I cannot help but keep asking--why are at-home caregivers not paid. Is this a life sentence?
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Hmmm.. Duke & jfishe if your parents were still driving you to all your appts, cooking all meals, entertaining you, distributing daily meds, cleaning your room, showering, keeping their mouth shut so not to upset you, continually listening to you repeat things, explaining why friends and relatives don't come to visit, laying your clothes out, getting up in the middle of the night because you wet yourself and wiping your butt for 18 years then that's probably why you are still depended on them!!

It's time to cut the apron strings...

My parents chose to have me.. They also wanted me to grow up and support myself not them! How do I support myself when I am caring for my Mom 24/7..

You better be saving for your Elder years because you'll need the money for a nursing home..

I don't know if you have children but do you really expect them to give up their career and own family to financially support you?
I would never expect my children to financially support me it's humiliating and demoralizing...Have some respect...

Life's not about what you get when their dead.. It's about what you give while they're still alive...
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I'm sure I'll get a heap of backlash for this, but I think our parents kinda paid us for that already. You know, by bringing us into existence and spending their savings and income on us for the first 18 years of our lives...for the most part.
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First, the practical – go see an elder law attorney. Call several. Some only do this sort of work in an expensive package of services, others you can pay by the hour strictly for advice.
Second – I so wish people would bite their tongues when they feel compelled to rant on the subject of "your parent(s) raised you and sacrificed for you all your life and how dare you...."
Considering that you haven't "walked a mile in the shoes" of the person you're scolding, it is really insensitive. You have no idea what kind of parenting they enjoyed (or survived) during their childhood and, as is pointed out EVERY TIME the comment arises, children aren't born with obligation to their parents. Their parents choose to have them.
Some adult children can't or choose not to be their parent's direct caregiver. The idea that they are "not as good" as adult children who do take up that role is offensive.
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Ferris1 I just recently cam home from a 3 hour meeting with my lawyer about my parents trust. Even she has no desire to be her parents trustee due to the tremendous amount of work they can be and the family issues it can cause. My father passed in 08 and my mother had a stroke with left her physically fine and mentally unable to care for herself. It didn't however make her any nicer - which has been the most unpleasant experience I have ever had. I have my own 4 grown children and my husband just retired. I can't travel due to either her almost getting kicked out of where she is, her medical appts that she really doesn't need to go to, the two rental properties that need to be cared for plus her home. Yes, I pay myself as I have lost income from my job. If I had a wonderful, sweet mother who cared for me, or a brother that helped me - sure - it would be a different story. We all have different stories and experiences, and one should not judge unless they have walked in someone's else's shoes.
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If you are concerned about the "lookback" period you can forget the gifting idea.
If he needs to Qualify for Medicaid in the next 5 years, you will give it back.
I started gifting in 2009 and put it all in an account that I could't spend so if the five year lookback ever kicked in I could put it back.

As far as paying yourself for handing expenses......really?
If he was living with you that's one thing, but in a NH and all you do is review expenses and write some checks? shake it off.
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A&A I really like your "its not about what you get when they dies, its about what you give when they are alive"! I plan on using it in big meeting with lawyers this week.
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After Mama's accident two and a half years ago, we had two choices, NH or one of us move in with her to take care of her 24/7. I lived in a townhome and so the layout of my home was not appropriate for her mobility issues at the time. I left my home, gave up my job, withdrew my retirement account when it became apparent the sibling was not going to contribute one dime to anything pertaining to her care...I will be paying off her medical bills for the rest of my life...again, nothing contributed from sibling. Therefore, I live with Mama, am her sole caregiver, have not been away from this home for more than a few hours at most in over two years, have no backup, and now am in the process of losing my home, which will not sell due to a depressed market where it is located and Mama got hit with a substantial penalty for not having Medicare Part B at the time of her accident...I don't buy clothes, have my hair done professionally..now being an 8 1/2 Champagne Blonde out of a box, no pedicures or manicures and no dining out for me...I don't get "paid" in the sense of a paycheck, but I live here with her and care for her, so I suppose that is my pay...later on down the road, IF there is a later for me, I will be starting all over in my late fifties.... advances in medicine are enabling our loved ones to live such long lives now, but way too many of us (me) never foresaw this situation...Mama was so healthy all her life, totally independent prior to the fall and everyone just assumed she would probably go working in her yards where she was happy.....who could have foretold she would sustain that head injury, which we were told accelerated her dementia, now early onset alzheimers and now she is totally bedfast....not where I pictured myself at this point of my life. I am not complaining, but it has been heartbreaking to me to see how little my brother cares about what I am doing...but I will have a clear conscious...I HAVE a clear conscious....not sure how folks like him ever do....
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My parents are lucky (and so am I). They worked hard and saved diligently while still enjoying life. I'm sure they hoped to be able to leave some of that hard earned savings to me rather than paying it all to a nursing/personal care facility. So now that they need full time care why shouldn't they pay me to quit my job and care for them rather than spend way more to pay a stranger.
If your loved one has the finances to afford it don't feel guilty about taking an income. I'm sure they'd rather see you get the money than some agency.
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Taking care of either of our Mother's finances was a full time job. I paid my adult nephew, to handle Mother's accounts. I was on the accounts. Dealing with selling property, taxes, household contents, insurance, medicare, prescriptions, etc. It goes on and on.

I don't know anyone that can work all day and then, work on this stuff all night.

You are not asking for anything more than reimbursement for time spent. An attorney or accountant would not do this work for free. Pay yourself.
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