What can I do so that a nursing home doesn't take Mom for ALL her money and she can leave something to her grandchildren? - AgingCare.com

What can I do so that a nursing home doesn't take Mom for ALL her money and she can leave something to her grandchildren?

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My mom is in the beginning stage of memory loss. She is 85 and in good health, other than bad eyesight. I foresee her having to go to an Assisted living place in the next year or so. I have been told that when you place them, you have to sign over everything and that they will deplete her bank accounts, savings, and all, including her house. I was told that you couldn't sell or do anything with her money saved because they go back 5 years and account for all money spent. I need to know what to do so that this doesn't happen or at least ways around it.
Thanks in advance for ANY help!

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Most of us would love to leave something to our grandchildren. Most of us will not be able to. At least not us working folks. Linda22 explained it very well. A generation ago a person needed to be able to support himself about 10 years past his retirement, and anything left could be passed on. Now we often have to live on our own assets 30 years beyond retirement. And the cost of raising a family has not gone down. Most of us will be lucky if we get through our own lives being self-supporting, let alone have something left to pass on.

Mom would like to leave a financial legacy. I don't blame her. But it just may not be possible.

Nursing homes must be paid for what they provide. Whether they are for-profit or nonprofit, they must maintain their buildings, pay their staff, pay for and maintain all kinds of equipment, provide meals and snacks for their residents, pay taxes, etc. etc. If they can't bring in income, they can't stay open. If a nursing home is in your mother's future, it will have to be paid for. If she runs out of money before the end of her life, taxpayers will take over, in the form of Medicaid.

But expecting Medicaid to take over while she is holding on to assets to leave to her family is just not how it works. Maybe it should. Maybe Medicaid should be like Medicare, and not be based on financial need. But for now, it is what it is.

The professional that you and your mom really need to consult is an attorney who specializes in Elder Law. If there are legal ways to set aside some money, the lawyer will know about it. You can also get advice in how best to prepare for applying for Medicaid (if you need to), how to set up a personal care agreement so Mom could pay you or other relative to provide care while she is still at home, guide you with documents such as Power of Attorney, and Healthcare Directive.

We can all share our experiences, and I hope that helps. But please consult an attorney for legal advice. It will be worth what it costs!
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Koden, you don't sign anything over to a faciity. The Power of Attorney (POA) will pay the monthly charges out of your Mom's assets and income flow. You can do an approximate estimate of how long the resources will last by taking her monthly income (Social security/pensions, etc) and subtracting it from the cost of assisted living. The difference will have to be paid from your Mom's assets. (CDs, Savings; mutual funds, 401ks etc, sale of the house, etc. ) Divide the balance of the monthly bill into the estimate of her assets and you will have some idea of how long her resources will last.

If your Mom outlives her assets, then VA aid and Attendance or Medicaid may chip in. Most facilities ask about financial assets so they have some idea of when you may need help. Don't wait til the money is gone to start applying for things. Some facilities do not accept Medicaid residents. That is something you might consider in your planning. Good luck and if you are like most on this site, you will want to make sure your Mom has the best facility for as long as possible. Inheritances are nice but not if the person who accumulated assets doesn't get the care needed. Good luck
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It is expensive to live in AL (assisted living) and even more expensive to live in a NH (nursing home.) My MIL is in one and my mother is in the other. Neither have needed medicaid, which is what you are talking about, when you mention a look back. If she has her own money, and does not need medicaid (ever), she can do what she wants to with her money.

My MIL liquidated her home and sold it. That was very nice of her, because now that job is done. On the other hand, my Mother has hung on to her house and hasn't stepped foot in it for 18 months. I would have preferred that she sell everything.
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What is VA Aid and Attendance and how does she or I, for her, apply for it, and where do I find out info? Thanks pamstegman!
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My grandparents lived at home until they became ill, had strokes in their late 70's and passed. They were able to leave their kids very modest inheritances, a little money and a house. This is what our parents expect to do as well. But they're living into their 90's now, with lots more time for serious health issues to develop and thus, the need for 24/7 care. Pricey care that uses up assets and often ends up being paid by Medicaid. And so, we all have to readjust our thinking about Mom's money. It's there for whatever care she needs, not for gifts or loans or early inheritances that could create problems for her later with Medicaid. My moms care used up the proceeds from the sale of her house. She was sad that our inheritance was gone, but we were grateful to have had funds to take care of her properly.
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No, I'm not looking for a windfall.! I want her money to take care of her, but I just don't want to be taken advantage of by the nursing home system like all the horror stories I am now hearing.
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the unspoken deal is if you stay with them in your home or theirs and provide undisputably great care then a NH isnt necessary -- ever . however what the elder wants or becomes in need of should be the deciding factor . my mother wanted to stay in her home with her son and her parrot but a stroke or other catastrophic downturn could have required more care than family could provide.
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I'm sorry but as a senior myself, I hope my kids spend my money on MY care and not theirs. You can get her into Assisted Living with the help of VA Aid & Attendance if her husband was a wartime veteran and her assets are limited. Please don't neglect her needs in hope of a windfall. Please.
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