Is it too late to even protect any of her assets at this point?

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She is still in the hospital and they haven't got back to me about anything at this moment. I feel like giving up since someone told me it doesn't matter at this point since they are going to put her in a nursing home even for rehab the state will take everything at this point and I would be lucky to have a car in my name and even that will be counted as gifting since it is within the 5 years limit.The lawyer told me that there is a chance to save the house and car since I've been taking care of her and been living here all my life and she adopted me as well but her other assets however will be taken so we can't do much with those even if its for long or short term care. However after a neighbor talked to me she told me it's not true and the state will take everything even before anything is signed over and it doesn't matter if I've been her caretaker or living here with her all my life. She said its better not to waste your money on a lawyer and just take what you can sell what you can and get out so the state can just take over because its too late to change anything. So now I'm confused. I'm getting this information and the lawyer and social worker and even the case manager told me the house and car can be exempted because I've been living here and taking the best care of her as I could. So what else should I do. I'm going to get another opinion on this since the lawyer was my 3rd opinion on what to do and she too told me the same as the social worker and case manager told me.

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I talked to her case manager and she feels that maybe a month of rehab will get her up and moving more but because of her knee injury may cause her to not be able to drive however she can live on her own with some outside help which I am in the process of waiting approval for it and how much it will be in long run. I contacted an attorney and all I need now is a letter from her doctor stating that she is capable of making important financial and other decisions regarding her assets or what have you and kinda go from there. I was receiving too much information that wasn't true and from learning from professionals that there isn't anything to worry about just to make sure she accepts the help which is she is happy to have as long as she can stay here or move into a senior apartment or living facility where she can have some independence but have someone to come in to check on her clean around etc...I thank you and I wish I could update this post but I will make a new one stating how all of this will turn out. Thanks again!
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Lilly - going into a NH for rehab is very common. If you lived in a big city, then she might go into a free standing rehab institute but with most elderly they discharge them into a rehab unit within a NH. The vast majority end up staying in the NH for long term care but you don't have to do this if you can make it work another way.

Neither the state, the hospital or a NH want's gran's house. What the hospital and the NH do want is assurance of being paid. The hospital and rehab will be paid by Medicare (this is kinda limited to 21 - 28 days for most rehab time). If she should need long term care, then the NH could be paid by Medicaid (which is the state) if she qualifies both medically and financially for Medicaid. Medicaid expects the elder to spend down their assets to qualify and then spend their monthly income (like SS check or retirement) by paying the NH all of their monthly income less a small personal needs allowance ($30 - 90 a mon) AND then upon death the state can try to recover any assets (like the house) left in the estate via probate (this is called MERP).The state really doesn't want houses with decades of old folks stuff, really - the want the $$ the sale of the property could bring.

Now there are lots of exemptions in MERP: for caregivers who lived at the home for at least 2 years and provided care that kept the elder from entering the NH; exemptions for expenses paid for property upkeep; for family who are below a certain income level and taking the house from them will then put them on subsidized housing; etc, etc. Each state has their own list of exemptions under an overall federal mandate. You need someone knowledgeable to help you figure this all out and not the neighbor. You need an elder care attorney.

My suggestion is for you to get all legal done so that you are able to do whatever for your gran....from paying her taxes to approving her care plan. You need to be DPOA, MPOA, update her will, have a HIPPA release from her so you can get medical info and records. These are all specific legal documents and can be very different state to state and really need 2 be done by an attorney who does elder law in your state preferably with a practice in the county where the property is.

I'm going to take a guess that you are kinda either in a state of panic or being pissed off. I also going to guess that you have been able to take really good care of your gran; you are young, healthy and capable; and that you both have a nice living situation going on before all this and you get along well with each other.
If you think you can take care of her back at home, I'd run the maximum time on the Medicare paid rehab (the 21 - 28 days) at the NH and then get her back home and try to make it work for the next few months so that you can take time to sort out all your and her legal and financial situation and the best plan on dealing with her long term health needs. You may find that spending her SS check on 3 x a week home health aid works and puts off the NH for a few months. If she doesn't see a gerontologist, then try to find one to become her primary MD. Good luck!
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Lilly - going into a NH for rehab is very common. If you lived in a big city, then she might go into a free standing rehab institute but with most elderly they discharge them into a rehab unit within a NH. The vast majority end up staying in the NH for long term care but you don't have to do this if you can make it work another way.

Neither the state, the hospital or a NH want's gran's house. What the hospital and the NH do want is assurance of being paid. The hospital and rehab will be paid by Medicare (this is kinda limited to 21 - 28 days for most rehab time). If she should need long term care, then the NH could be paid by Medicaid (which is the state) if she qualifies both medically and financially for Medicaid. Medicaid expects the elder to spend down their assets to qualify and then spend their monthly income (like SS check or retirement) by paying the NH all of their monthly income less a small personal needs allowance ($30 - 90 a mon) AND then upon death the state can try to recover any assets (like the house) left in the estate via probate (this is called MERP).The state really doesn't want houses with decades of old folks stuff, really - the want the $$ the sale of the property could bring.

Now there are lots of exemptions in MERP: for caregivers who lived at the home for at least 2 years and provided care that kept the elder from entering the NH; exemptions for expenses paid for property upkeep; for family who are below a certain income level and taking the house from them will then put them on subsidized housing; etc, etc. Each state has their own list of exemptions under an overall federal mandate. You need someone knowledgeable to help you figure this all out and not the neighbor. You need an elder care attorney.

My suggestion is for you to get all legal done so that you are able to do whatever for your gran....from paying her taxes to approving her care plan. You need to be DPOA, MPOA, update her will, have a HIPPA release from her so you can get medical info and records. These are all specific legal documents and can be very different state to state and really need 2 be done by an attorney who does elder law in your state preferably with a practice in the county where the property is.

I'm going to take a guess that you are kinda either in a state of panic or being pissed off. I also going to guess that you have been able to take really good care of your gran; you are young, healthy and capable; and that you both have a nice living situation going on before all this and you get along well with each other.
If you think you can take care of her back at home, I'd run the maximum time on the Medicare paid rehab (the 21 - 28 days) at the NH and then get her back home and try to make it work for the next few months so that you can take time to sort out all your and her legal and financial situation and the best plan on dealing with her long term health needs. You may find that spending her SS check on 3 x a week home health aid works and puts off the NH for a few months. If she doesn't see a gerontologist, then try to find one to become her primary MD. Good luck!
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thanks I got some information that is just as you said. Right now I'm also facing another problem. Grandma's confusion is clearing up and she can remember things accurately but the psychologist is still claiming she has dementia while her nurse practitioners and others who interact with her are saying no she doesn't. I will try to get her a new doctor and even transfer her to another place for rehab for her knee instead of a nursing home or have it here at the house. She wants to change things over but right now the doctor is quite shady on this dementia since she had UTI and he's not outright saying it while she and the caretakers at the hospital is saying yes she has one but its clearing up. So the challenge now is to try to even catch the doctors there both of them and talk with them and if they push me off or say its too expensive then I'll just raise my voice and say hey I'll get a second opinion and I want her in this place and if they tell me no I can't do that just call the legal right system the hospital has. I feel like I've been given the run around and knowing the cause of her depression as well they refuse to treat it properly or even have the resources to contact me and her for this. Wish me luck on all of this.
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Your neighbor is certainly not an expert. Listen to the people who know what they are talking about.

If she goes into rehab, that is paid for by Medicare. Medicare does not look at assets at all.

When she needs to go into a Nursing Home she'll need Medicaid (assuming she does not have enough assets to pay her own way.) To qualify for that, there is an upper limit on how much she can have in assets. The policy is that people who have money should use it to pay for their care, and when they run out only then should tax money be used to pay for it. Only assets in her name are counted (and her husband's if she were married.) Your assets have nothing to do with anything. If you have a car in your name that isn't considered. If you have stocks or bonds or insurance policies, etc. etc. that has nothing to do with her application UNLESS she gave them to you within the last five years.

Medicaid applicants can have a house and a car. After the person dies, the state can "recover" some of their costs from the sale of the house. The exception, as the lawyer explained to you, is if a relative has been living in the house and providing caregiving for at least two years. Then the state won't make a claim against it.

A difficulty is that one the person is in the nursing home, she won't have any money for the upkeep of the house, the insurance, etc. But if you can get a job and pay those costs, the house will be yours.

If she has more assets than the upper limit, she will need to "spend down" to meet the limit. Before paying for the NH, she can use the money on things she needs. She cannot give it away. She could use it to get a pre-paid funeral plan, to buy clothing, shoes, a winter coat, etc. She could have the roof repaired or replaced. She could to other repairs or upgrades to the house. She could get a fancy new wheelchair. Whatever she doesn't spend in this way will need to be spent paying for NH. When the money runs out, that's when the Medicaid payments start.

The state does not take assets. They expect (insist) that the applicant use the assets on items for her own welfare and/or on payments to the nursing home.

Disregard your neighbor's explanation. She is simply is wrong.

I think it is time that you stop collecting opinions and start taking action. Will the social worker help you with the application process and advice on the spend down process? If not, go back to the lawyer you liked best and get practical help, not just an explanation. Ask specifically about the spend down!

This is a very challenging process. You have done a wonderful job of caring! With help, you can do a wonderful job on this, too!
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