What questions do we need to ask to find out how our distant relative is paying for assisted living? - AgingCare.com

What questions do we need to ask to find out how our distant relative is paying for assisted living?

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We have a distant relative currently living in an assisted living facility in another state and we are looking to move her to closer to us. It looks like we are going to end up being her health care proxy and surrogate decision maker bc there is no other living family to assist her. She currently lives in assisted living and we are not clear on how she is paying for this. According to her, she has a long term care policy that pays for the residence and services she gets now. But we are unaware of what it covers and the amount it covers. Please advise on questions we need to ask and how we become the official proxy for her.

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Do NOT move her, she will pester you night and day with phone calls. Nor would I take the POA or HCP responsibility for someone out of state, because I would have to travel quickly with no notice. It needs to be someone located close to her. She may have dementia and you don't know about it, which means she cannot sign any legal papers. Don't walk into this blindly.
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In addition to all of the legal/insurance/housing details. I'd also be careful to explore the expectations your distant relative has about you if she does move nearer to you. Is she expecting you to visit three times a week or take her out to meals or bring her snacks? Take her to her doctor's visits and act as her healthcare advocate? Are you willing to invest that time and attention in a distant relative? How well do you know her and her personality? Spend some time reading threads on this site about elders and how difficult they can be with their own children.

She may have some very different expectations of what you'll do for her than you're willing to do. And there's nothing wrong with you wanting to set limits about what you'll do or even tell her you don't think you can move her near you. As a single, never married woman, I'll be on my own when I'm elderly. I expect I'll have to figure out how to manage on my own; I wouldn't expect my cousins to help me out. So nothing says you have to do what she wants you to do.
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I see. If she's competent and she wants to move near you, then, I'd get all the materials, documents, policies, correspondence, etc. and still meet with an attorney in her jurisdiction. If he's licensed in her state and yours, all the better. I'd just make sure that all the proper documents are signed, sealed and in hand before she moves, since changing her residence can trigger things. You may be able to discuss matters with the long term care insurance company with proper authorization. I'd make sure I had everything in writing, to assure that her coverage continues to a new facility. I think that I might have a professional or attorney guide me, if resources allow for it.
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If resources allow, I'd get a professional to help navigate through all that is needed. Of course, you'll need to get copies of all kinds of documents to bring yourself up on all her affairs. I might start with an attorney in her jurisdiction who handles Elder Law matters. And if she receives Medicaid, they need to know those laws too.

I would also really explore if moving her is a good idea. Is she competent? What are her feelings on the matter of moving? There are many factors to be considered, but, if a senior is doing well.....I'd be very hesitant to move them. I moved my loved one and it worked out well, but, that is not normally the case. And, there were reasons that I had to do it.
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She is asking to move closer to us bc we are her only family.
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Why would you move her closer to you when she seems to be fine where she is and is paying for the help she needs? Moving her will likely open up a can of worms you wish you had left alone.
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If she is mentally competent she can grant you power of attorney over her care, medical decisions and finances. You will probably have to visit and sort all this out including her insurance, income, will etc.

I handle my parents affairs from 3 states away. If you can get a handle on things it is possible to care for her long distance. Depending on her condition, how much stuff she has and other factors moving could prove to be a real hassle.

Either way is possible. Look at the situation and see what's best for her and for you.
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