I've asked a lot of questions in the last year and this forum has been AMAZING. If you look back at my questions, it would appear my emotions have been all over the place. I think my father's suicide has made every little decision THAT much more complicated. Ugh. That is a topic for another day, but have mercy on me if I seem a little all over the place ;-)

Anyhoo....Back to considering finishing our small half basement for mom, to include a full bathroom and a narrow stair chair rail. She is MISERABLE in her AL facility and I do feel extremely guilty about this (again, another topic completely). I have not made any major decisions other than having a contractor we've used before come look at the space. She has offered to pay for any renovations, which honestly she would have to as we do not have a chunk of money sitting around. I'm thinking anywhere from 10-15K this may cost (still waiting for the estimate).

Has anyone had any experience with this or has any opinions on it from a Medicaid look back situation? I know if certain moneys are spent down incorrectly she could be penalized if one day she may need Medicaid care (I pray she wouldn't however). Wonder if home renovations would be penalized?

I know I may just have to call an elder attorney, but I thought I'd see if anyone had any thoughts.

Thank you in advance to all you helpful friends on here!

Find Care & Housing
AL may suck but are you willing to pay big buck for a mom down on her luck?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to shad250

As said Medicaid will look at Mom paying for this as a gift. Its an improvement to you home not hers. We put a shower in an existing 1/2 bath. Cost 7k. That came out of our pocket.

Another problem is the basement may need another way out beside the stairs. Will your township ok the work.And will Mom be able to eventually use those stairs.

Why is Mom in an AL?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to JoAnn29

ebmick1973, one thing that caught my eye was the chair stair rail. Has your Mom ever used one before? If Mom is adventurous she may like it, otherwise she could be terrified to use one. See if some place has one that Mom can test drive.

Also, are the stairs straight up and down, or is there a landing where the stairs take a turn. I learned through a friend of mine that Paramedic cannot take a gurney down stairs that have a turn, they would need to use a special chair to bring a person up the stairs. Just thinking ahead.

Make sure that the window in the basement is large enough so that a fireman wearing an oxygen tank can get into the basement through that window. Otherwise, it's not a legal bedroom :( Unless you have an outside door exit from the basement.

Don't be surprised if the cost is much higher. Also, you would need to get a radon test done in the basement. Bedrooms in a basement that has a high radon reading can cause serious lung damage :(

I agree with the other writers. Your Mom is in Assisted Living for a reason, it can take 3 shifts of Staff to be there for her. Aging isn't easy, especially if a love one had passed on. So much of your Mom's life has drifted away. She isn't going to be happy at home, either.

So much to think about.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to freqflyer

No idea about medicaid, you should get professional advice on that.

But I wanted to touch on your mother being miserable at the AL. Has she had any grief therapy since your Dad died? Why is she miserable, is it because of where she is living or what is happening in her life?? And are you prepared to give up your live to provide 24/7 care?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Tothill

Home renovations to your home will be viewed as gifting because she is not on deed (do not add her as that is a nightmare esp if you have a mortgage you cannot without lien holder permission). Please read threads here with people moving parents in. No privacy, consider it their home and opinions about how you run it, accessibility and mobility concerns with health issues. Construction delays and cost overruns. Where to stay while construction is happening. If she is unhappy, are you expected to give up your life to be her substitute spouse? Is unhappy being treated by meds or therapy? Unhappy in AL could also be unhappy at your place if the real source is declining health, loneliness, anger or mental decline. Think twice. Talk to Medicaid certified attorney before you act.
Helpful Answer (4)
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