Should I pay myself?


I have been taking care of my gramaw for three years now. I am not asking this because I think I deserve a check but but because of medicare.
Lil history: I am her caregiver but not ... can not remember the word. I am not in charge of her finances. My uncle, who lives over two hours away is. I write checks when I need them. She lived with my mama till my mama died of cancer. Mama took everything from her. Her home and jewlery. Her bank account was completely empty. Her freedom, by forcing her to stay in her bedroom. She even took her pain pills and sold them and gave her Tylenol p.m.s instead.

Gramaw wears junk jewlery but is happy because the dementia doesn't remember the difference. She is living alone but in my yard with almost constant, independence re established. I have painstakingly and frugally built her account up to a couple thousand. Had almost three but spent some last month on things she needed.
My uncle wil get her money when she dies and that really rankles my husband because we pay for a lot of stuff just because it gets grabbed with our stuff. Gramaw has told the bank she wants me on her account and as the person who gets her money when she dies but my uncle would have to come and it just don't mean enough to me. And if anyone ever looked at her spending record it would tell you clearly, that we dont take from her. My fear is this, if I don't show that my gramaw is making money, then my uncle might take her from me and put her in a nursing home. Irrational? Maybe. But really scared to take the chance.

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You need to take care of yourself or you won't be able to take care of her! Do something so you can get a good night's sleep. I use Tylenol or Advil to help me sleep sometimes. I also use Ativan. Others recommend Ambien. You don't have to use it every night, but you do need enough sleep more often than not.

Oops! I noticed you were talking about naps, not night sleep. Still, get as much sleep as you can. God bless you.
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Thank you both! Good. She has medicare not medicade.
I have complete access to her money. If I need something I just write a check. Sorry I wasnt clear. Bad day is good as an
excuse as any I guess. I take care of everything. My Uncle
comes about once every couple of months for maybe 2-3
hours. The not reimbursing is my fault. I go so many directions that I kinda just grab and run. I have been taking care of her for three years now but she is now here because she needed me more. I am here to learn and for support as I figure out what to do. I know I have to much going on but it wasnt to much hefore now. Or maybe it is catching up. I cannt take a nap anymore. I wake up every few minutes with a jerk and a guilty feeling that I am neglecting something. I should be doing.
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I see that Gramaw has dementia. Has a doctor ever indicated she is incompetent to make her own decisions? Can she understand the concept of assigning someone else to make decisions on her behalf? Unless she is incompetent in the legal sense, she can change her mind and remove her brother as POA and assign you instead.

I know that it is easy to grab a few things for Gramaw as you are picking up things for yourself. Get into the habit of having her things rung up separately and keep the receipts. Send them to Uncle and explain that these are things you've purchased for her and you need to be reimbursed. Also keep track of your mileage when you take her to appointments. Report that to Uncle also. If he is the POA it is his responsibility to see that her money is spent on her needs.

At the very least, he should pay you back for what you spend on her. He may find it easier to give you a debit card or a cash allowance for these expenses.

I think a personal care agreement would also be a good thing. This would spell out what you do for her and how much she is paying for it. Uncle would write those checks, too.

If it turns out that Gramaw has too money on hand when she applies for Medicaid, that is easily remedied by "spending down," by buying things for herself. This could include a fancy wheel chair, and a winter coat, and several pair of shoes, and magazine subscriptions, maybe a new television, new sheets -- whatever she needs or would make her life more enjoyable.
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Uncle cannot "put her in a nursing home" if she doesn't want to go. She can have money in the bank on Medicare, but if she is on Medicaid she can only have $2000 maximum. Your county should have some senior services, call the county hall and see if they can help.
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You need to call your local Elder Affairs office and make an appt to discuss her options.
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I can not edit this so have to do it this way... sorry.
My husband and I struggle financially. To the point of frustration.Always something broke down or put off. But worth it to keep her. Now though, I am worried that 2 or 3 thousnd dollars in the bank could hurt her Medicare.
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