Hi there - this is all a bit confusing to me. My grandmother had open heart surgery in Jan '17 and has been recovering for a few months. She is temporarily in a nursing home as she used her Medicare coverage for her hospital stay and about 30 days in a rehabilitation facility. She has now been moved to a long-term care facility to continue weaning from a ventilator and get her strength back.

Before the surgery, my mom and grandmother were renting a home together. My mom would take care of most bills and utilities while my grandmother's social security benefits covered rent. By that, I mean, rent is about 700 dollars a month and she is receiving a little under 800 a month with no savings or other sources of income.

Now, since she has been moved to this new facility that is considered a nursing home, her Medicaid coverage is starting to take on the 20% left over from medicare's 80% coverage. My mom has been told the facility will start to take all of my grandmother's SS benefits which will result in no source of rent payment.

Now, yes - they are in a sticky situation that should have been resolved way before now. I am doing my best to help out but we are trying to figure out what to do in this timespan waiting for grandma to get better and come home.

Is there any way to work with a facility or Medicaid to allow them to still deliver the amount required to pay rent for their home? We have told the facility we are not planning on keeping her there - she will be coming home. What can I do to help make sure they do not lose their home?

Also, please know that I would just have them live with me but I live across the country in a 1 bedroom apartment.

Thank you!

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Very sad situation. And one more reason to think carefully before rushing in, without considering the consequences, to become a caregiver without compensation.
Helpful Answer (3)

There *might* be a small window of reprieve here. In Michigan, there is a program that allows for a portion of the SS income to stay with the recipient to pay for the home that they will return to *IF* there is a probability that they will return home within a certain time frame (I believe it's 3 or 6 months). I don't know if other states have this program. The billing manager at my mother's nursing home explained it to me, and we put it into use to help ease the transition, financially. There was only a slim chance of Mom ever coming home again, but the billing manager said that didn't matter - that if there was any chance at all, that we could use that program to help pay the housing expenses for the home she would return to. Once that period of time expired, all of her SS income went to the nursing home, except for the small amount they allow patients to keep as "personal need" - about $60 a month, depending on their income.

I agree with others here - having been in this situation myself, I can say for certain that your Mom needs to move forward as if your grandmother is never coming home, to ensure her own financial security. She needs to look at finding a cheaper place to live, see if she qualifies for subsidized housing through her city's Housing Department or Housing Commission, and also contact her local social services agency to see if there is help to be had for her situation.
This is not a good situation, but it's something many of us have had to face. We move in as caregivers to our elderly loved ones, and many times, jobs and income are lost or sacrificed in order to care for our loved ones full time, to keep them out of a nursing home. Then when they finally reach the point of needing nursing home care, the caregiver is left in a horrible situation - possibly homeless, jobless and in some cases, too far advanced in age to consider going out and getting a job again, after years of caregiving - yet they need income to maintain the home they've lived in, or they have to move. And then when the loved one passes away, if they're on Medicaid, you have to be concerned with Medicaid Estate Recovery (MERP), which comes after any assets (including an owned home, which is not your situation, thankfully) to help repay the services they've provided.

Hugs to all of you - I know this is tough.
Helpful Answer (1)

I hate to be the bearer of possible bad news, but if she is on a ventilator at rehab, you are looking at a long slow recovery (this is my field) and you really need to NOT count on her income anytime soon. And when she comes home..if she can.. you are looking at home care expenses and the like.. some of which will be paid, and some of which may not be. I assume your Mom works, or gets some form of income.. can she qualify for low income benefits.. like houseing or food? Or are they already getting that? Good luck,, this is a terrible situation.
Helpful Answer (0)

Thank you both for your response!

@Shane1124 - I wish I could move back to help but I work in the tech industry and where they live, there is simply no work for me. My ultimate goal is to move them out by me on the west coast which I am trying to do asap. I must maintain my current job anyway because I already helping them with their other bills and wouldn't be able to with the difference in salary available there.

She was a smoker for a very long time. When she had her heart surgery in January, she was having trouble breathing after she was awake a few days later. They first tried the mask, then ended up having to do the trache. Since then, she has had complications in the hospital and rehab facilities such as sepsis, pneumonia, kidney failure(they have now returned to normal functionality), required blood plasmapharesis, and a number of other things. Throughout the whole process, they've been trying to wean her but it's been slow because of all these things going wrong as well as her bad anxiety playing against her.

@staaarr - I have actually been in talks with the local services facility that helps the elderly understand Medicare coverage. I haven't been able to locate something similar for Medicaid but I'm still on the lookout.

I am happy to see that once she comes home, her income would be reverted back to her.

Unfortunately, we found out via a bounced rent check over the last few days that the previous facility, which was supposed to be covered by Medicare 100%, somehow contacted Social Security and is having all of her benefits forwarded to them. This is really confusing because she has not been in that facility for about 3 weeks now. The reason she was moved to her current facility was because Medicare coverage had run out. Are they allowed to forward her benefits without her or my mother's consent as well as the fact that it was done 3 weeks since she left?

We've been trying to get ahold of them, but they never answer the phones in any department. Such a mess!
Helpful Answer (0)

I'm not sure if you are able to consult with an elder care attorney, but it sounds like funds are low, so that may not be an option. There is the possibility that the local social services department can guide you towards free legal help for seniors. We have that in my county.

My mom was in a rehab since the end of December and then moved to long term care. We applied for Medicaid and she was able to keep $845 per month up until June 1 (yesterday). As of June 1, all of her income less $50 needs to go to the nursing facility. If she were to go home, she would then convert back to community Medicaid and would get the $845 per month back.

From what I know, the nursing facility will bill your grandmother for the balance of her income. Possibly you can just use the social security to pay the rent and worry about the bill from the nursing facility down the road.
Helpful Answer (1)

Sorry to hear about your grandma. She is still on a ventilator after surgery in January? She must be very ill.
I dont think that Medicaid will make the adjustment you are asking but maybe someone here knows better about that than I.
Maybe an option would be for you to move in with mom to help out as your grandma may not be discharged anytime soon.
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