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I need to spend 8K for someone already in a nursing home and close to going on Medicaid. She has no needs to speak of, no spouse, no home. So the usual options don't apply.

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As freqflyer suggested - buy her things she needs/would like for where she's living. While some of these suggestions may seem frivolous- remember, the goal is the spend down. Is she in her own bed? A wonderful mattress and box springs run around two thousand for a twin. High quality nightgowns and robes. Orthopedic slippers can run a couple hundred. Stock up on Depends - Medicaid incontenent supplies aren't as nice. New hearing aides? My moms last pair of hearing aides were a little over $5,000. New glasses? So much of "the little things" can add up - especially if you shop high-end. A new walker? Memory foam pads for a wheel chair. White Goose down feather pillows with Egyptian cotton 800 thread count pillow cases. Make a trip to a store like Bed, Bath and Beyond and I bet you'll go through a couple thousand before you know it. Seems to me like this is a good excuse to pamper your elderly loved one with luxuries that will be no longer an option once Medicaid kicks in. OR you can self pay a month at the nursing home - that ought to take care of the money pretty quickly. Personally - I'd go the pampering route.
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Spend down has to be for the person themselves. Buy her things for her room at the nursing home.... some new clothes that are easy to put on... a cute lamp for her dresser/night stand... or use the money to self-pay for the room at the nursing home.
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