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Daddy left Mom well off and her money should last around 9-10 years if nothing major occurs (new roof, car breaks down, etc.). She is spending quite a bit on caregivers, and I have the opportunity to take more time to be with my family if we hire either another caregiver for weekends and my husband doesn't believe we should be spending the money on it. My sister is in agreement with me that we spend it now, and if something major does come up, we can always stop the weekend caregiving and let me go back to doing it.

I know my sanity, health, etc are worth the price too...

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If the money will last 9-10 years, you should consider placing half of her money into an irrevocable Medicaid trust for her benefit (income only). That way, after 5 years, should she need Medicaid assistance, the half you put into the trust will not disqualify her and can be used to supplement what Medicaid will not pay for. The alternative is of course to do nothing and spend it all down to zero; that's your decision, but then there will be nothing left to supplement Medicaid.
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Hire the extra caregiver for the weekend. Oh, wait! Maybe hubby would like that job!!
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I'm in this same position now; I've been living with my elderly parents (mom 92 and dad 89) for 5 years as the primary caretaker and have not worked because of managing them. I'm now moving to the other coast to be closer to my children and grandchildren and resume working and have found capable help to keep my parents in their home. However other family members want our parents to go to an assisted living and sell the house and it's cause significant dissension and stress on everyone. I believe that if elders can stay in their homes, they should; if you find the right caregivers' go for it.
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I will never regret spending money on the nursing home while we still had plenty. My reasoning was that she was going to live a long time, and that was in 2008. By mid 2009 she was on Medicaid and our money was technically (per Medicaid rules) gone. Never gave it a second thought. Live your life.
Be grateful for mom's nest egg. Be grateful for the very generous government Medicaid program if the nest egg doesn't last.
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Keep you caregivers! Life is for living.
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As professional caregiver, I would ask the reasons for caregivers, i.e. does she have medical or mobility problems that require caregivers. Does she have problems with ADLs(the activities of daily living)? Or is she lonely and needs someone for companionship or a combination of both. The basic question is how much care and what type of care does she need.
2. I would find out if current caregivers are being paid appropriate hourly rate for your area. Also if she is paying the caregivers, is she paying them the correct amount and how are taxes, etc. being paid. If your mother is paying them under the table, then you could have a real problem.
3. Do the caregivers accountable in terms of hours and responsibilities? Sometimes if they lack accountability and supervision, time keeping can become lax.
4. You might want to evaluate whether it is less expensive to hire a caregiver for the weekend than providing the care yourself occasionally.
5. How confident that your funds will last 10 years? What if her health declines or she get Alzheimer's? Can she withstand these economic challenges. Looking at the long term possibilities is important.
I agree with the others that respite care is important, but caregiving can be extremely expensive over the long term.
Sorry this is not a yes or no answer, but I perceive caregiving to be a more complex question than yes or no.
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In my area, there are lots of Asst Living places, all expensive, and most do not accept Medicaid -- you have to have been living there in that same facility as Private Pay for 2 to 3 years, and then when your money is gone, they will accept Medicaid, BUT (and this is a very big BUT ) , you do NOT get to stay in the same room you had at private pay rates. You get moved to a double, triple or quad, AND only if they have space! If there is no space left in the Medicaid rooms when YOU happen to need it, you are out of luck. Now this does sound very "cruel" to some...but actually it makes sense that those who have paid something, will get something. There are no Medicaid - only Asst Living centers that I know of . My reason for sharing this in response to the original question is, think very carefully about trying to make the money last, at home, expecting to be able to switch to ALF or NH paid by Medicaid with a mere few months......in my experience it just doesn't work that way---You must be private pay for a couple YEARS at the facility. One place (a non-profit with about 12 facilities ) did say, if they don't have room at that exact location, they would help with getting you in as Medicaid pay at one of their other locations -- but if other people are already on the waiting list, you're out of luck. Wait lists are very common at both ALF and NH, and being out of money does not work in your favor. Think about it.
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I think if your Mom has the money, it should be spent on her care. If she wants to stay in her house, then get caregivers if no family can/wants to do it. It's getting harder and harder for us baby boomers to continue to take care of our elderly parents who are living well into their 90's. I mean I'm glad to have both my parents at this state of my life. But it does cause issues...I mean, we are ending up taking care of them much longer than they took care of us! I don't mean that in a mean way!!
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If your Mum can afford it, then hire the extra caregiver for your own sanity. You will appreciate your visits with her more then and she will not feel like a burden on you in the long run. Experience talking.
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If you have the money to spend then do it. You will be able to enjoy spending time wirh your mom without the stress of taking taking care of her. Your mental and physical health are just as important. I wish my sister and I had the financial means to hire more people to help with our mom. She is in now in home hospice and I am working three jobs plus helping take care of my mom during the day and my family and my home and my sister works full time and lives with my mom and takes care of her at night and weekends. We have aids through elder services there on the days I cant be there. We have three brothers that are no help he my children help out when we cant be there. Needless to say we dont have time for ouourselves. So unless your husband wants to take care of your mom I say hire the extra caregivers. Good luck
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