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I mentioned before her being 83 and living states away. Eventually something is going to happen, she has a DNR and has left most of her finances and home in my name but that is only in the event of death. What happens otherwise I mean if she has to be placed in a nursing home or falls and breaks a hip? I am clueless. She is so hard to talk to I am even nervous about bringing any of this up with her. Suggestion appreciated. Blessings to all.

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There are simple DNR's and there are 4 page DNR's with lots of IF's. If mom has a DNR, you really need to read it. It may have Advance Directives and it may not.
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heydeb, I am in the same boat even though my parents have medical POA for each other.

My Dad had a fall and my Mom didn't come to hospital because she felt because she couldn't hear or see very well, she wouldn't be able to understand the doctors. That's when I had an ah ha moment, that my parents needed to update their medical POA. What if Dad's fall was life threatening and Mom had to make some medical decisions, she couldn't.

Then I looked at my own medical POA, and my parents were my POA. Oops, I need to change that, too.
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If mom is placed in a nursing home, she will be mandated to use all of her assets, whether your name is on them or not, to pay for her care before Medicaid will pay a dime. It is impossible to hide assets; and asset transfers within five years of applying are disallowed.

Does she have her DNR posted on her refrigerator? Is it signed by a physician? (The only kind paramedics, at least in Illinois, will honor.)

If she falls and breaks a hip, she'll have hip surgery, assuming she is physically strong enough for surgery. Most are. If she isn't? Most likely, she'll be placed on hospice either at home or in a nursing home. In most states, one person living alone cannot be placed on Medicare Hospice without adequate in-home healthcare. Otherwise, she would be placed, by social services powers, into a nursing home for hospice care.

If she has the surgery, Medicare (and presumably a decent supplement) will cover everything. From surgery, she'll be placed into a nursing home for rehabilitation therapy, paid for the same way. Rehab therapy will include physical, occupational and (in some cases) speech therapy. They like to give all three because they get paid for those three therapies automatically with a senior

She'll stay in therapy until she stops improving, at which time, they'll look at a discharge plan for her. Where's she going? Can she live alone? Is anyone available to care for her? If they don't believe she's safe? They'll recommend and push for nursing home placement.

Hate to say this, but you should have had her healthcare and financial powers of attorney a long time ago. That should be tops on your priority list. Time for "the conversation."
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An elderly person absolutely must have a durable POA. I was POA for my dad and it came in handy dozens of times. Some people go through elder law attorneys but my dad couldn't afford that at the time so I downloaded the forms from legalzoom.com. My dad and I signed them in front of a notary and a social worker and that was it. I never had a problem using it.

You should also obtain an Advanced Directive. Some people call it a "medical POA". It states that in the event your parent can't make healthcare choices on their own, they appoint you to make them instead. I also had this for my dad and I had to use it.

In caregiving or when one has an elderly parent these two documents are vital.
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