Follow
Share

My father (91) has been in assisted living for 2 years now. We researched several places and he chose the one he wanted. At the time he had plenty of money and for what he needed that should have lasted him several years. Prior to going to assisted living he gave a couple of his grandkids money for college. Over the past few months he has needed/wanted more care. Some of it is a legitimate need and others are just due to him just not wanting to do anything for himself anymore (AL confirmed this). His monthly costs have jumped up $2,100 since two months ago. While we are not in any immediate danger of running out of money, I am concerned that it could be a possibility in about 2 years. And that is only if he doesn't add on more care. I am concerned about the 5-year look back. I took over his bills two years ago and have kept backup for every check written. I am concerned about the money given towards college. That money is gone, paid for tuition and there is no getting it back. At the time it was given there was never a thought that he could eventually run out of money. His social security covered all his living expenses and he had a large nest egg in the bank. No one foresaw the astronomical costs that he would be racking up. What steps should I take now in the event that he may run out of funds? Eldercare attorney? Social worker? My father doesn't want to concern himself with any of this, he says it is my problem. He served in WWII, would he be entitled to veteran benefits? I never imagined he would live this long. What actually happens to a person when they outlive their funds?

My father has a catheter bag that needs to be changed or switched to a night bag. There is no way any one can commit to performing that on a daily basis.

The kids are in no position to 'repay a loan' to him. If it had been presented as a loan in the first place they would have never accepted and made choices accordingly.

I think the elder attorney is the way to go for starters.

Would it change things if instead of gifting relatives he gave generously to his church? How is this handled if he had a gambling problem or was addicted to shopping and spent his money that way?

My home is unsafe for him. With gas appliances he have my home burned down in less than an hour of moving in. I have no first floor bedroom and most importantly no one is home during the day.

I appreciate all the advice.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to lkdrymom
Report

lkdrymom, you've asked good questions and I suggest you see an eldercare attorney to see if your dad can avoid the" painful family problem" of Katiekate's aunt. Perhaps it's not too late to explain the situation to the grandkids and to renegotiate the college gifts into market-interest loans that will pass a a possible future Medicaid investigation. I'm sorry that I don't know the answer to your question of what happens to a person who needs care, but who has been denied Medicaid assistance during a penalty period due to "gifting" and for whom no one is able and willing to provide care. You said no one can take him in, but maybe this will have to become an option if the only other option is for him to be left entirely on his own with no assets and minimal income.

As JoAnn29 and FrazzeledMama mentioned, your dad may qualify for a VA pension for which the current maximum Aid and Attendance payment is $1,830/month for a war-time single veteran whose condition meets a certain level of care requirements. It does sound like the level of your dad actually needs for care right now is questionable, given that both you and his AL facility believe some of his care level is "just due to him just not wanting to do anything for himself anymore." But VA pension benefits take many months to get approved, so it's certainly worth investigating now rather than waiting for his actual care needs to worsen.

Best wishes in helping your dad correct prior financial mistakes.  Your job is not an easy one.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to bicycler
Report

Do you have financial POA? If so, tell AL you have to approve all services. Also tell your,dad, that is the miraculous fix you have come up with. If not, get POA! You might also have a meeting with AL and dad regarding what is necessary and what is not. Maybe having his MD "prescribe" more independence would be of use. He may be depressed and therefore not willing to do things for himself he can do. I would check that out, too.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Judysai422
Report

What is this service that the AL is charging $1300 a month for that he was previously able to manage? Could a family member provide it? Could a private pay aid provide it for less? Is it something that must be done?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to rocketjcat
Report

The nest egg came from him selling his home. Yes some of his costs could be lowered by doing it himself($1300 a month). The AL said so themselves but have not been able to convince him to go back to doing the service himself. That is one of my problems with him. He loves being helpless. I had this conversation with him a few weeks ago. He does not want to hear anything that requires effort on his part. I saw him yesterday and tried to put the fear of God into him about the money issue. He keeps thinking I will come up with some miracle answer that will get him what he wants. He is fixated on a rehab/Nursing home he went to after his last two falls. He loved it there. He wants to go there because they do everything for him. Medicare only pays so many days in rehab. Self pay at that facility is $12000 a month. I have not been able to get that fact through to him.

Bottom line he has abdicated any responsibility for himself and left it all to me to figure out. Would and eldercare attorney be able to help me with veteran's benefits?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to lkdrymom
Report

I would begin talking to the VA now about his situation, and ask about applying for Aid and Attendance benefits. It's better to try to put a plan in place while you still have some time, rather than having to scramble at the last minute once his funds run out. They also may be able to see if there are other types of assistance or benefits that he may qualify for (i.e. help with paying the care portion of his bill, meds, etc)

Also, does your dad own a home or any other assets that could possibly be rented or sold to raise funds so that he can continue living where he is?

Could some of his AL costs be cut by having him do for himself what he can? Tell him you are trying to keep him from having to move out, so you need to reevaluate his budget and only keep the services that are totally necessary.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to FrazzledMama
Report

No one can “take him in”. That is not an option. No one can quit their job to oversee him. And no one has a home that would accomodate him. What happens then ?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to lkdrymom
Report

My aunt gave a large gift for tuition to my cousin...her son.
As it happened, she needed to have Medicaid take over the cost of the nursing home when her money ran out....

But..it was within the 5 year look back. Well, my cousin died in a car crash..that money was never going to be repaid.

Medicaid penalty for my aunt was 8 months of NH she had to pay for. Well, she didn't have the money. As POA for my Mom...everyone figured my Mom would pay her NH for those 8 months. But, I didn't dare. What if those payments fell within the 5 year look back for my Mom? The problem would just move from aunt to Mom.

The only answer was for someone to take aunt into their own home till that money gift fell outside the 5 year look back.

It isn't good enough to just keep her for 8 months...because, that gift would still be there.   So, since paying the penalty was not going to happen...the only other choice was take her in until the 5 year look back didn't have that gift...only then would she qualify for Medicaid

Painful family problem.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Katiekate
Report

There is Aid and Attendence. It would help offset his AL costs. Call your local County VA and make an appointment. The more info you have the faster the process will be.

The college money is going to be the problem if it falls within the five year look back. If he needs a NH, that money will count as a penalty and he will have to pay what he gave for college to the home before Medicaid will kick in. I think an eldercare attorney would be good. I don't trust Social Workers to know the ins and outs of Medicaid. Someone just posted that one SW told her one thing, another SW something else. Even NHs have given the wrong info.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report