My mom is 82 yrs old & luv S alone.
She has refused all home care visits from nurses, cleaning ladies, etc & has multiple illnesses, one of which is breast or lung cancer (were not sure which because mom refused her doctor to do any testing), Asthma, mobility problems, she uses a walker & is very weak in her legs/hips but again wants to remain in her home after a 3 mo to stay in rehab last year that happened as a result of her falling.
I am an only child w/no family near (a few cousins out of state).
I'm 55, single but have bad arthritis & hip problems.
I visit mom x2 weekly to bring her food, clean her house, wash clothes, etc & keep her company.
My mom has become very needy, she'll call me when she's woken up from sleep in a panic saying she's "dying" & "I don't know where I'm at" sort of thing usually very late like 2-3am or early 7-8am.
I don't pick up my phone after 2am because I won't be able to sleep at all due to her calling multiple times during the night because she's lonely..
I love my mom but I'm afraid she is needing more of me then I can give both physically & emotionally & it has left me w/a tremendous amount of "guilt".
My mom also plays the guilt trip w/me because she's always say "I'm a sick woman, you should be living at home w/me so I'm not alone, I would never do this to you"...
I have dogs & cats which my mom is allergic to (cats).
I also have not managed my money very well thru the years and have filed bankruptcy x2 which has left me w/not so credit in order to find an apartment to live in.
The last 8 yrs I have been able to find a landlord that has forgone checking my credit & they have been renting to me which I am extremely grateful for..
My mom is poverty level.
She receives Medicare & Medicaid because she o lot gets $750 social security for her income.
She had to take out a reverse mortgage on her house 10 yrs ago to pay off credit card debt.
She currently owes about $175,000 to the RM co which will need to be paid back upon her death if I should want to keep her house.
Since my credit is so bad, I cannot get a loan to pay it back, so most likely the house will have to be sold & whatever little money is left, may come to me.
House is in very bad shape.
No repairs have been done so I'm afraid it won't sell for the good amount that comparable houses on her block have sold for (they all have been in great shape).
So back to my "bad credit" issue, my mom continually asks me to move back in w/her but she doesn't realize that should she pass away before me, I would have to leave my apartment, move in w/her and then worry about being homeless because I won't be able to pay the money back to keep her house..
Like I mentioned earlier, It was very, very fortunate for me to find a decent apartment, one that I could afford (only $700/month) that didn't do a credit check.
Me, my dogs & kitties will be homeless, or worse I'd have to give them all away & just worry about myself living in a motel somewhere..
This has caused me so much anxiety I can't even tell you.
Also, my mother refuses to discuss what's going to happen if she should pass away..
I ask her if she has any money put away for her cremation (that's her wish) because I dont have any savings to help..
I also told her I won't be able to take any money from her checking account that's left to help pay for anything because I don't know her password for her debit card.
She gets angry & says "don't worry, my crypt is already paid for, just put me in the mausoleum w/your sister"..
My sister is buried in a mausoleum and my mom wants to be cremated & have her urn placed in w/my sisters casket or next to it, however they do that.
But she doesn't understand, that her cremation will need to be paid for right??
Who does that?
A funeral home I assume..?
I do t have the money for that.
I have nightmares about what's going to happen if this should go down.
And do I call paramedics if should come to see my mom & I find her passed away??
Or do I call a funeral home?
Someone said paramedics should only be called if the person is still alive & not dead..
I'm sick w/worry about all this.
Please, can someone give me some advice??
God bless you all. Xo

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Call 911 if you find your mother dead.

If your mother is on Medicaid and gets only $750 ss per month, I don't imagine she has any money saved for final expenses. Does she have money from the reverse mortgage? I think you should find out what it will cost to have the body cremated and interred with your sister. Even if the space is paid for, there may be a charge for opening it and adding her urn. Find this out and show Mom the papers. Explain that you won't have that money and ask her how she wants it handled. She may honestly think it is all taken care of, but there will be costs.

Your mother is on Medicaid. If she would allow it they would provide visiting nurses, an aide for certain hours during the week, cleaning and laundry service and other in-home help. You are not obligated to provide service to her that she could easily get elsewhere.

Under the circumstances, do NOT give up your affordable apartment. Whether you spend more or less time with Mom, keep that apartment! Given that you need to work two jobs and have health issues yourself doing more for your mother than you already do does not see feasible. It might be different if she wasn't on Medicaid and had no way to get help, but help is available to her.

Here is a thought: Take to her Medicaid caseworker. If mother is eligible for cleaning and laundry services, ask if you can be the paid provider. Believe me, it won't allow you to give up your other jobs, but every little bit helps, right? My brother was paid for cleaning and laundry for our mother. (And he did a better job than the agency person we started with.)

You can also discuss your concern about final expenses with the Medicaid caseworker. Medicaid does not cover cremation, but the worker may know of other resources in your area.

You are an awesome daughter to do as much as you do. Don't feel guilty that it can't be more.
Helpful Answer (7)

I hope this thought will make you feel better, and help you get a more realistic perspective.

Say you knew of an 82 year old lady, very resistant to accepting medical help, but who had numerous, serious health problems and needed good practical support to stay living in her home.

And say you were going to recruit somebody to do that job.

Would you pick someone with mobility problems of her own, already holding down two jobs to make ends meet, and who was too emotionally tied up with the client to help her in a realistic way?

You are NOT the right person to take charge of supporting your mother. You love her, you care about her, but you're right - she needs much more help than you are able to give, and a different *type* of help. Don't complicate matters by seeming to be a care option for her, because you just can't be.

Speaking to the Medicaid caseworker sounds like a really promising idea. I hope you'll find help for your mother very soon.
Helpful Answer (6)

I'm just looking at that $175K debt on the reverse mortgage. Okay, that's after ten years, but even so. Must be some big old house, no? How much was the original loan?

Asset rich, cash poor - huge old house, no money to keep it up, no money to live on?

And if it's in a bad state of repair, what does that say about the mother's living conditions?

Because the other thing that's been bothering me is how bizarre the OP's choice of headline question is. Of all the salient issues, her very worst case scenario is going to the house and, God forbid, finding her mother stretched out cold on the floor? What about how her mother is living? What about the refusal to accept even palliative care or symptom relief?

Hangingon, I'm afraid that you must be in a state of such total fear and dread that you can't think straight, and I don't blame you. Please, please, make some calls and get professionals, get the authorities, to help you. You have enough to deal with keeping yourself on an even keel, you simply can't cope with your mother as well. Please get help.
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You have been advised already to call 911 if you find your mother has passed away.
You have one other option and that is to donate her body to science through a medical school. You may not fancy that idea and she may not agree but if she can't meet her own expenses that is the cheapest option and should not cost much if anything.
Above all stop worrying about it Mom has refused all help so must take the consequences. Talk to the medicaid people and they will offer what they are able and if Mom refuses so be it. You have too much going on with your own life to take on Mom's problems. Has she helped you out at all in the past when you were in deep trouble? You are under no obligation to take on Mom's problems however much you love her.
Keep your apartment and do not provide anymore help that you are doing for Mom and if you find there is free help for chores then stop doing any of it. Just visit and leave it at that. Also turn off your phone at night so you get the sleep you must have. Tell Mom you won't be answering between the hours of X and Y but will call before you go to sleep and when you get up in the morning.
See if medicaid will supply an emergency call button or if there is some other local entity who provides them free. She may also be entitled to a free cell phone if they are provided in your area. She should keep that with her at all times so she can call 911 if she falls etc.
You have done all you are able and it is obviously not appreciated so take care of yourself, keep your apartment and your fur babies.
If Mom can't get a free cell phone you may be able to find someone who is getting rid of theirs to upgrade and as long as that is kept charged you can make a 911 call at no charge without actually having to pay for service.
Above all to not sign anything to agree to paying any expences. Let the reverse mortgage people foreclose, you can't afford it anyway nor can you make the repaire so just let it go. Medicaid will take it anyway.
Helpful Answer (5)

Hangingon, I'm English so other people will be much better able to advise you about Medicaid. But. Using just common sense:

Your mother has a valuable house, but not enough income to keep it up. Is that so?

Your mother's health is deteriorating, and as she becomes more frail she will need more care. And you are already overwhelmed and unable to provide it.

Your mother cannot afford to pay for the care she needs. Is that so?

So, she will at some point need to apply for Medicaid. Medicaid will assess her assets and income, and then agree to pay for her care in an approved situation. They will not force her to sell her house (although it might be a sensible thing to do anyway). BUT, after she passes, they will be ENTITLED to recoup the public money they have spent on her care, and they will do so by taking the proceeds of the house sale. They won't take more than they have given her, but you would be surprised just how fast you can rip through $200K in care fees so you can't assume there'll be anything left over.

I am sorry, I understand how precarious your own situation is, and I do sympathise. It is very frightening to have no security for one's future, I know - I'm more or less in the same boat.

But STOP counting on your mother leaving you a windfall, and start looking for ways to dig yourself out of this hole.
Helpful Answer (4)

Pamstegma when you say the funeral home will ask me to sign agreeing to pay the bill does that mean they will send me a bill after they perform the cremation?
Also Zam250 do you mean that the city of Cleveland pays for anyone's cremation?
Concernedvicki I work 7 days a week, 2 different jobs that are very physically demanding.
I have my own medical issues that I'm dealing with so I'm pretty much exhausted most of the time. 2 days a week to do all the housecleaning, shopping, picking up medical supplies, & visiting my mom is pretty much all that I can get done.
If your trying to make me feel guilty that I don't see her more then that, it's not going to work.
Helpful Answer (3)

Hangingon, if your mother were to die next week, the $175,000 loan on the house would need to be paid back. (In fact, if she were just to move out and go to a nursing home, for example, the loan would be due.) If the house were sold, the first people to get money would be the mortgage company. After that the state would be able to claim reimbursement for the cost of their Medicaid services over the years. If there is anything left after that and there are no other creditors that need to be satisfied, the rest goes to you (unless your mother has specified otherwise in her will).

Once again, DO NOT give up your apartment. DO NOT quit your jobs. The likelihood of you being compensated after your mother dies does not sound high.
Helpful Answer (3)

Hangingon, one of the things Medicaid applicants are allowed to spend down their assets on is pre-paid burial arrangements. If your mother has done that and already covered the cost of cremation, interment, and all the record-keeping, then you really need to know where that contract is, or at the very least where she made the arrangements. Maybe that is what she means by "don't worry about it" -- that she has pre-paid.

If all she has paid for is a crypt in a mausoleum then there will definitely be costs involved. There is the cremation itself, which includes a container for the body, fees for transporting the body, and various fees for official paperwork. No doubt that the mausoleum has charges, but it is possible your mother prepaid that when she got your sister's crypt.

I hope you can get very specific information from your mother. And it is good that you are looking into the costs on your own.

And don't worry about asking these questions before your mother dies. Funeral homes and cemeteries encourage this and expect it.
Helpful Answer (3)

Hangingon, I do think you're worrying about the wrong things. It's as if you're distracting yourself from dealing with the real problems in your life.

If your mother really is unconcerned about what happens to her earthly remains, just drop the subject. Try looking at it from her point of view: someone is asking for access to your bank account on the premise that she will later want to pay for your cremation. How thrilled would you be if someone was taking that approach with you?

More to the point, you are selecting the issue of how you are to pay for a hypothetical funeral that your mother doesn't want anyway as your biggest worry. Well. With respect, it's the least of your worries. And -while I don't want to hurt your feelings and I don't doubt that your anxiety about the decencies is genuine - given the financial pressure you're under now, plus the history you've already told us about, your concentration on how your mother will make money available to you - even in this good cause - just looks really bad.

Look. When, God forbid, your mother does pass away, if you are not able to meet her funeral expenses then so be it. No one will push you further into debt or otherwise squeeze you for contributions. If she doesn't make provision herself then she'll get whatever the state deems fit, which may be pretty paltry - but if that doesn't trouble her, it shouldn't trouble you either.

How are you doing otherwise? Have you been able to make any contacts with people who might help?
Helpful Answer (2)

Hangingon, I'm sorry I didn't explain better.

*I* don't think for one second that you're worried about your mother's money. Really I don't. I'm sure you're not, I'm sure you're eating yourself up about what you'll do when you're faced with having to cope when she passes.

What I meant to explain, is what I think your mother might be getting upset about in addition to her not particularly wanting to think about being cremated.

And not wanting to dwell on your own cremation is not that unusual, really, when you think about it.

The point others and I were trying to get across to you is that, if she will not give you instructions or the wherewithal to follow them, then your mother's funeral arrangements will Not Be Your Problem.

You are being unfair to yourself if you continue to worry about being responsible for something you cannot possibly manage to pay for. And the legal reality of the thing is that you will NOT be responsible for it.

Right back at the beginning of this thread, Pam Stegman explained what to do if, God forbid, you should walk in one day and discover that your mother has passed.

But worrying about to how to arrange the funeral your mother wants? If your mother doesn't know or care or can't say what she wants, how can you possibly do that? You can't. So let it go.
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