First of all, my mom refuses to go to a nursing home, she says "I won't go and nobody can make me". I came here last March, she had fallen several times and wasn't eating. She's 96 and her doctor said she's developing Alzheimer's/dementia. I was staying with her for awhile, but then she started having trouble walking, now she can't get around by herself -- her physical therapy says she has the muscle strength but she has a fear of falling and just won't even try to walk unless somebody is helping her. She's been approved for Medicaid Waiver for homecare but they only approved her for 31 hours per week. After calling a dozen home care agencies, I found one with some availability, but they have trouble covering more than a few hours per week. They tried sending someone different each day for 2 hours per day 4 days per week, but that was too difficult for her and didn't do me much good. We finally found a caregiver she likes who can only come for several hours every Tuesday.

I lost my job and my apartment over this, there is nobody else I can get to help. I was able to get approved to be paid but my mom only gets 31 hours, so if the caregiver comes for 3 hours, that only leaves 28 hours that I can get paid for, yet I have to be here 24/7. According to the Agency on Aging, with her condition, she can't be left alone period, not even for a short time.

There is a job coming up that I would like to apply for, but right now, there is no such thing as a caregiver who can cover all those hours, they just want to come for a couple hours to give me a break.

My mom's lawyer had her sign papers back in 2008 when her mind was still good, updating her will, giving me POA and there's something about where she sold me her house for $1 then retained it as a life estate.

We know that if my mom does go the the Nursing Home, she will be on Medicaid right from the start. I would then have to move out of the house since I have no job and Medicaid would require that I pay rent, but I wouldn't be able to pay rent, so the house would sit empty and I would be homeless. Then after she dies, Medicaid Estate Recovery will force the sale of the home. Since it's just a small house and isn't worth much, it isn't very likely I would get anything.

Would there be a way I could take a job now and leave my mom alone while I'm at work? We talked to my mom about it and she said she won't go to the the nursing home just so I can take a job. She said it's her house and she has the right to remain in it until she dies. I inquired about private caregivers and can't find any in the area.

The closest living relative is my mom's brother in Ohio who hasn't spoken to either of us in 30 years. Then I have a Cousin in Kansas who hasn't been here in over a year. Nobody has even been here to visit my mom since I came last March. The home care agency is really all we have. The Agency on Aging has really been no help other than to get my mom approved for Medicaid Waiver.

Also my mom will eat fairly well if I cook, but she refuses to eat her home delivered meals.

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Most people have a general misconceptions about Medicaid Waivers. So the first thing you need to understand is Case Managers and Social Workers lie. Secondly, they are paid a monthly administrative fee to make sure services are in place so her care is covered. It is their job to call agencies to set up services, not yours.

So, I do not know the law in Nebraska but most states will not pay a spouse or POA Medicaid finds for providing care. You need to find out if it is even legal for you to be paid.

So, they did explain to you how the pay works, right? Of course not. So, lets say they find a caregiver from an agency for $6 hours a week, leaving you at 25 paid hours. The 6 hours would be $210. Then you get paid, let say $12 an hour, thats 300 plus taxes and WC, enemployment etc. which brings it up to about $400. Then, they hire a fiscal intermediary to set up payroll, do payroll, taxes, etc. Tack on about $250 a month on top of the $400. Plus the admin fee....ALL of those charges hit back on the recovery lein. Nebraska expanded their recovery laws back in 2017 so you should consult a lawyer. Why take pay only for it to be a lein.

So home value, is it under $15k?

As for eating delivered meals. If she has the choice not to go into a facility, she has the choice not to eat, right?

I know I sound a little harsh but where I live we have 24/7 Medicaid home care and it was just ordered by a judge and the Social Workers are worthess. I have played the game too many years....TAKE THE JOB. They can not stop you.
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SGeorge, please read the article posted, especially the paragraph towards the bottom that says,

[a Life Estate is ]..." a way to protect the home from Medicaid estate recovery. If a person needs care and is eligible to receive Medicaid, the government may try to recover the costs of the care from their estate once they pass away. A life estate can protect the home from being included in the Medicaid recovery process as it immediately passes to the remainderman."

Please consult an elder law attorney now to clarify what your legal options are.
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You need to contact an Elder Care Attorney for advice at this point. There's only so much a forum of non experts can advise you on. You have rights too, regardless of what your mom wants and doesn't want to do! Find out what they are!
Best of luck
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To answer your question, no you cannot take a job and leave your mom all by herself. Not right now anyway. Not until you get the caregiver situation worked out, for the hours you would be at work. Your mom is a fall risk and she now has dementia/Alzheimer's. Do you honestly think that you would be able to do your job properly, while you'd be wondering if mom was ok at home or not? If you are mom's durable and medical POA, and she has been diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer's, then you should be able to place her in the appropriate facility whether she agrees or not. You must do what's best for her and for you, as her safety should be your number one priority. Best wishes.
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It's possible you have more options than you think, since YOU own the home, not your mom.


What Is A Life Estate?
A life estate is something to consider during estate planning. When an owner of a home signs a life estate, they are in effect passing part of the ownership of a home to another person. This could be thought of as a way to pregift your home to your heirs while still retaining joint ownership.

You’ll often find life estates used for homes, but they can be used for any type of real property – land, and anything attached to the land.

Life Estate Deed
A life estate deed permits the property owner to have full use of their property until their death, at which point the ownership of the property is automatically transferred to the beneficiary.

These deeds are typically created when a person wants to pass a piece of property to an heir without the need for a will or for the process of probate after they pass away. In the right situations, it can be a streamlined and easy way to transfer ownership.

How Does A Life Estate Work?
Life estates create a sort of legal joint ownership of a piece of property. For example, let’s say a mother wants to pass her home to her son when she passes away. She decides to use a life estate to make the transaction smoother.

She (the mother) would establish a life estate for her home, which would make her the life tenant and her son the remainderman or beneficiary. She can continue to live in her home for the remainder of her life if she chooses to and is responsible for making property tax and insurance payments.

While it doesn’t sound like much has changed, it has. As a life tenant, the mom no longer has full control over her house. She’ll need to get approval from her son to make large changes like selling it or taking out a mortgage. She also can’t revoke the life estate without his consent, so it’s important for her to make sure it’s the right solution for her family.

Upon her death, the house title would be immediately passed to her son, the remainderman. Rather than going through probate, the only thing that would need to be done to pass ownership is to file her death certificate.

Why Create A Life Estate?
Life estates are valuable options for some families seeking to simplify the estate planning process.

A life estate helps avoid the probate process upon the life tenant’s death. The property will automatically transfer to the remainderman, making the process simple and easy – a will isn’t needed for the transfer to happen. This can provide relief and comfort to the life tenant as they know exactly what will happen to their property upon their death.

The life tenant is also able to use and occupy their home for the remainder of their life and be transparent with beneficiaries about what will happen with the property upon their death.

It’s also a way to protect the home from Medicaid estate recovery. If a person needs care and is eligible to receive Medicaid, the government may try to recover the costs of the care from their estate once they pass away. A life estate can protect the home from being included in the Medicaid recovery process as it immediately passes to the remainderman.

Potential Problems With A Life Estate:
While a life estate can be helpful in some situations, when things get complicated, it can create problems.

The life tenant loses control to make major decisions related to the property without input. For example, if the life tenant wants to sell or lease the home or get a mortgage, they need approval from the remainderman. If the life tenant wants to terminate the life estate or change the remainderman/beneficiary, they will need approval from all remaindermen to do so. (click link for full article)
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