For $42,000 in assets....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I can have my mom placed in the nicer, local assisted living facility. Otherwise, she can apply at one of the places that are out of town and not so nice.

    The woman said that my mother would have to have at the very least OVER $42,000 in her OWN assets in order to be considered for their assisted living facility. And based on what I told her she does not feel she would be eligible for nursing care living.

    What the heck are we going to do? My mother goes home this coming Sunday - she misses her cat and so my loco sister is taking her home. The sister who lives near my mom is arranging for a caseworker from the state department of aging to come assess my mom, which is excellent - that will get the ball rolling at least.

    This stinks.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I have no ideas or suggestions. My Mom has been paying on her "assisted living" insurance for years. She feared my sister will be her caretaker.

    Can your family pitch in? I'm sorry I have no ideas, just hugs.

  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hmm. I don't know. Have you talked to the sis who does the paperwork?
    If she has very little $ (like way less than $42,000), you can sell off all her property, in effect, declaring her bankrupt, and use Medicare and SS for her assisted living. She doesn't have to live in a bad place, either ... really nice places have one-bedrooms.
    But how to get to that point will require a considerable amt of paperwork.

    I'm throwing fairy dust and financial strategy fortitude your way!!!!
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thank you. My mother has no assets - zero, zilch, nada, nil. She was a middle class working mother of 5, all spread out over a 17 year time frame. She was in charge of the money while I was growing up and she & dad were never able to save anything and she was a spendthrift when they did. When my dad died I think his funeral costs were covered but that's it and she did receive a pension check from him until she remarried. We told her to just live with her 2nd H, but he insisted they marry. Well, they both lost their spouses SS and pension checks! Silly old fools. I am not angry about that - I know she's not the only one in this situation. I would say most of the elderly are in the same shoes - they live off whatever they get from SS. It's only those who are just now entering retirement who had the benefit of seeing that SS would not be enough when their time came.

    Out of all five siblings there is only one who is in a financial situation to truly help, and that is loco sister. I know she would do what she could, but I fear it would not be enough. After all she has 3 kids in college even if they are well off. The other 3 all have kids who are either in college or almost in college so finances are tight at best. And then there is my oldest sister who is 61 and she is just now figuring out her own retirement options financially.

    I think it's going to come down to mom living with one or more of us and having a nurse or aide come in to care for her when we're not home, which is probably most affordable if we all chip in. I have to call my sisters later and let them know what's up.

    Thanks as always.
  5. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Jo, my mother lives near my younger brother and his wife (she lives in one of his apartment bldgs that he co owns with other people). She no longer drives, and is pretty far from just about anything. I just found out a few weeks ago he has pancreatic cancer and its terminal. She is in So. Carolina and knows no one there except them. I had at one time suggested assisted living, but was shot down as it was "too expensive". Like your mom, she really didn't make enough money nor had she planned for retirement years. I think she thought Social Security would be enough.

    Now is not a good time for me to be wondering out loud to her as to exactly what she is going to do as they have not exactly told her what the state of his health is, and I can't really approach them as I am sure this is low on their priority list right now.
    I have no idea of how much my sister in law is willing to assume, if anything, and really can't even begin to think of what to do in a worse case senario. Not to mention SO is really worried about his mom who is crippled but still living on her own. He has told her no way will she have to go to a convalescent home :nonono: I thought I was pretty well overwhelmed as the day is comming soon when he will be in a wheelchair bound himself and what am I going to do then - these two additional concerns have me absolutely wringing my hands..

    I will be watching your thread and making notes..sigh..

  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    As a working poor senior citizen I can relate. It is not a pretty picture. Does she own her home? If she sells her home to
    reach the asset level required (if it is similar to Florida) she
    will be able to transition once her up front money is gone. My
    neighbor asked me to be her personal representative about six
    years ago and that is how it worked. I sold her home, sold her
    extra personal items and paid for her care as a private patient
    until her money was "almost" gone...then I had to go to the HRS
    office and attest to her upcoming poverty, which then made her
    eligible for government assistance. She was so worried that
    "people would know" (including her roommate) and not a soul other
    than office personnel knew she had moved from private to government.

    I'm not sure which is worse...aging or the alternative. Good luck and caring thoughts coming your way. DDD
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    DDD, she is only receiving SS and she gets subsidized housing from the state of PA, specifically earmarked for the elderly. Her monthly income is about $1100 and that is it. That is supposed to cover her rent, her food, electric, medication rx co-pay, and miscellaneous expenses. She receives Medicare for her health care but as we all know, that's not entirely free.

    She really has minimal monthly expenses and back when she owned her car and had insurance and a monthly car payment, my siblings and I would all send her a fixed amount to cover the cost of her car/ins. Then we had to take away her car because she side swiped a telephone pole and left the scene - she couldn't figure out why her door would not open. She backtracked and discovered the busted pole and the police who were speaking with witnesses! Thank God my brother in law was passing by and stopped. He talked the police out of ticketing her and that was that.

    Anyway, the $1100/month doesn't sound like much (I certainly could not live on that) but she seems to be doing fine. We all buy most all of her clothes, etc., and my sister who lives near her buys her groceries at least once a month.

    Right now it's just a mess we're trying to figure out.

    Thank you.
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    It sounds like this particular alf doesn't want folks that depend solely on social security. We ran into that here as well. I called every single alf in the area and found several that accepted social security. I then did surprise tours of each facility and found our winner. It certainly wasn't as pretty as the top of the line places, but it was clean. And safe. And friendly, in a good location. They were willing to work with us so my Dad would fit in.
    What helped us financially with my Dad was getting him signed up for medicaid. He did a spend down by continuing to pay for his private health insurance. He paid something like $30 a month for extra coverage but medicaid picked up his deductibles and co-pays while BCBS covered his prescriptions and doctor's visits. Dad was upset about doing this at first because he thought he would need to give up his BCBS and rely solely on medicaid, but that wasn't the case.
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks TM. I will be heading to PA after the new year and that was exactly what I had planned on doing! Surprise visits. My sister from WV said she'd come up and go with me, so I won't be alone. I have the list of all alf's in her county so we'll choose those closest to my sister and that accept what she's got and go from there.
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Jo -

    I was offline for a few days and missed your other thread about your mom. I'm so sorry you're going through this.

    Sending good thoughts and supportive hugs.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member


    Dont just accept blindly what this other person said that the other places arent as good. I realize that your mom isnt a nursing home patient at this time but when I was researching nursing homes for my mom, I found out that some of the nicest and best nursing homes were those that accepted medicare and medicaid assignments!

    Just because a place is "for profit" doesnt necessarily make it a better placement.

    You can search the states websites for senior citizen information and find the listings of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the grades that they have been given by the licensing committees. Check out staff turnover, nursing ratios, things like that.

    You may have to dig around on the website to find this info but its there. Look for places that accept both medicare and medicaid and make your list from there. They may have links to see the places online. Or just write down the name and do a google search. That isnt a bad idea either to see if they have been in the news for any reason.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Janet, you beat me to it. I was going to strongly suggest looking up the grades or ratings given to each home. Perhaps
    it varies state to state but I believe that many state's actually
    post the entire annual or semi annual report on line so you can
    read about food quality, staff ratios, cleanliness, programs,
    safety etc. Checking the ratings or reports could save some time
    as there would be no reason to visit substandard facilities.
    Good luck. DDD

    PS: You may also be able to access the statistics on abuse
    complaints per facility....just remember that MOST of the complaints are unfounded so you have to sift through the numbers.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Right DDD. There is some number or report about how many times they have been in violation of code. Now some of those code violations could just be something stupid like a wheelchair patient was blocking the door outside that day but others could be major violations like inadequate staff, medication mix ups, ...things like that. It normally gives if they have fixed the violations and if they were still in violation six months later.

    If you come across a place that has say....5 or 6 code violations...well that could be something stupid. 20 and they continue to have code violations and not fix out.