A recent visitor named Joan sent me a question that I just know is on the tip of many of your tongues.
Here are the facts:
- Mom is 85 years old.
- She’s in good health despite having early dementia.
- The only hands-on assistance she requires at this point is help in managing her money which Joan provides.
Here’s a bit about the financial picture…
- Mom owns a condo in a 55+ community.
- Her monthly income consists of a small savings account, an IRA and Social Security payments.
- Joan and her siblings are unable to assist mom financially in a significant way (In other words, no one owns a money tree!)
So what’s Joan’s question?
“As mom’s money dwindles and her need for care increases over time, what are the options for care?”
In writing to me Joan indicates that she’s thought of selling mom’s condo one day and using the money to pay for an assisted living facility. “But,” she asks, “what happens when that money runs out?”
So here’s the unvarnished truth:
The only option when the money runs out is a nursing home.
To pay for it, Joan’s mom will need to apply for Medicaid. But first she’ll have to qualify (eligibility can vary by state so it’s best to check find your state’s rules by visiting the federal site).
But something that doesn’t change based upon where you live is that APPLYING FOR MEDICAID WILL REQUIRE TIMING.
Continuing on with the truth-telling, Joan’s mom will have better choice with regard to nursing homes if mom becomes a resident before her money runs out (ideally she’d move into a nursing home with the ability to pay the costs out of her own pocket for 2-3 months).
One she’s approved for Medicaid, all costs will be paid for through a combination of state and federal funds through the end of her life.
Does all this have you wishing for a money tree so that you could pay for all the care your aging parents need without worrying about when the money will run out?
Me too. Maybe we ought to start a club…