Medicaid Question and Answer
Note: Not Legal Advice!
Can a doctor, nurse, or social worker force someone into a skilled nursing home against their wishes? Mother is unable to care for herself and my father cannot take care of her as he has health issues. The doctor, nurse, and social worker for my mother want to put her in nursing home but she does not want to go. She would rather stay with family with the help of caregivers. She has not been declared mentally incompetent although she has early onset dementia.
Let us agree on a few basics:
- 1. No one wants institutional care
- 2. Everyone wants care at home
- 3. At home care is expensive
No doctor, nurse or social worker can force your mother into a skilled nursing facility against her will. That is the job of the probate court. If the court finds your mother legally incapacitated, it will appoint a guardian. The guardian can involuntarily place you in long-term care. A strong estate plan avoids this.
Doctors, nurses, social workers… they are not monsters. But they are busy. Today they will see another dozen dementia patients. Tomorrow will be the same. Busy professionals. They are experts. Using the same methods over and over again.
Reality: No one cares about your mother as you do. If doctors, nurses, and social workers tried to care that much, the system would break down. They have much to do. Little time to do it. Not their fault. No blame. But…
“Good enough” is not good enough for your mother. But what to do? These folks are experts! They know! So much advice. From neighbors, friends at church, brothers-in-law. You research and get more confused. And hopeless. Beaten down, you go along. Guessing the experts are right… Now mother is in the nursing home. Isolated. Unhappy. COVID quarantined.
It could have been different.
We advocate. Fight for your mother, as I did for mine. This is personal. Thirty years of refusing to take no for an answer.
The Way: Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.
First, observe. Get a good grasp on the facts right now. Gather bank statements, financial records, tax returns. Get the medical records. Organize any legal documents. Stay aware of changes. Get the picture.
Second, orient. Check options. Do not wait any longer. Refuse to accept existing legal documents, like trusts, wills or powers of attorney. Protecting your mother is your job. Your tools must be sharp and strong. Those old documents may be (likely are) dull and rusted. And may fail in crisis. Find out. Costs nothing but a phone call. Might save everything. At least you will know.
Third, decide. What choice will you make? At this point, you know what is available. Crunch time. Refusing to decide is a decision. You may think you were better off not knowing. You might be right. Ignorance is bliss?
Fourth, act. Revise or replace useless tools as necessary. Secure benefits. Go. Fight. Win.
For Your Mother:
- 1. Get the facts. Call us for a free Discovery Meeting. Telephone call or online video meeting with a paralegal or attorney team member. Get the checklist. Guided, purposeful information gathering. Focused only on the relevant facts. Personal, financial, legal. Then set up the free Engagement Evaluation.
- 2. Know your options. Engagement Evaluation. Are at-home care options available for mother? What about your father’s needs? How can we secure benefits without sacrificing lifesavings? What residential care options are there?
- 3. Choose. Consult with your family. Pray. Reflect. Discern. Choose the most appropriate course of action. There is no free lunch. There are costs to doing and not doing. But you decide.
- 4. Act. Git ‘er done! Secure lifesavings. Mother stays home with free help. Could be the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly or the MiChoice Waiver program. Or an assisted living facility with Waiver might be best. Or full skilled nursing.
Swimming in Lake Michigan is dangerous. The undertow can sweep you away. But if you know how, it can be great. Long-term care is dangerous. Your family can drown in costs, squabbles, inappropriate care. But if you know how, you can transform end of life challenges to triumph. Building shared experiences, cementing family relationships. It is up to you. We can help.
PACE Program eligibility expanded until April 1, 2021
The Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides a full range of therapeutic and care services to you at home. At no cost to you. If you qualify. COVID emergency rules mean that many folks who did not qualify before are now eligible. Even more people can become eligible. We can show you how.
Sad Truth: Many folks who qualify do not even ask because they do not think they could possibly get any benefits. This is bad thinking. Leads to unnecessary nursing home placement for you. Stress on caregiver spouse leads to premature death: 40-50% of the time, the caregiver dies first. Unnecessary.
Good News: Under the emergency rules, you can: Keep your cottage. Keep your farm. Keep your lifesavings. Keep your loved one at home, receiving the support you need to do it.
Are you caring for a loved one at home? Have you investigated PACE? Were you told that you do not financially qualify for PACE? Were you told that you would have to sell or liquidate almost everything to qualify for PACE? Do you think PACE is too good to be true?
Get authoritative answers you can count on. Quickly. No nonsense. Many of our PACE families could not believe that their tax dollars could benefit them. Many more subscribe to the “too good to be true” concept. One short, simple phone call can confirm your worst fears of not qualifying or open the door to a new way of life. That part is up to you.
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