How can we avoid selling house to pay for care?

Daughter asked...

How can we avoid selling a house to pay for care? My mother lived in Reno Nevada in her home that is paid for. She had an accident, fell and broke her hip. While in the hospital they discovered she needed a pacemaker. It was put in. She never came home again to live. That was August of 2006. We have just about spent her savings on her care. Can we keep from selling her home in order to care for her? How can we qualify for as much help as possible so has to have money to take care of the burial when ever that occurs. She is now living in a nursing home in Broken Arrow Oklahoma. The nursing home said that she is not makeing enough progress in caring for herself personally. They say she now must pay for it all on her own, no more insurance coverage. She had been in St. Mary's Hospital because someone at the assisted living part had said she probably had kidney stones. She was taken from the assisted living to the hospital through the emergency room. It turned out to be dehydration. The nursing facility she had been in came and took her to their nurseing home. My brother was not even contacted. I guess she signed her own papers. How can we now handle this final situation?

Expert Answer

They probably mean that Medicare will no longer pay for her nursing home care. One thing you could do is to use some of her remaining savings to prepay her funeral and burial expenses. She'll then have to use her savings to pay for the nursing home until she's down to less than $2,000 in cash. Then you can help her apply for Medicaid. Once she's eligible for Medicaid, they will pay the entire cost of her nursing home (though it has to be a nursing home that accepts Medicaid residents).You won't have to sell her home, but it will be subject to "estate recovery" following her death, to repay the state for all payments it made to the nursing home during your mother's lifetime. That means that Medicaid will place a lien on the house that must be repaid before your mother's heirs can divide the rest of the house's value