Where can my mother with Alzheimer's find life time care?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 29, 2016
Elllen asked...

My Mother has Alzheimer's and currently lives in a private assisted living facility with a 24-hour caregiver. She is quickly running out money. Where can I find a place that she can buy in and receive guaranteed life-time care.

Expert Answers

Ron Kauffman is a certified senior advisor (CSA), senior lifestyle radio host, syndicated newspaper columnist, and the author of Caring for a Loved One With Alzheimer's Disease. In addition, Kauffman is also the primary caregiver for his mother, who has Alzheimer's.

I'm sorry to hear that your mom has Alzheimer's disease and is also facing a financial challenge.

Since I have no information about the level of memory loss your mother currently suffers, I can only guess that she needs the 24-hour care she is currently receiving. There are several possibilities here, but only one of them leads to lifetime care, and I'm certain it is not what you initially envisioned.

My first suggestion is to meet with a certified elder law attorney to determine both a timeline regarding your mother's personal funds and to determine what is offered by the State in which she lives should she run out of money. Every State has different rules and guidelines regarding Medicaid.

Here are the options that I see, subject to the input you'll receive from the elder law attorney:

  • If your mother has debilitated to a point where she may be suited for a dementia specific room on a secure wing or floor within the facility in which she now lives, you may be able to transfer her. The cost may go up, but the level of care she'll receive will eliminate the current need for a private caregiver.

If the current facility doesn't have an Alzheimer's memory unit, you may have to move her to a facility that offers that level of care. In either case, eliminating the caregiver by placing your mother in a memory-specific care unit may save enough money to pay for 1 to 2 years of facility-based dementia-specific care.

  • If your mother's funds are rapidly approaching depletion, the attorney can also assist you in completing a Medicaid application to qualify your mother for placement in a Medicaid bed within a facility that offers Alzheimer's care and accepts Medicaid.

If she financially meets the criteria for Medicaid, she will no longer pay out of pocket for basic care beyond her Social Security and/or pension funds which will be redirected to the Medicaid facility provider. This can be further explained by the attorney as there are many rules and qualification requirements for Medicaid. The application process can take weeks or months to complete, so I strongly suggest that you investigate that option immediately.

Please be aware that the facility in which you mother currently lives may or may not accept Medicaid. Move quickly to get in front of this issue, and based on what your elder law attorney tells you, I suggest that you discuss your options with the current facility management.

  • When talking with the current facility management, ask if they can increase your mother's level of care throughout the day for a small increase in her monthly rate. By doing this you may eliminate or reduce the need for a 24-hour caregiver. If this provides adequate care for your mother, it will also improve your mother's cash flow and allow you time to meet with the elder law attorney to create a long term plan.

  • Contact your local Alzheimer's Association and tell them of your dilemma. If there are any approaches or solutions that I have missed, they will have the answer. They may also have some referrals for elder law attorneys that can work with you.

To the best of my knowledge and experience, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to find a facility that offers life care at this point in your mother's life. With a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, no facility that I have ever worked with or know of would be willing to grant a guaranteed lifetime bed with care.

I'm sorry to be the bearer of such troubling information and truly wish there was a more promising answer. I wish you and your mother the best of luck.

Community Answers

Isabelleking answered...

She can apply for Medicaid in order to cover their long term care expenses. However, she must meet the requirements of this government program first by spending down her assets. She can also resort to reverse mortgage or annuities. I hope any of these can help your mom with her financial struggles.

The cost of long term care is no laughing matter, so this should serve as a lesson for people who don't plan for retirement. This could have been easily avoided if one has purchased long-term care insurance. It's more affordable than self-insuring. But before making a purchase, http://www.freeltcquotes.com/long-term-care-insurance/companies-ratings/ suggest that consumers should compare long term care insurance companies first in order to find the the right policy and carrier.