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Recent Housing Decisions Advice

    If I provide a house rent free to the non-related caregiver for my spouse I employee is it considered taxable to the caregiver? The house is not the home my spouse lives in. Is housing to non related caregiver taxable deductible?
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    Kay P. , Family Counselor Mediator answers:
    Sorry, I really cannot give financial advice. I urge you to contact an ElderLaw Attorney; most of them will be able to give you correct information about what caregiver expenses you can deduct. If you don't know one, try John McNair.

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    We have Medicare as insurance with a supplement. my husband is in the hospital he is ventilated and receiving hemodialysis the hospital is saying i need to send him to a nursing home that can meet his needs the nursing home is over 90 miles away from our home can they make us do this
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    Jon W. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    You can just say "no" until you find a suitable nursing home nearer your hope. Your husband has very specific needs so you might try to call Kindred which is located in Greenwood.

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    i am worried that i or my children will have to pay if i go into a nursing home. If i go into a nursing home who pays?
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    Bob O. , answers:
    There are 5 primary sources of payment for nursing home care in Massachusetts. 1. Short term care or post hospital Rehab care(Up to 100 days) is paid for by Medi-CARE(federal program). Requires a 3 day hospital stay to be eligible for nursing home rehab. 2. After Medic-CARE runs out, the person needing care (or their spouse) must pay the cost of care until they have exhausted their income and assets to below $2,000. 3.Once assets are below $2,000 Medi-CAID(A joint state and federal program also known in Massachusetts as MassHealth) pays for nursing home care IF the person needing care meets the custodial care guidelines-Needing help from another person due to physical or cognitive disability. 4. Private long-term care insurance if you are healthy enough to qualify when you plan to buy it. It's expensive and not easy to qualify for. 5. The Veteran's Administration (VA).
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    Susana L. , answers:
    Your worry is legitimate. In general children do not have to pay for their parents' care in a nursing home. Where people get into trouble is if they have given gifts to their children, without a comprehensive plan, and then don't have sufficient funds to pay and need Medicaid, which is governmental assistance. Your particular situation should be reviewed by an elder law attorney. While it is ideal to plan before the crisis hits, It is usually possible to plan even at a later stage in life! Susana
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    Brian M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    either the person going into the nursing home page from their own assets or they qualify for Medicaid which pays for the nursing home out of government funds.many folks start to look at their estate plan at retirement age in order to determine what Medicaid / nursing home planning they need to do.

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    An elder's home has received a failed evaluation. The state of Florida wants to mandate the elder goes to a nursing home. Both the senior and her family agree she should move to a family member's home in another state if the eval shows functional incapacity. I believe the senior to be of sound mind. Can the state of Florida mandate nursing home care? Or, can we move her to a family member's home?
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    Candice B. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    Who did the "failed evaluation" and why? Did a family member ask for it or did the state come in? As far as I know the state cannot mandate she move into a nursing home if you show someone else is taking care of her properly. Who is her durable power of attorney? Is she mentally still competent to make informed choices? Need much more information to respond with accurracy. Feel free to call me at 561-317-7482.
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    Howard K. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    When you say the state is mandating her to go to a nursing home, you may be referring to an agency of the state called Adult Protective Services. That agency can recommend that a person go into a nursing home when she is unable to manage and care for her own home, and has medical needs that need to be addressed. However, if the family wishes to bring her to another state, that may be possible through a guardian proceeding brought in the state of Florida, having a family member appointed to make personal needs decisions, with authority for placement. WIth such authority, the family can ask the court to allow them to bring her to another state, provided a guardiasnhip is transferred to the new state.

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    I live on road designated as private by the township. Everyone on this road (5 houses) is a senior citizen. Recent storms have recently washed out the road. It is so bad that emergency vehicles may not be able to get to our homes. And while we (residents) pay the same amt. of taxes as everyone else, we are not getting what everyone else is---maintenance of our street. We can't afford to fix the road out of pocket. Is there any way we can get the township to maintain the road? Is there any legal leg for us to stand on?
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    Linda L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    I suggest you at least band together (some or all of you) to pay for a consultation with a lawyer who concentrates in municipal law. He or she will tell you what you need to know, and what is or is not possible. This way you are sharing the cost of the consultation fee, it won't be that expensive, and you will come out of the meeting knowing what if anything can be done.

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    Our mother has had a severe stroke at 89 yrs of age. She was moved from the hospital to a care facility with end of life diagnosis. She has been there for 4 weeks. She has improved to a state of recognizing family at some level. She is making an effort to talk ( sounds)she does not continually understand a directive., IE: squeeze my hand if you are having pain". She has been interviewed, alone, by the staff of the nursing facility without her family being present. Her hand squeezes were used as a response action. But we, as a family, feel this is more of a response action than an accurate answer. Her interview is now being used by the staff remove her from palliative care up to a custodial care. Is their process of interviewing appropriate? Can they do that?
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    Lisa M. , answers:
    The standard protocol for your mothers situation is accurate. The is also the face response where they observe facial expression and those are big clues as well. Non-verbal can be a better indicator sometimes and in her case this was I'm sure applied along with the hand squeezed. Best wishes Lisa your senior care specialist

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    Mom is experiencing congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, and cellulitis. She has been in the hospital for 3 weeks now. She can do very little for herself and dad is unable to care for the needs she presently has. Our parents' family doctor suggested putting mom in a nursing home. What questions do we need to answer in terms of whether she needs full care at home or whether she goes to a nursing home. Our family has a consult with the doctor later this week and we want to ask him appropriate questions. What should we be considering about Mom's condition and about which care location is best for her?
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    Patricia O. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    Likely an assessment was completed by a Physical and/or Occupational therapist that determined she needs a sub-acute setting to help her improve her ability to be independent. This is covered by Medicare. You can go to Medicare.gov and search by zip code to compare settings.

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    My mother has a reverse mortgage on her house. She can live there until she moves out or dies, whichever comes first. At that point, who is responsible to move her personal belongings. furniture, car, etc? I never signed any contract to do this, am I responsible for this?
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    Elizabeth G. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    I don't know that you are legally required to do it, but most people at least want a chance to look over their parents belongings and take what they want. If you wait until the lender does it to get the house ready for sale, they will hire some service to get the house ready for sale and they will take or throw out everything in the house and the garage. Are you sure she wasn't hiding money in books, or stashing bits of jewelry here and there in the house??
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    Gary L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The personal representative is responsible for all of your mother's assets. The reverse mortgage company has no ownership interest in the house or its contents.

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    My Mom has dementia and it seems the general consensus is to have her placed in a nursing home.
    I am the youngest of six and am Mom's health care proxy and apparently it is my responsibilty to take care of it all. Is the first step for me a conservatorship and then apply to mass health? I do not have the financial means to pay for a nursing home. I would appreciate your advice. Thank you.
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    Russell H. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    If you have a health care proxy, you may not need to spend money on a conservatorship. The first step is to look at mother's assets, if any, and then determine how to prepare for Medicaid. We can prepare a Medicaid application for you and assist you in planning for your mother.
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    William Y. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Dear Caregiver: Placing a parent or loved one in a Long-term care facility is always a difficult decision. Just because you are named as the Health Care Agent, you should not shoulder all of the decision making alone. Invite your siblings to assist, if they will. You indicated that the "general consensus" is to place your mother into a facility. Does your mother understand her situation and agree with the move? Have you had your mother evaluated by one of the elder services agencies to determine her potential medical eligibility for Medicaid (MassHealth) benefits? You indicated that you are the Health Care Agent, but has your mother appointed you as her attorney-in-fact under her Power of Attorney? If you have been appointed as your mother's attorney-in-fact by her power of attorney, then a conservatorship would not be necessary. If, however, you mother never executed a power of attorney, you would have to initiate conservatorship proceedings in the Probate Court to get the authority to deal with your mother's financial affairs. But, before you do anything, I suggest that you meet with an Elder Law Attorney to review your mother's situation. An Elder Law Attorney can answer all of your questions and provide assistance to lesson the burden of dealing with your mother's care.
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    Paulette M. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    My question to you is - does your Mom's dementia interfere with her ability to make informed decisions? If so, you may need a guardianship in place of a conservatorship. Best advise, seek the counsel of a qualified Elder Law Attorney. Good luck!

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    my 88 year old mom needs subsidized housing and lives on about 12 to $13,000 a year. She lives in Oregon, is on Social Security. I need to find out if there are other financial assistance programs to take her out of the poverty level.
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    Jordan R. , answers:
    In addition to the resources suggested by Ms. Fodrini-Johnson, I would add that you can search for, call, and consult (even for period's of time, like an hour) with a Geriatric Care Manager and other eldercare professionals, using the MyAgingFolks search and call tools
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    Linda F. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Just go to the website www.benefitscheckup.org and put in your mom’s info. That government site will tell you what she is entitled to. Also, look for a Geriatric Care Manager that serves your mom’s location at www.caremanager.org and pay for a one hour consultation - there could be some small local benefits she might also qualify for and help you plan for the long term as well.

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    My mother became paralyzed from a stroke in 2011. She is currently in a care facility and I would like to bring her home. When we lived in California, we got financial assistance from IHSS (In Home Support Services). Is there a program like this in Chicago?
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    Joan B. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Unfortunately, the answer is "no." California has has much more progressive, "money follows the person" policies and programs in place than does Illinois. In Illinois, Medicaid dollars only cover care in a nursing home. In-home services for people in Illinois, such as your mother, who had a stroke and desires care in her home is mostly through provide pay as well as long-term care insurance, for those who have a policy. There are some services available through Medicare but these are limited in scope and focused more on rehab. Illinois also has a Community Care Program that provides some services for people on limited assets and incomes. You should contact your local Area on Agency on Aging (AAA) to find out more about that program.

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    What are the qualufications for entering an assissted living home? I am considering facilities in Texas, what kind of costs might be expected for such a move?
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    DeLila B. , Family Counselor Mediator answers:
    Assisted living facility residents receive help with many of their daily activities. Depending on their needs, they can receive help with bathing, grooming or dressing. Generally, the facility provides 3 meals per day plus snacks, so residents don't need to shop for groceries or cook. Facilities usually manage and administer medications for residents, although some residents still manage their own. Assisted living facilities provide transportation to medical appointments and often to local shops and other service providers, such as salons or the post office. Housekeeping and laundry are generally done by facility staff. Facilities offer a variety of activities throughout the week to entertain residents and provide opportunities to socialize. In Texas, monthly assisted living fees can range from approx $3000 (the very low end) to as high as $6 or 7,000 (the very high end). It depends on location, staffing and amenities. Specialized care for residents with dementia is offered in memory care units, which generally cost more than other assisted living options. An alternative to traditional assisted living is a residential group home, in which 24-hour care is provided for a small number of residents, usually no more than 10. Care in residential group homes is usually a little less expensive and they can be wonderful alternatives, but residents and families must choose wisely because there is less oversight of these types of care facilities.
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    Carole L. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Anyone can enter an assisted living home. there are no qualifications. Generally people need help with several activities of daily living, like bathing, dressing, taking medicines, etc... They are private pay. they average between $4000-$5000 a month in Texas, memory care is more.

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    I'm in the burn out stage and I need help. How can I find a good, clean and caring nursing facility? What resources might you recommend?
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    Nicolette A. C. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    Finding a good quality, clean nursing facility for your loved one can be a daunting experience. Fortunately there is help. Hiring a credentialed Care Manager is the best way. They are local RNs, Social Workers that typically have unique experience and vast knowledge of the nursing homes in and around their areas. The service and support that offered is often described as a life saver. We would love to help you Or you can start researching nursing homes in person or online.
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    William B. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    The obvious answer to locating a clean nursing home is to visit the home in question at various times, including nights and weekends. You want to see if it is clean and odorless consistently. You might also check with the local Area on Aging and regional State Health Dept. office to see if there are any complaints registered. Good luck.

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    My parent needs help with her daily living. I'm not sure if she needs assisted living or nursing home care. Can you please advise? Thanks.
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    Barbara P. , Geriatrician MD answers:
    My opinion is that best to consult with the patient's primary care doctor. People who can do there own activities of daily living- dressing, feeding, toileting etc and do not have skilled nursing needs are likely to do well in assisted living. Patients with moderately advanced dementia and unstable medical issues that need close nursing monitoring like bed sores, poorly controlled diabetes, feeding tubes - need nursing homes.
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    Arleen S. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    This is not a question that cannot easily be answered in a few sentences. But your questions takes in a few very important factors: What are you and the parent comfortable with- remaining home or trying out being elsewhere. What is the parent's functioning? Assisted living and nursing homes have particular guidelines, for example ability to bath independently, walk independently or with help, etc. What is the financial status? How much, and and where monies are, needs to be part of the equation in advance, or not so advance planning. Geriatric Care Managers like myself help with these major decisions all the time. We help you figure out what makes sense for you and your parents, in a sensitive and thorough manner. Good luck!
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    Sam k. , answers:
    Either of those may solve your difficulty, however before i move an elderly parent to a new and unfamiliar enviornment Iwould attempt to get assistance, an aide or caregiver, for them in their home. If they do not have long term insurence, and most seniors do not, you can look into getting them Medicaid. If you are told that they do not qualify for Medicaid there are a number of steps to take to become Medicaid elegible and since it is community medicaid, as opposed to nursing home Medicaid, there is no lookback period. Should you need more information or assistance just ask.
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    Marcy P. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    I always recommend the least restrictive level of care so I would explore assisted living first. It is also an economic decision. Can she afford assisted living?
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    Frady M. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    There is a huge difference in the level of care given in an assisted living facility vs a nursing home. The decision is made based on your parent's needs. Is she ambulatory? Most assisted living facilities don't accept residents who need wheelchairs. Can she shower independently? Can she be responsible for taking her own meds? If so, an assisted living facility may be the answer. If she needs more acute care, look into nursing homes.

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    In Los Angeles County, one small pet is legally allowed to live in each unit of a senior living facility, since pets are considered health therapy. Does this law also apply to "regular," non-senior apartment housing in L.A.?
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    Joseph M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    No, to my knowledge, landlords are free to allow or restrict pets per the terms of their lease agreement. I know of no law that gives a tennant any rights to have a pet.

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    My elderly Mother-in-law, age 87, and my sister-in-law, age 62, both need a place to live. They both have low income. How do you suggest I conduct a search for suitable senior housing? What low-cost options might be available? What facilities might you recommend in Massachusetts.
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    Celeste R. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Go to Lowell Housing Authority; ask for a Universal Housing application. This can be copied and send to as many housing authorities in Mass as you like. You need to send to each and every town you wish to apply to, however, to be considered for their waiting lists. Wait lists can be months to years, in most cases.
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    Roberta S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The first place to check is with the Housing Authority in the city or town where your mother and sister live. Residents of the city of town have priority for low income and elderly subsidized housing. You should also find out what the income requirements are for qualifying for a unit.
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    Patricia B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Contact Elder Services in your Area - They will be able to direct you to the proper agencies for assistance and may be able to offer you free services.

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    My mother is 76 years old and currently lives in an assisted living facility. My elderly father died three years ago and my mom has been working with social services for a while now. My mother, however, did not know what she got herself into with the social workers and whatnot. I have had some issues with the social worker not being nice to me. As of now, my mother wants to leave the assisted living and instead come home to live with me. Now they want to do an emergency conservatorship on my mom. My mother is upset about the ways that she is not being told what is happening (for example, they took out 1500 dollars out of her account and they did not tell her about it). What can my mother do about this situation? She is getting upset? Also, as her oldest daughter, and as someone who is disabled and living in her home, and being threatened with eviction, the conservatorship and social worker here, is making things complicated for me.
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    Anne J. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    An emergency conservatorship is only issued if her funds are in danger for some reason. You may want to ask the court to be appointed as your mother's guardian and conservator so that social services has to deal with you. It would give your legal control of your mother's affairs. I would recommend that you speak to an elder law attorney directly.

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    I am seeking a good place to put an 85 year old elder, in a home setting. Do any places come to mind in Cerritos/Los Angeles, California?
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    Marty B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    There are several places that come to mind. But what i want you to consider is that you should find some properties that are close to you. Go visit them. Talke to the staff and talk to the other residents. If the staff and the residents are happy it is probably a good place. You want a place where the employees are happey and have been there a long time. You want a place that is clean and has a nice smell. You want there to be plenty of staff. Pay less attention to fancy decorations and more to the people who will be careing for your loved one. I would also recomend it is better to have a place that is close to you than a facility that is farther from you. Give this great weight as your loved one will get better care when you are able to visit often.

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    Are there ethnicity focused nursing homes around that are reputable? For example Indians (from India) are very particular about their environment and food preferences. Are there nursing home catered to that need? I am located in New York.
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    Barbara P. , Geriatrician MD answers:
    I am not aware of any Indian oriented NH in NY- Please check with a social worker/ case manager or call 311.
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    Ronald F. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    It actually depends on the location of the nursing home. If the nursing home is located in a predominantly Asian or Indian area, it is likely that there will be a greater number of Asian/Indian residents. For example, there are a much greater number of Asian residents in nursing homes in the Flushing, New York area. We have a Chinese speaking attorney on staff if that would be helpful to you.
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    Lauren M. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    I know of one facility in South Plainfield, NJ with a South Asian cultural and food focus, I can't remember the name but it is an AristaCare facility, so Google AristaCare.

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    Can a doctor force my mother to go into a nursing home? My mother is 96 and typical of many people her age. Can a doctor force me to put her in a nursing home? My mother wants to stay in her own home. Please do not misunderstand, a nursing home is free for my mom, but she would die very quickly if she was in one. Thanks!
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    Celeste R. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    No. No one can "send" anyone to a nursing home; unless they have been designated legal guardian. The individual makes that choice themselves; assuming they have been determined to have capacity.
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    Cheyenne M. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    It may be the doctors medical advice that your mom go to a nursing home, but if she is competent and not putting herself in any immanent risk of harm then she, and/or her health care proxy can chose to go against the doctor' medical advice and choose a safe alternative.
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    Roberta S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    The doctor cannot force you to admit your mother to a nursing home, as long she can live safely at home. If the doctor believes that your mother is living in a situation that is dangerous to her health, he or she can get Elder Services involved. if that happens, someone from Elder Services will evaluate her living situation. What you should do is let the doctor know what family members are doing to ensure that your mother's living situation is not dangerous. You and your mother should tell the doctor that it would be far more detrimental to her health to admit her to a nursing home. Your mother may need home health aides, which the State can subsidize, based on her income and assets. Roberta S, Elder Services Attorney .
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    Margaret S. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    The simple answer is no. I would need more details to properly respond.
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    Kathleen H. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    No one can force your mother against her will, as long as she is competent to make her own decisions. The question to ask, "is she safe in her home?" If not, a call could be made to the local protective services by a healthcare professional. Today there are many community resources available to assist her in her home.

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    my mom is moving to an assisted living facility from an apartment. Can we give less than 1 month notice when vacating an apartment to move to a higher level of care?
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    Beverly K. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    The short answer is no, you must give 30 days notice for an apartment. If she were already in an AL you could give less.

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    My mother is staying in a facility that is being covered by her long term care insurance. She has been there for three weeks since breaking her pelvis in a fall. I recently visited and found her filthy, with bed sores, and really out of it. I blame the facility where she is staying for this, clearly! I want to know what steps I should take to 1. ensure that she gets better treatment 2. make it that the facility is held accountable. I am sooo angry. Someone at the facility,I assume, has also taken her radio and some of her nightgowns. But that is not such a big deal. it is just money. But the lack of care, is astounding. Totally not what I expected from the reps I spoke to at the rehab facility and the LTC company with whom I spoke.
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    Leonard B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Please check the bulletin boards at the facility - most institutions are required to post contact information for you to file a complaint with a state agency or in the alternative seek the help of an "ombudsman" - advocate - to help your loved one. The NH might also have a family council of other concerned family members to provide advise and info. Also ask the NH for a staffing to explore the needs of your loved one and whether the care plan must be changed. Personal injury attorneys can be hired if these steps do not work.

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    My dad is currently in an assisted living facility in Brooklyn, NY. At this point he mostly needs help with medication management and meals. As his current facility is private-pay and very costly, I was looking into alternatives and thought maybe a group home may be a good option. Is this a service you can assist with? Are there other options. Open to locations in NYC area (my brother lives there) or Atlanta, GA (where I live). Thanks!
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    Elaine Q. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Your father could apply to enter an Assisted Living Facility, that is known as an ALP. He could plan and become eligible for Community Medicaid and this type of Medicaid would cover all of his expenses. In Brooklyn Norwegian Home is a terrific option and you can Call Enza in intake. Each borough and County in New york state has an ALP or ALPS.
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    Victoria C. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Hi, Thank you for your question. In the Atlanta, GA area, Personal Care Homes are often a less costly alternative to Assisted Living Facilities. Additionally, if your Father is a Veteran, he may be eligible for benefits from the Veteran's Administration that would help in paying for the cost of his care. Please contact my office if we can be of any further assistance to you and your Father.
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    Sandra S. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    Group home can be an option. Is he eligible for Medicaid. I can assist with these issues.
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    N. Wallace K. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    As an elder law attorney and retired RN, yes, I help families make the financial decisions. Note Mandy M's response as a geriatric care manager. She is our ears and eyes in the community and we work closely with such individuals to help determine the best placement. Regretfully, some families will choose a Rolls Royce when in truth they can really only afford a Buick or even a Ford...understanding the long term costs are imperative while balancing quality of life concerns. TY for asking.
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    Mandy M. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    There are some all inclusive assisted living options in Atlanta depending on location that are pretty affordable ($2200 - 2500/month) especially if you would consider a companion or shared room.
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    Ruthann L. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    I suggest you look for an assisted living environment in Georgia that would suit your father's needs. You'll likely find the cost of assisted living to be much less in Georgia than it is in New York. Also, if your father was a veteran, or was married to a veteran, he may be eligible for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit which can help pay for care, including Assisted Living care.

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    We have been trying to get my dad to agree to go into a nursing facility. Do facilities ever allow for trying a place out for a short duration and then going from there? Do you experts think it will beeasier to get my dad to go along if we go this route towards (gulp!) institutionalization?
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    Cheryl A A. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    I totally agree with the question: does your dad truly need a nursing home? This is truly the most expensive, highest level of custodial care in our system. I would also recommend a full evaluation by a geriatric care manager to assess the needs both short and long term, and then direction from an elder law attorney and financial advisor on the costs and management of legal controls. The least restrictive/lowest level of care that can meet the needs of someone is usually the best way to go.
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    David T. , Financial Planner answers:
    Unless there is desperate need for a nursing home facility, my professional advice is to see if you can keep your dad within the community receiving proper home care. It's always better for elderly people to stay at home in their own environment especially since at this point he's not willing to go ahead with a facility. If you went through all the options and determined a facility is how you want to proceed, I do believe he can be admitted into a facility for a short term period as long as they are able to discharge him safely if and when he decides he wants to leave.
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    Barbara P. , Geriatrician MD answers:
    I am not aware of a policy like that, However, when you enter a nursing home you do not sign a contract for any specific time period, so if you are unhappy you can leave. there is no penalty for that to my knowledge. That being said, all things being otherwise equal, it is a significant adjustment for both the patient and the family members, and I would venture to say that the adjustment can take a few months, so I would not necessarily make a decision after just a few weeks.
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    Lisa B. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    If the facility will work with you I think this is an excellent idea. That gives everyone the opportunity to see how things go before making longer term and more permanent decisions and commitments.
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    David G. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Many people enter a nursing home for short term rehab or with an intent to return home. So I don't think what you are asking for would present any problem for the facility. However, if your dad can manage at home with home care, it is unlikely that he is going to prefer an institutionalized setting. Would enriched housing or assisted living be a possibility? This might be a better choice for a transition out of the home.
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    Debra D. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    As mentioned, nursing homes offer either respite if the caregiver needs a break from caregiving for a short time, short term sub acute placement for rehab, and long term placement. However, nursing homes are not prisons and it is possible to go home if he really is miserable and a safe plan for care at home can be arranged. So if it helps the elder to be told that they are 'trying it out' and their home is not closed up for a couple of months, it might reassure them to go in. Again, do try options at home first such as home care, visiting doctors, adult day care. these are usually less difficult for the elder to accept first. good luck
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    Harold G. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Many facilities offer respite care - or care for a short period of time. Call around and you will find one.
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    Shana S. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Yes, many facilities do offer short-term trial stays. This is often a good way to get seniors to consider such a facility. As others have mentioned there are other levels of care short of nursing home that may be a better and more palatable option.
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    Batsheva S. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    Your question has raised alot of questions for me. Why do you feel that your father needs placement? Have other options for care been explored - home care, assisted living. Some facilities allow respite, but your choice of the word "institutionalization" indicates that you have some strong negative feelings about placement. He and you would benefit from an independent consultation with a care manager to explore needs, options, and feelings. Good luck.
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    Janice M. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    My first question to you is why nursing home? Is it for the level of care he requires or is it a financial decision because he requires government aid through the medicaid program. If it is the right level of care and you are paying privately, you can go there to try it out as a "respite patient" . If he does not like it are you prepared then to bring him home? It could work out if he really needs care and recognizes his need for care.
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    Jordana S. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Assisted living facilities have trials but nursing facilities typically don't. That's because they don't have to, beds for good facilities are in demand. Regarding "institutionalization" you can go for Guardianship if the circumstances are right. For example, if the elder is not mentally competent and can no longer safely care for him/herself. But it is a process.Best to contact a lawyer in order to assess if this is appropriate.

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    My dad is 89 years old, and mom passed two years ago. Currently he lives with my sister, however her household is quite hectic and me and my brother dont think he is getting enough attention.

    For instance, my nephew (sister's son) told me that dad was driving the other day and I know he can hardly can see where is going. That freaks me out.

    My problem is its hard to tell my sister she doesnt give enough attention when she's the one that took him in. Me and my brother would like to see him in a home and are willign to chip in but my sister thinks its obnoxious and quite frankly doesn't want to put in the money, nor is my dad happy about the idea. We haven't really considered housing til now and i'm not even sure of different types of housing options. We all live relatively close to each other. Any suggestions on where to start?
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    Candice B. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    The first place the family should start is to explore all of your available options as one unit. In addition, I applaud your family, everyone wants to help Dad. Your Dad is very lucky to have a family that cares about his well being. Talk to your sister and explain you just want the best for Dad. However, realize your Dad is most likely getting more attention from residing with your sister than he would living in an assisted living or nursing home. (Granted, he should not be driving if his vision is poor.) The number one complaint from people living in an assisted living or nursing home is lonliness. Your sister is chipping in by providing food, housing, and companionship. Call if you would like us to bring your family together and talk about Dad's options. Sometimes an outsider who isn't emotionally involved can come up with a solution that will be pleasing to all or most of your family members, including Dad.

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    Hi -I am doing everything I can to keep my mom in her home. I know that moving her to a nursing home would depress her (kill her...) I am terrified of that eventualityThanks for your advise.Cynthia
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    Arleen S. , Geriatric Care Manager answers:
    Dear Cynthia, It is quite understandable that thinking about this is so disturbing. The decision to place a loved one is one of the toughest life decisions we can encounter. That is why it is so important to know all your/your mother's options, examine the situation fully and allow yourself to experience your feelings around this possible decision- both the negative and positive. For example, while you may have feelings of guilt, you are also acting on feelings of love and safeguarding for your mother. Find a knowledgeable professional.
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    Jeffrey A. , Elder Law Attorney answers:
    Cynthia, I know you're scared and frustrated but there are a lot of things you can do to protect your mother and keep her at home. But, you're probably going to have to sit with a qualified Elder Care attorney to discuss the ways to best protect your mother. Just, please, make sure you talk to an Elder Care attorney. Don't take the advice of people who are not qualified to give it, no matter how sincere they appear to be.

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    I am curious about the fees related to using a service like a placeformom.com. Do any of the professional here have experience or opinions about the objectivity of www.aplaceformom.com? Should I be wary?
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    Laurel F. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    Yes, be very wary. A Place for Mom is commission based, meaning that the places /providers they recommend pay them for each referral, it can be as much as one to two months' rent! Professional Geriatric Care Managers are private pay fee for service experts in elder care and resources in your area that are bound by professional standards of practice and code of ethical conduct to be objective advisers. You can find a NAPGCM member in your desired area at www.caremanager.org

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    My husband and I are getting older (he is 79). I am now becoming concerned about our ability to remain living in our ranch home. What type of planning should I undertake so that our living situation can remain stable in the years to come?
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    Anne B. , Nurse and Care Manager answers:
    The trick to answering these questions is really how inexpensively can I get this question answered. Going to a local Occupational Therapist who specializes in home modification is your best bet. You can have a Dr. or/Nurse Practitioner even write you a prescription referring you to an Occupational Therapist for a home safety evaluation and this visit can be paid for through Medicare. When the OT visits, be prepared with your questions that reflect your specific concerns (i.e. activities of daily living like eating, bathing, toileting - how can I do those in this house in the coming 15-20 years?, what are safety recommendations to keep me from falling, etc.) It is most helpful to also ask your Dr. / Nurse Practitioner for some guidance as to asking these questions: What will my needs be in the future based on my prognoses given my current medical conditions? After the OT visits your home & gives you home modification guidance, you can take those suggestions & work with a local contractor to make such adjustments within your home.

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