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tedibear's avatar

What kind of person should my sister talk to about making nursing home care affordable?

Asked by tedibear (19351points) March 26th, 2022

My brother-in-law has dementia, and it has become increasingly difficult for my sister to have him in their home.

She knows that he needs to be in a nursing home, but won’t put him just anywhere. There is a place in their town that is very good, but it is $6,000 (USD) per month and there’s no way they can afford that.

I know there are state programs, but she will need help navigating those. What kind of professional should she talk to about the options to get him the care he needs and deserves, while making it affordable too? My first thought was a family practice lawyer, but I’m not really sure about that.

I’m going to take some time to see if I can figure out some basics for her, but I know she needs better guidance than I can provide.

They live in Arkansas if that makes any difference.

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11 Answers

jca2's avatar

An estate planning attorney will help her hide their money (legally) so they can then apply for Medicaid. It will take some time for the process, and there is a set amount of time that the government can look back and seize any assets, so they may have to deal with him for six months or more while the process goes through.

LadyMarissa's avatar

She might could start out by talking to his primary care physician’s office. They might have a list of resources that could aim her in the right direction. Has she thought about having a Senior Care Aide come to the house to assist her??? They also have some experience with outside resources that could be helpful. They aren’t that cheap, but they’re cheaper than a nursing home & he’d still be at home. In northern Georgia, we can get an independent living room for $3K/mon & it’s like having your own apartment. With those the patient is fully independent & takes care of themselves. Housekeeping comes by once or twice a week for light housekeeping & the staff checks to see IF you’re OK a few days a week. They also provide meals in the dining room. Most dementia patients aren’t given a private room but kept in a controlled area where the doors are locked & they can be watched without slipping off the property. I’ve not checked into those prices as I’ve not needed it yet, but $6K sounds a bit high in my opinion!!!

IF she has the time, she could do a lot of the research online. Only drawback to that is that they insist on a phone number & she may receive tons of calls. That would give her the opportunity to ask a lot of her questions while learning additional info. From there she could decide which facilities to visit. Surprisingly, I found one of my local Independent Living places on Youtube where they gave a brief overview of the location & I didn’t have to feel pressured by any salesperson. Actually, I found 2 of mine on YT & I decided that I’d prefer one to te other, so I focused my attention to the one that appeared best. YES, I still did the physical meeting with the staff but that was better than having to physically go to BOTH places!!!

I’ve never visited a Dementia wing so I’m only assuming that they share a room with another Dementia patient which here means ½ the price. They only allow single rooms on special request/insistence. It’s not bad when you get a good roommate but hell when you get a bad one!!! IF you get a bad roommate, the facility will work hard to get a better situation set up by moving somebody to a different room.

canidmajor's avatar

Her local Senior Center would very likely have an enormous amount of helpful resources, from how to apply for aid to legal experts that donate time and advice for such things. At the very least, they could point her in helpful directions.

jca2's avatar

6k per month is actually quite well priced. My grandfather was in a place 25 years ago that was 8k per month. Granted, that’s the NY area which is more expensive than many areas in the country, but think about it – if rents are up and rent in a nice place could be 2k a month, to have room, board, and nursing care for 6k is not crazy. Not affordable for many who are paying cash, yes, but not too crazy as far as what you’re getting for the price.

janbb's avatar

I would start by looking for a geriatric social worker. Many hospitals have them but there should be some licensed clinical social workers in private practice who could help you with that. They should be able to help with navigating both the financial and the emotional/physical placement issues.

Inspired_2write's avatar

I suggest that she talk with His Doctor who may be able to suggest solutions and services suited for the brother in law.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Inspired_2write in the USA legally you almost have to be penniless to get Medicaid, which would allow the BIL to go cost free to a facility. They cannot own or control anything of value above $1000 in most states, that is checking accounts, savings accounts, houses, retirement accounts, stocks & bonds and life insurance policies that they own ( because of cash value). The state and county do an audit once or twice a year.

It is not a medical / doctor decision. I wish it was but it is not.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Definately talk to your promary.

In my state you can’t have over $5k in assets, but Medicaid will pay 100% of a lot of care. They take all but a small amount from your monthly check.

SnipSnip's avatar

Use the website A Place For Mom. It helps families find places for those they love.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

We had a good experience with aplaceformom.com

tedibear's avatar

Thank you all for your help and guidance. You have given me some avenues I hadn’t thought of.

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