Elder care

Clearing out my mother’s apartment this weekend, as she’s in a nursing home and won’t be going back to independent living, ever.

If you or your parents haven’t discussed things with an estate lawyer yet, you should. My brothers and I won’t be getting a dime from her estate. We have to pay the nursing home until she’s broke, and then the government will step in. You may want to look into your own situations, especially those of you who are married. If one of you suffers an illness that renders you incapable of living outside a nursing home, the spouse can lose everything but the house. All the savings, the 401k, IRAs–all going to the government. And there’s a five-year look-back period now, instead of three.

The same thing nearly happened with my father. He had ALS, and we fully expected to see him go through his entire estate. We were wrong. He was diagnosed in February and died in June, so we did get our inheritance. Sheer luck.

I would strongly advise you all to look into how you want to provide for your spouse and your children, before you have no choice in the matter.

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2 Responses to Elder care

  1. John M. says:

    Well, it’s not “going to the government” as much as “going toward nursing home care”. It was never a problem for us because our parents had almost no savings anyway. My wife is over taking care of her mom right now because her brothers won’t help and she wants to keep her mom out of a home as long as possible. I got long-term care insurance for us, so I hope that company doesn’t fold or something before we retire…

  2. Mindie says:

    What John M. said. It’s going to the nursing home. The government will step in and foot the rest of the bill once the individual in the nursing home can no longer afford their care. I’m actually a little surprised at the tone of this post (unless I misinterpreted it). I thought you didn’t believe in the government providing for those who haven’t been able to save up enough to pay for their needs? I pay for long-term care insurance, as do my parents. My parents have also done their best to save enough to be able to afford the type of care they want (when that time comes).

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