Forecasting the Costs for Alzheimer’s Long Term Care

Before you go on your exciting family vacation to Disney, you’ll check the extended weather forecast. You’ll need to see if the temperature is in the 90’s, or in the 60’s. Knowing the temperature helps you prepare.

If the weather heats up during the day in the high 90’s, you’ll pack your luggage with shorts, bathing suit, suntan lotion, and a hat. If the weather remains rainy and cool, you’ll prepare with pants, sweater, and maybe a wet suit or rain gear.

Consulting with helps you know in advance how to plan for an enjoyable journey. You won’t be caught off guard or left uncomfortable.

When Patricia’s mom developed Alzheimer’s, there was no website or crystal ball to show her how to prepare. Each day consumed Patricia’s energy in caring for her mom. As her mom’s illness progressed,  Patricia felt overwhelmed.

In the spring, she moved her mom into a nursing home.

The nursing home expenses devoured much of her mom’s annuities, family savings, and any remaining cash within one short year. After all the assets were spent down, Medicaid covered her nursing home expenses.

At age 68, Patricia’s mom wore dentures, eyeglasses, and a hearing aid. Before dinner, her mom would place her dentures on the tray. Twice within the same year, her costly dentures were accidentally thrown away, burning a hole through Patricia’s pocket.

Three months later, Patricia lost her job in the grueling economy.

Later in the same year, her mom broke her glasses. The added expense to spring for new eyewear squeezed Patricia’s diminishing purse strings.

Medicaid sets limits on its coverage. Under Medicaid, a patient is allowed a personal income allowance of only $35 per month. Medicaid doesn’t cover glasses, hearing aids, dentures, manicures, or pedicures. It may limit fees covered for dental work.

A patient needs a way to pay for these ancillary expenses.

Unfortunately, when it comes to caring for Alzheimer’s patients, there are no forecasts or crystal balls. You need someone who can help you foresee the challenges ahead.

Most people don’t realize it, but when Medicaid picks up the tab for long-term care, the state does a complete audit on all your expenditures FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS. The state can and does deny benefits for checks written to family members or to charities as gifts.

In order to safeguard money so you have something left to cover ancillary expenses, the state laws need to be followed closely.

Like the weather, state laws on how to protect your family’s savings changes frequently. You need a legal advisor who’s intimate and current with the laws concerning elderly care.

At our firm, we offer a consultation to figure out how to help you plan. We specialize in elder law so when we look at your situation, we can help you prepare the right legal structures to shield your family’s income and savings.

Call my firm at (954) 644-7270 for your phone consultation. At the end of the call, you’ll know the next step and at a minimum, we’ll point you in the direction of resources that can help you.

Our goal is for you and your loved ones to have peace of mind and to never be needlessly impoverished.

Posted in Alice Reiter Feld Florida Elder Law Monday Memos

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