Justin, How can we pay for Dad’s nursing home without leaving my mom in poverty? We are desperate. Dad’s Alzheimer’s has been progressing quickly in the past 6 months, and my sister and I are concerned that Mom won’t be able to take care of him much longer. However, my mom’s friend told her that if Dad goes into a nursing home all of Dad’s Social Security will be used to pay the bill, and DHS will also force Mom to sell my parents’ farm, which is currently another source of income. Without Dad’s Social Security or income from the farm, Mom won’t be able to make ends meet. Mom’s Social Security is $556 a month; they have $6,000 in the bank, and no savings. – Marissa
Marissa, I understand that feeling of desperation. One of the scariest financial situations for families is when the higher-earning spouse needs care in a facility, and the other spouse still needs a means to support himself or herself in the couple’s home. I visit with families facing this dilemma on almost a weekly basis. The good news for you is that Mom does not have to be limited to her Social Security alone.
DHS has rules in place that, when properly applied, can protect the spouse still living at home from becoming impoverished. Each case is different, so I would need to ask you a few more questions to determine exactly what plan we might put in place. For example, does Mom live on the farm? If income were not an issue, would your family still want to keep the farm for other reasons? Figuring out what to do all on your own can be a heavy burden. One of my favorite parts of my job is being able to lighten the load for families just like yours. Please make an appointment to come see us!