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Any thoughts on bringing my mother home from nursing home?

My mother is in a nursing home. She has Alzheimer's. I think about bringing her home as I feel like she should die at home with a loved one, not in a facility.
I don't think I could physically do it by myself so I would have to hire some help. Also, she lives in another state and gets Medicaid to pay for most of her nursing home cost and I'm afraid she wouldn't be eligible in the state I live in if she had to go back into a nursing home.
Any thoughts on this?
Status: Open    Nov 23, 2015 - 07:30 AM

Caregiving, Dementia

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4 answers

Expert Answers

Dec 01, 2015 - 12:08 PM

I understand the emotional part of the desire to move your mom closer and to care for her in home and I am always fully supportive of families in your position. Before making the final decision you need to really understand the scope of care and answer the Medicaid question. Judging by your question, I would recommend not moving your mom. In fact, my first gut response was "NO!"

Caring for a parent with Alzheimer's is a 24/7/365 commitment. You don't ever get to take a day off. You need to be prepared to provide care for her mental health as well as physical. Over that time, her needs will increase. Because she is on Medicaid, there will be little assistance available, so you will also be supporting her financially. There are no breaks. Alzheimer's is a 24 hour job. It never stops and it never sleeps. It may be best for you to read up on care with a book like The 36 Hour Day. End of life care magnifies this in every way. I understand that I sound very gloom-and-doom, but memory care is not something to romanticize or deny.

Financially, I would give you the same exact advice. Be absolutely certain that the medicaid will not be impacted from state to state. Should you move your mom and find out that she is not qualified, you will be in the position of having to care for her at home.

Again, if you vet the situation thoroughly and feel you are capable and that the financial questions are all answered, I would then say go for it. Otherwise, maybe you could spend time with her where she is?

Dec 01, 2015 - 12:37 PM

You are correct that Medicaid varies from state to state and your mother would have to re-apply if she moves. You could talk to an elder law attorney in your state and find out before your mother moves whether she could qualify upon arrival.

Dec 01, 2015 - 12:46 PM

Some things to think about include based on your Mom's disease, it could be she considers where she currently is now as her home. Would she even recognize your home as yours? Depending on the extent of her disease, her symptoms could escalate if she is moved out of her current environment, which is common in people with Alzheimer's Disease. A big change can cause more confusion and anxiety that may or may not reverse itself.

Also keep in mind she has care 24/7 in a nursing home. In home care 24/7 is usually the most expensive care one can buy. And with her disease, her care needs will more than likely increase as the disease progresses.

If she is a candidate for hospice, the hospice professionals are a big help to the patient and family as far as end of life expectations. It could be more important that the people she knows and loves be at her side in her last days more so than where she is physically located.

There are varying state laws as to someone who is approved for Medicaid in one stay who moves to another. It would be important to seek legal counsel from an elder care attorney who deals with Medicaid benefits as to how her benefits would be affected by a move out of state. Only in some states does Medicaid pay for in home care in addition to nursing home care and depending on the local funding for any given year.

Voted Best Answer

Dec 01, 2015 - 12:08 PM

I understand the emotional part of the desire to move your mom closer and to care for her in home and I am always fully supportive of families in your position. Before making the final decision you need to really understand the scope of care and answer the Medicaid question. Judging by your question, I would recommend not moving your mom. In fact, my first gut response was "NO!"

Caring for a parent with Alzheimer's is a 24/7/365 commitment. You don't ever get to take a day off. You need to be prepared to provide care for her mental health as well as physical. Over that time, her needs will increase. Because she is on Medicaid, there will be little assistance available, so you will also be supporting her financially. There are no breaks. Alzheimer's is a 24 hour job. It never stops and it never sleeps. It may be best for you to read up on care with a book like The 36 Hour Day. End of life care magnifies this in every way. I understand that I sound very gloom-and-doom, but memory care is not something to romanticize or deny.

Financially, I would give you the same exact advice. Be absolutely certain that the medicaid will not be impacted from state to state. Should you move your mom and find out that she is not qualified, you will be in the position of having to care for her at home.

Again, if you vet the situation thoroughly and feel you are capable and that the financial questions are all answered, I would then say go for it. Otherwise, maybe you could spend time with her where she is?

Answers

Nov 23, 2015 - 08:41 AM

Wow, thank you for asking this question. I am in a similiar situation, a few weeks ago I brought my Mother in law from PA to OH. She is in skilled nursing care right now but Medicare released her two days ago. We've appealed to Kepro, first appeal denied, waiting to hear on second. Any guidance would be appreciated on that as well. Meeting with Adult Daycare today as both my husband and I work and she cannot be alone. Thanks for any assistance or guidance.
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