I am working on pulling together the information that will be necessary to place my mother on Medicaid so that she can remain in the nursing home (which she cannot afford to pay for otherwise). I have been trying to gather all of this information for three months now and the meeting is this afternoon and I am still waiting for one more piece of information which they promise me will be in my mailbox today (yeah right with Christmas mail as reliable as it is).
I purposefully put off this meeting until I knew I had all of the "ducks in a row" so that I wouldn't have any trouble with the Medicaid decision-making people. Mom has no hidden assets, she has nothing to fall back on, for the last two months her children have been supplementing her stay in the nursing home and I have the canceled checks to prove it.
I just want to warn anyone else who has the honor of being granted power of attorney over a parent or sibling: make sure your register your POA with EVERY one of his/her banks/annuities/trusts etc immediately. Make sure that you don't wait to transfer any property out of said person's name. Make sure you safeguard everything they own, because if you don't it will all go away. Nursing home care is darned expensive and if you don't plan ahead for it it will wipe you out quicker than the blink of an eye.
I don't regret for a minute placing mom where I know she is safe and well taken care of, and where I know my sisters are now not having to pull their hair out trying to get mom to do the daily tasks that they couldn't get her to do for them. But I wish someone had given me a guidebook on how to be a POA back in 2005 when I signed on to be mom's. I would have done a bunch of things very differently had I known then what I know now.
The other hard thing is I am doing all of this for a woman who has no idea who I am and no care at all that I am working this hard to make sure that she is safe and healthy. She never shows one sign of recognition anymore when I visit her. I may as well be a stranger. It is no longer mom I visit but Mrs Alzheimer's.
I pray every night for forgiveness that on the hardest days I wish that this would end soon. Sometimes I wonder which of us is in purgatory? Please God let someone find a cure for this horrible disease before I ever have to suffer from it.