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Thread: Drunkenness, Dementia & Dysfunction in a Big Cloud of Cigarette Smoke

  1. #11
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    there may not even be any real solution. Well if her problems are mostly due to drunkeness the solution is sobriety but no easy way to make that happen, but dementia is another thing. See family dysfunction can have solutions, but actual dementia can't really be shoved into that category, if someone isn't acting right because their brain is going it's not a psychological problem.

    They probably will get the house if it's in the will (if she doesn't burn it down first! install many smoke detectors is the best I can think of). The house going to Medicaid law has been changed. How do I know? I've discussed the issue with an estate attorney when my mom's estate has been discussed with me (my mom does not have dementia, but it does run in the family).

    However on the Medicaid paying for a nursing home issue, it is unlikely to risk the home, however I don't know how easy it really is to get and how many time limits and other restrictions you are going to hit, and so your choices here are really going to be limited due to limited means. Even if they weren't nursing homes aren't good places (they are where people go to die seems accurate enough to me). If she has dementia killing herself slowly with cigs may not be that bad an option. There is the hiring a caretaker to come in at least for a few hours a week/day/etc. but who has means to pay for that here, clearly not SIL and BIL it seems to me, but do the other family members? They do have to agree on a plan, but money is going to set limits, the finances of caring for old demented people is also not just a family dysfunction problem but a real issue. Yes of course investigate what you can get from Medicare/Medicaid but I think it is likely you are going to find it's not that generous.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  2. #12
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    there may not even be any real solution. Well if her problems are mostly due to drunkeness the solution is sobriety but no easy way to make that happen, but dementia is another thing. See family dysfunction can have solutions, but actual dementia can't really be shoved into that category, if someone isn't acting right because their brain is going it's not a psychological problem.

    They probably will get the house if it's in the will (if she doesn't burn it down first! install many smoke detectors is the best I can think of). The house going to Medicaid law has been changed. How do I know? I've discussed the issue with an estate attorney when my mom's estate has been discussed with me (my mom does not have dementia, but it does run in the family).

    However on the Medicaid paying for a nursing home issue, it is unlikely to risk the home, however I don't know how easy it really is to get and how many time limits and other restrictions you are going to hit, and so your choices here are really going to be limited due to limited means. Even if they weren't nursing homes aren't good places (they are where people go to die seems accurate enough to me). If she has dementia killing herself slowly with cigs may not be that bad an option. There is the hiring a caretaker to come in at least for a few hours a week/day/etc. but who has means to pay for that here, clearly not SIL and BIL it seems to me, but do the other family members? They do have to agree on a plan, but money is going to set limits, the finances of caring for old demented people is also not just a family dysfunction problem but a real issue. Yes of course investigate what you can get from Medicare/Medicaid but I think it is likely you are going to find it's not that generous.
    APN, you and i talked about that Medicaid requirement changing, and it seemed to be specific to your state. I have not heard it renounced. Some kind of change took place somewhere but it isnt widespread. It continues to be safe to assume that all assets of a person go toward paying the nursing home bill.

    If others have links to this change, I would like to see that information.

  3. #13
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    I don't think the Medicaid part was state specific, other issues we talked about were (the need for setting up an estate in CA even without great assets due to CA law and probate etc.). I could be misinformed and perhaps need a second opinion, but this isn't' something I heard at a party once, but was estate lawyer advice to my specifically asking about it and whether setting up an estate changes things or not etc. and the answer was no but Medicaid can't come after the house estate or no. True this estate lawyer was hired and paid for by my mom not me (although my mom and me have no conflicts of interest here).
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  4. #14
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    I don't think the Medicaid part was state specific, other issues we talked about were (the need for setting up an estate in CA even without great assets due to CA law and probate etc.). I could be misinformed and perhaps need a second opinion, but this isn't' something I heard at a party once, but was estate lawyer advice to my specifically asking about it and whether setting up an estate changes things or not etc. and the answer was no but Medicaid can't come after the house estate or no. True this estate lawyer was hired and paid for by my mom not me (although my mom and me have no conflicts of interest here).
    Medicaid is, or course, a federal program, but it is administered by the states.

    Some years ao I read that the state of Michigan did not ever exercise its perogotive to go after assets to pay for nursing home care. That is an example of a state doing a specific thing, while other states DO go after assets. I saw that happen with my friend who believed she inherited her father’s house along with her siblings. They were surprised when our state commandeered it.

    edited to add: the change ANM talks about is specific to California, it appears, based on this article.
    http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/hea...122676169.html


    And, it seems to apply only to a home of modest value (see about midway into article.)
    Last edited by iris lilies; 1-8-18 at 2:32pm.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosarugosa View Post
    One of the brothers criticizes SIL for buying MIL's wine and butts, since she can't get out of the house.
    This can be hard to avoid. Police officers are trained to deal with difficult people, but when my then husband was arrested for domestic A&B the officer later called me the victim to see if I could bring cigarettes to the jail. I did not for the benefit of my spouse but out of pity for the officer having to listen to his nonstop whining for them.

  6. #16
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    Three things jump out at me:
    1. This is your husband's mother.
    2. You live only 2 miles away, which can be only a few minutes in a car.
    3. There seems to be some contempt because your SIL is unemployed. I'd say she is employed: as a fulltime unpaid caregiver for your MIL. Thank God she's not working for money- who would pull your MIL away from a lighted gas stove if she weren't there tulltime?

    Your BIL and SIL are in a horrible situation. They need some respite. Your husband has a duty to his mother, and he lives really close. He could, and even should, take on some of the load, as in regularly either sitting with his mother a few hours each weekend, or taking her out shopping, for coffee, a drive, whatever. You're very lucky that your mother is sweet and capable, but that does not in any way relieve your husband of responsibility toward his mother.

    This whole business of the house seems to me to be disgraceful. If the other siblings want the house, they should work out now how much it would cost for either a nursing home or a fulltime live-in carer, and split the costs between them. Over a couple of years, this is likely to far outweigh the value of the house, especially after the sale price is split several ways and all legal fees have been paid.

    I think that your BIL and SIL are likely to get stiffed. Even if MIL has left the house to them in her will, they may not be able to afford to inherit it. First, there are upfront fees: probate and executor's fees, which have to be paid in cash. If this is California, the difference in purchase and current value could be considerable, which could hit them with capital gains tax. Then, even if they get a onetime step-up value and don't have to pay capital gains tax, reassessment of the property's fair-market value could hit them hard with increased property taxes.

    My husband and I live with his mother, in a house paid for 40 years ago. She's clean, a nonsmoker, and nondrinker. But she's demanding. We're on call 24/7, 365/366. My SIL, my husband's sister, lives right across the road. There was a considerable amount of muttered complaining that we were getting it all so easy, and that my husband was going to get the house. Finally, I spoke up. I asked outright if SIL and BIL would live with MIL, and got a flat No. There wouldn't be enough money in the world to make up for their loss of freedom and the constant nagging and stream of insults. Aha, said I. Then I asked if they knew what a nursing home or fulltime carer would cost: $5,000/month for a not top-of-the-range place, or $3,500/month for a bonded caregiver. Would they want to pay that? Otherwise, the house would have to be sold to cover her longterm care in a nursing home, given that her income is $1300/month. No. If my husband and i moved out and stood on our own feet and rented our own place, we could no ways afford to pay half the costs of maintaining MIL, so the house would have to be sold anyway, and MIL would be miserable.

    Now let's get to the house. Yes, it's worth a fair amount of money. BUT we couldn't afford to inherit it! We'd have had to drain all our resources to pay the probate and executor's fees. We could have managed to avoid capital gains tax, according to the lawyer we consulted. Whew! That's a lot of money: the house cost $42k in the 1970s, and is worth $1.7 million now. However, we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently the house falls under Prop. 13. Property taxes are $1400/year. Under the reassessment fair market value, we'd pay $34k/year - more than half of our combined pretax income. We got around the problem by putting the house into a bypass trust; my husband and I have no children together, so the house will go eventually to his sister's daughters. This way, they get the house at step-up value, and avoid capital gains tax, but will unfortunately have to deal with the increased property taxes.

    I would say that this is not your call. Your MIL's children need to get together and do some research and consult a lawyer. They need to stop wrangling about the house, which is rather like picking the bones before the horse has died. The old lady might be a PITA, but her welfare really should come first.

  7. #17
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    "MIL cannot safely live alone, but is a hazard for anyone living with her due to smoke and fire risk. How and at what point can she be made to accept different living arrangements against her will?"

    Have her declared non competent and obtain guardianship.
    You can NOT make her accept them, but she will have to live with the consequences.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    "MIL cannot safely live alone, but is a hazard for anyone living with her due to smoke and fire risk. How and at what point can she be made to accept different living arrangements against her will?"

    Have her declared non competent and obtain guardianship.
    You can NOT make her accept them, but she will have to live with the consequences.
    I was thinking that too. She may very well have an alcohol-induced brain dysfunction that detox could possibly help. Maybe not, but it's worth a try.

  9. #19
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input everyone. I do realize I am only a minor supporting character in this drama (for which I am grateful), but I think I can at least gently nudge DH to increase his support and involvement, and I can certainly lend some support of my own (my own actions are all I can really control of course). I spent a long time on the phone with SIL today, and she said it is the first time she's really gotten any words of support from anyone in the family. I told her I could come over 1 day a week, help with cleaning and laundry, try to make some plans to get SIL out of the house more often or she could let me know any other ways I might reasonably assist. SIL and I do have a friendly relationship, but we don't spend as much time together as we used to, mostly because of the smoking and drinking. I'm no teetotaler (remember, I'm the one who is going to get rich from the Black Box Wine rewards program), but when we are with them, they are almost always drunk and all 3 people in that house smoke a lot. DH had COPD, and I'm sure it isn't healthy for either of us to spend too much time there.
    The whole house issue is really sad. I think MIL set the stage for dissent and the house thing makes it easy for the brothers to abdicate responsibility to their sister since "she's going to get everything anyway." I agree this doesn't excuse them for not taking some responsibility for their mother.
    MIL does not want to leave the house. We offered to take her to our niece's house for Xmas Eve, but she didn't want to go.

  10. #20
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    MIL ISSUES

    Quote Originally Posted by rosarugosa View Post
    CathyA: This is my husband's mother, and his sister and her husband live with MIL.
    IL: It's a big old house with 3 - 4 bedrooms, but only 1 bath. Not conducive to zoning off without major work, which nobody can afford. One of the brothers criticizes SIL for buying MIL's wine and butts, since she can't get out of the house. I do think they might have to curb her a bit if she wants more than she has money to afford. MIL is 85, and I think it's amazing she has made it this far. We live 2 miles away, and the other 2 brothers live 1 hr away and 2 hrs away. The 1 hour away brother works in this area though. SIL says were are the only ones she can talk to that don't treat her like she is a total a$$hole. There is a definite lack of family cooperation here.
    My Mom is having memory issues, but she is happy and cooperative, trusts us and is thankful for everything we do for her. Sister & I are totally on the same page. Mom is still quite independent at 83, but the family dynamics make this such a better scenario.
    First thing should be getting MIL to a doctor to be evaluated as to whether she has dementia or has alcohol induced problems.
    He may make a recommendation that she be placed in a facility,thus taking it out of the family's hands.
    I'm in NYS and I know if there's any assets over and above the house they will be attached first.I know if there's a spouse the house can't be attached, that doesn't seem to be the case.
    A spend down is usually the 1st option to use,then Medicaid will kick in as well as Medicare and whatever SS benefits she gets,our residents get 50.00 out of their benefits for haircuts,outings,etc.
    One of them,Medicaid or Medicare covers a home health aide for some hours a week,they also will pay a family member to do so,this is new...

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