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Assisted Living and finances

Hi everyone,

My name is Cheryl, we just moved my 89 year old mother into a wonderful assisted living community. As mom has not saved well for herselfwe are Ina position that she must rely on Medicaid to pay for her new community. She will be allowed to keep a very small amount of money every month ($90) to spend as she chooses. Mom has never been good with budgeting so I am very concerned that she will spend all of her monthly allowances at once. I've been considering getting a debit card for her but worry that it will make it easy for her to go through the the $90 even faster. I could giver her $45 every other week. I know that there are others who may be interested same situation that I find myself in. Can anyone who is please share you're suggestions. 

Thanks in advance and Happy Mother's Day to you all .

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Honored Social Butterfly

My mother was not on Medicaid but when she was in Assisted Living, the facility had an account for each resident, of which, they gave a complete accounting monthly of what went in and out, including the reason.


Thinking back, there were very few expenses which came out of the fund so I just kept a minimal amount in there and replenished as needed.  Occasionally, there were personal items that perhaps had to be purchased if she ran out, like incontenence supplies, or maybe a hair appointment - I tried to stay up on these things, thus these actual cash expense occasions were infrequent too.  


My mother had both mental and physical problems so any facility supplied outings did not apply to her - she was high on the scale on the assistance side.


You know your Mom best - would she be able to restrict her debit card use to things she can afford?


Personally, if it were me in your situation, I would determine what the money would be used for, how much is needed or even wanted, and then, just use cash, especially if you think the place is safe and reliable.  Sure cash can be stolen but so can debit cards.  If a person can use a debit card, they should be able to use cash too.  Think you also have to determine if a debit card would be usable for the things she might need to or want to buy and how mobile she is right now and in the future depending upon her level of assistance.


I once knew a lady 90+ - she was a gambler from way back and getting older and more feeble, even when she couldn't even leave the place, didn't stop her from this entertainment.  Her small amount of money each month at her disposal was spent on "scratch-offs".  She just sent someone to buy them for her.  There was constantly a little cloud of silver dust surrounding her.  


Good Luck in your decision about this issue.


It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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