Q: I have power of attorney. My husband is 82 and in falling health. I cannot take care of him. My health is not good enough for me to manage his daily care.
A: You and he will pay for his nursing care with private funds. When you run out of funds to pay his monthly costs, you will need to look for funding. You may want to look toward the VA if he is a military veteran, however, most people in this situation need to apply for Medicaid. An elder lawyer versed in Medicaid law can direct you through this process. Generally, Medicaid will allow the community spouse, you in this case, to keep the home and some amount of cash funds, depending on Medicaid regulations applicable to your specific case. Once you die, or leave the home, Medicaid may have a recovery interest in the home or the proceeds of the sale. Again, a legal opinion would be helpful as there may be ways to spend down or shelter a portion of this money. It would be worth the price of a legal consultation where your entire situation can be reviewed including income, assets your health, your husband’s health, other resources for medical funding, etc.