Many families share a commitment to provide care at home for their seniors. Beginning with visits and assistance, these arrangements often evolve into sharing a home and home related expenses. This arrangement is both natural and comfortable and it is a rare case when the profit is the motivation. That is why people often feel embarrassed and surprised when they approach a long term care stay in a nursing facility and learn that all the money transferred to, or used by, the other family members during home sharing will be scrutinized by the government and may even result in delay, or loss, of eligibility for nursing home Medicaid benefits.
The simple explanation is that the government is required to presume that any transfer of funds to a family member is a gift, intended to help qualify the applicant to benefits, until and unless the applicant proves otherwise. In other words, no matter how innocent, no matter how much care and effort was expended in return, the government is suspicious of all transfers to a relative within the 5 years before an application for Medicaid is submitted.
The worst solution to this problem is to assume that Mom, Dad, or Grandpa will never be placed in long term care. Extremely small numbers of people actually are able to keep their promise to never ship someone off to a nursing home. The reason is simple; the promise was made under conditions completely different than the real world that surrounds end stage care as it has evolved today. The best solution to this problem is to see an Elder Law Attorney who can help the family plan for home care with documents in place to prevent losses because of inadvertently bad management of family resources.