Case Study Idaho :: Ramona

Limited Savings and Family Far Away

The Stroke

Ramona is an 87 year old, 2nd generation from Spain.  She had been living alone in her home for the past seven years since her husband passed away in his sleep.  Ramona suffered a stroke while her daughter, Sofia, and family were visiting for Easter.  The physical consequences from the stroke necessitated Ramona be moved from the home to Long Term Care in her hometown of Boise, Idaho.


Ramona and her late husband, Ernst, have modest savings.  $10,000 is in a savings account as a modest fallback plan.  She receives $1,221 a month from social security after working most of her life in an Inn.  Ramona owns her home and a low mileage Volkswagen.  Ramona’s daughter, Sofia, and her husband live in Manhattan, Kansas.  At 66, they have just recently retired and now only occasionally work at the Flint Hills Discovery Center.

The Story

Ramona entered long term care on the 19th of April, at a nice run of the mill facility.  She has a semi-private room due to costs.  Her monthly bill comes out to $7,452.  The cost just to move in brings Ramona’s savings to $2,5 48.  Sofia and her husband recognize that the cost of care will be more than the social security benefit, so they decide to sell the car and list the house.  The car sells quickly and brings in $7500.  With another month of social security and the gains from the car, Ramona and her family are able to pay for another month.

By June, the house is on the market in Boise, but has seen limited visitors.  Sofia and her husband, at a loss on their options, decide to help by supplementing the June payment with their own money and deplete the remainder of the savings.  In July, the house sells for $138,000.  Just in time to make the monthly payment.  Once the closing of the sale goes through, Sofia and her husband pay themselves back for June’s long term care payment. $4904.  Ramona is able to stay in her room for a year and a half before the money from the house runs out.

Sofia and Her Husband Have to Get Involved

Nearly two years after Ramona suffers her stroke, the money runs out.  Ramona’s daughter, Sofia, pays for the first month out of their savings.  Sofia and her husband apply for Facility Medicaid on behalf of Ramona.  During the 60 month look back the repayment for the $4900 while the house was listed puts the application on hold for another month.  After Sofia and her husband have spent $14,904 of their money, and many nights in Boise hotels, they qualify Ramona for facility medicaid.

Ramona has sold her car and her home to afford a semi-private room.  Sofia and her husband have traveled from Kansas to Idaho multiple times to make everything work out.  The family has over $15,000 of their money to get to a point where Ramona will be taken care of for the remainder of her life.

The story can go much differently.  Sign up for the newsletter to see how Sofia and her husband could have kept the house, the car, and their savings while still taking better care of Ramona.

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