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My mother has helped a number of her friends manage their affairs in declinig years. One thing I remember her telling me about nursing homes is that it was important not to wait until you are broke before going into a nursing home.

Nursing homes vary considerably in quality, and the ones that will take you just for what Medicare and Medicaid will pay will likely be at the low end of the range.

If you go into a nursing home while you still have some money ('some' in this context meaning a few tens of thousands of dollars) you can get into a much better class of nursing home. Of course the nursing home fees will deplete that money pretty quickly, but the nursing home won't kick you out when the money runs out, they just continue to care for you for just what Medicare/Medicaid pays.
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