Elder Law

Crowdfunding sought to return elderly veteran to his apartment

A Korean War veteran who owns his co-op apartment can no longer live there because of needed repairs and unpaid fees, but a crowdfunding campaign could change his circumstances.

Eighty-year-old Ralph Bolen, who has early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, is living in a care facility, but he would like to return to his studio apartment, the Washington Post reports.

Bolen’s problems began with a hospital visit in 2010, his neighbor, Trisha White, told the Post. After leaving the hospital, he went to a rehab facility, which refused to release Bolen to his home because his bathroom needed repairs. Bolen couldn’t afford the $4,000 cost.

His Social Security checks now go to a care facility, and he is unable to pay the co-op’s maintenance fees. White estimates the bill could be $16,000 by now.

White had proposed a deal in which she would pay the fees and maintain the apartment if she could inherit the unit on Bolen’s death. (Bolen has no children.) A judge refused to approve the idea, though it won the approval of Bolen’s court-appointed lawyer and conservator, and his two guardians, the story says.

The guardians had obtained Medicaid waivers to allow Bolen to receive nursing care in his home, but he lost his slot in the program because his apartment was considered uninhabitable.

White is now trying to raise money for Bolen through a crowdsourcing campaign on Indiegogo, which brought in more than $12,000 since Dec. 3. A judge is scheduled to reconsider the case in January.

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