Okay, I'm going to restate what you said to make sure I'm clear. Your mom is in a hospital on a nh waiting list. She doesn't want to go to a nh (which is understandable), but she's not eligible for hospice yet. You're concerned about this, but also expense. Did I get that right?
My experience with my mom has been that after a 3 day hospital stay or longer, she can go to a nh (short-term) for rehab. Medicare will pay I think 100% the first 20 days. Then it drops to 80% for up to 100 days. Insurance or family has to pay the other 20%. So money-wise, if she does get placed in a nh, you have some time.
Most nh's have a separate wing for the short-term rehab patients. Depending on her mental state, you might be able to tell her that she is in a special hospital so she can recover from this last episode, and to give you and sis some time to arrange for the proper care at home.
If it is your intent to not permanently place her at a nh, you should be very direct and upfront about that with everyone. They will set "goals" to help you get her out in that 20 days, if you do.
Actually, doing the 20 day rehab a few times was a good "dress rehearsal" for me to "audition" a couple of the facilities in our area, so that when my mom had her stroke and *had* to go into a nh, I had some points of comparison to go by.
Oh, another thing that comes to mind. Last summer, when my mom was so sick, we set her up as DNR. One of the nurses asked if I wanted her on hospice status, too. I told her that the Dr. told me she was not there yet. So she's not on hospice, but when she gets to that point, they will provide hospice care at the nh for her. She's on Medicaid, now, too. So I don't know the implications money-wise for that.
COscrapper, the main thing is that as you work your way through this for your mom and sister, that you take time for yourself to de-stress. Go for walks, take a warm bath, journal, etc. I was a total basket case last year. I was emotionally and physically exhausted, and I'm only just now getting the wind back under my sails. So please take care of you!
Hope this helps. You're in my thoughts and prayers.