HOW TO GET INTO A NURSING HOME

Friends:

I get emails from a group called Care Pages (sadly, I am on the list because of friends and family who have had medical emergencies with small children and tried to keep everyone in the loop)…. That aside. Today I got an email from them about
“Options for Extra Care: Nursing Homes and Hospice Facilities.”

Given my chosen litigation area, the article certainly perked my interest.

Article by Linda Foster states: “Most people hope to live out their last years at home, but health circumstances may necessitate moves to nursing homes or assisted living facilities. When a loved one’s illness is terminal, hospice facilities or hospice care at home may be the most caring solution.”
I AGREE MS. FOSTER – Most of us will have to make long term care decisions for ourselves or loved ones.

SHE ALSO WRITES:

Assisted Living Facilities

If your loved one is not incapacitated to the point that you need to consider the skilled care offered by a nursing home, assisted living can be a viable solution. Many are in pleasant, planned communities and can be a terrific option for people who are unable to maintain their own homes any longer or take care of daily needs such as cooking or driving; they may be experiencing decreased sensory perceptions and delayed reaction times or confusion, but don’t need round-the-clock nursing care.

The down side is the high cost. “Assisted living facilities can run from $1,000 to $5,000 per month or more,” says Bill Guerra, RN, BSN, with the Seven Hills Surgery Center in Henderson, Nev. Some assisted living facilities also charge extra for services like administering medications, providing trips to the physician, bathing, and so forth.

Medicaid will pay for assisted living for certain patients, depending on their income and personal resources.

OK MS.FOSTER – I AGREE, BUT FOR THE MEDICAID THING. I DO NOT BELIEVE VIRGINIA MEDICAID (it is state by state) will pay for Assisted Living. Correct me if I am wrong, please..

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide care when patients can’t take attend to their basic needs, are incapacitated by illness, or have dementia, says Guerra. Some, like “memory centers,” cater to patients with dementia who are prone to wandering — leaving home and getting lost — or hurting themselves unintentionally, though they can usually walk and talk.

Nursing homes can be private-pay facilities or state-run homes covered through the Medicaid system for people who can’t afford the costs on their own. Qualifying for Medicaid is a complicated procedure, and it might be a good idea to consult with an elder law attorney. If you have time to plan ahead, you can take out a long-term care insurance policy to cover some or all costs, should a nursing home be necessary later in life. Medicare pays only for very limited stays under certain circumstances and not continual, long-term residence.

YOU LEFT OUT ONE OPTION – the FOR PROFIT FACILITY THAT TAKES MEDICARE AND MEDICAID.. Not the option I would advice.

Finally, she advises: Your first step is deciding which facility is right for your loved one’s needs at this stage of his or her life. Then you’ll need to research costs, figure out what resources are available to pay for it, and whether your loved one qualifies for financial assistance or has any insurance. Investigate what your loved one may be entitled to from Medicare and Medicaid. Depending on the person’s age and health status, there may be time to get long-term insurance for the future.

Once you know your budget, you can begin interviewing facilities about the level of care they offered and find the best one to meet your loved one’s needs.

GOOD ADVICE.

Lauren Ellerman

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at lellerman@frithlawfirm.com.