Many nursing homes will want you to sign an admission agreement, either before or after the resident moves in. Please take your time and read the agreement fully before signing. If possible, consult with an attorney. Obviously, if you can wait until the resident has already moved in, you will have more leverage.

Here is an article that gives some important pointers about nursing home admission agreements.

Two things that you need to pay very close attention to in the agreement are:

– Responsible Party: You should not sign the agreement as the responsible party. This means that you may be agreeing to be responsible for payment if the resident is unable to pay. You can sign as the resident’s agent, but you should pay close attention and cross out any language that implies that you will be personally responsible.

Arbitration Provision: Nursing homes cannot legally require you to sign an arbitration provision, thus giving up your right to go to court against the nursing home if the need arises.

Other things that you should be aware of:

– Nursing homes cannot require a Medicare or Medicaid recipient to pay the private pay rate, even for a short time. They also cannot require that you confirm that you are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.

– Nursing homes cannot evict anyone for anything other than the following reasons: the home cannot meet the resident’s needs, the resident’s health has improved, the resident is a danger to others, lack of payment, or the nursing home is closing.

– Any provision that waives the nursing home’s liability for lost or stolen personal items is illegal. The nursing home also cannot waive their liability for the resident’s health.

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Bo Frith