Nursing home planning is important for individuals who want to make certain they are prepared in case they need nursing home care.
Nursing homes are extremely costly, and some nursing homes provide much better care than others. Making the right decisions when it comes to choosing a nursing home and preparing to pay for it can shape not just a senior’s life, but also his or her legacy.
Questions to consider about nursing home planning are:
- What is involved in nursing home planning?
- When do I need to start nursing home planning?
- How do I plan to pay for nursing home care?
What is Involved in Nursing Home Planning?
Nursing home planning involves preparing for circumstances which could send you to a nursing home. Many people need nursing home care, either temporarily or permanently, at some point during their lifetime. If you are one of those individuals who eventually must go into a nursing home, you must be financially prepared for the burden or you could lose your assets. It may also be beneficial to have chosen a nursing home in advance, as a medical emergency is not the time to begin your research into where you want to live when you can no longer live on your own.
The nursing home planning process is different for everyone, depending upon your specific financial situation and your own hopes and plans for your future. In general, however, the planning process involves:
- Determining if you have any access to benefits, such as VA benefits, which could help you to cover the costs of nursing home care or which could provide you with a place in a nursing home.
- Researching nursing home facilities in your area.
- Making a determination on which facilities you would be interested in.
- Finding out the policies and costs of the nursing home you are interested in living in.
- Making plans to pay for nursing home care.
An Atlanta nursing home planning attorney can assist with each of these different steps, including reviewing admissions paperwork for a nursing home to make certain that the contract you must sign to live in a facility is sufficiently protective of your legal rights.
When Do I Need to Start Nursing Home Planning and How Will I Pay for Nursing Home Care?
While many people think nursing homes are only for the elderly and infirm, this is not necessarily the case. A younger person who becomes involved in an accident or who suffers an illness such as a stroke could become unable to live on his or her own, either temporarily or permanently. This could mean moving into a nursing care facility until recovery or for the rest of your life.
If you must move into a nursing home and have not found a facility in advance, you and your family could be left scrambling to find acceptable accommodations with an open bed upon discharge from an emergency hospitalization. When nursing home paperwork is signed under duress, you could end up agreeing to terms that are not favorable to you and could give up your rights without understanding what the contract entails. You could also end up spending your entire life savings on the cost of nursing home care, which is covered by Medicare and private insurers only in a few specific circumstances.
Advanced financial planning and preparation in case you need nursing home care should be done well in advance of the time that you may need nursing home services. If you hope to have Medicaid pay for your nursing home, plans must be in place at least five years prior to the time care is needed in order to avoid having to spend down your personal wealth below Medicaid’s strict resource limits.