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.
Coping with Alzheimer’s In Atlanta
Fouts Law Group, LLC provides help to individuals and families who have received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is frightening because it brings with it uncertainty and the fear of losing control. The good news is, you can still take charge of your future if you or someone you love has Alzheimer’s. We can help.
There are many steps that patients and families can and should take as soon as possible after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Taking the right steps now can save a lot of heartache later. Fouts Law Group, LLC can help you to determine what you should do next after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and can help at all phases of coping with Alzheimer’s.
If you are a patient, caregiver, or family member, give us a call at (678) 242-8344 today to speak with a member of our legal team to find out more about personalized Alzheimer’s planning services we can offer. You can also get answers to questions that an Alzheimer’s diagnosis raises including:
- How Can I plan for medical and nursing care after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis?
- What steps should I take after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis?
- How Can an Alzheimer’s planning lawyer help me?
How Can You Plan for Medical and Nursing Care of Alzheimer’s Patients?
One of the most important issues that arises is the care of Alzheimer’s patients, as many become unable to live by themselves. Medicare and private insurance typically do not pay anything for the type of nursing home care needed by Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s patients do not need skilled medical interventions in nursing homes, which are covered in certain cases by Medicare and insurers. Instead, they need custodial care which must either be paid for out-of-pocket or which may be paid for by Medicaid for those who qualify.
Planning ahead to get Medicaid coverage for nursing home care can allow Alzheimer’s patients to protect their wealth. While owning assets can be disqualifying for Medicaid, you can structure ownership of much of your property so you do not have to spend down personal wealth before Medicaid pays for care. This must be done at least five years in advance of the time when nursing home care is needed in order to provide the maximum protection for assets. However, even if you suspect nursing care will be needed sooner, you can often still shield some assets from being lost.
You can also consider VA benefits and other sources of coverage for nursing home care upon a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, and you can explore home care options. Decisions should be made as soon as possible after a diagnosis regarding both how nursing home care will be paid for and regarding what nursing home living environment is appropriate.
When these decisions are made in advance, the Alzheimer’s patient is able to have input into where he or she will be cared for and how costs will be covered.
What Steps Should You Take After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis?
In addition to making a plan for nursing care, there are other steps which can be taken following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Often, the diagnosed patient is still of sound mind and has time to get his or her affairs in order. This can include:
- Creating a power of attorney in order to decide who will make decisions on your behalf once the Alzheimer’s progresses and you cannot act on your own accord.
- Creating a legacy plan so you can determine what will happen to your property and wealth after you have passed away.
- Making advanced decisions on what kinds of extraordinary measures you wish to be used in case of a medical emergency when you are no longer able to communicate your own preferences on care.
These are just a few of many different steps which may need to be taken. The process of coping with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is different for every person, and an experienced attorney can help you to determine what issues are raised by your diagnosis and what legal tools you can use to best address those issues.
How Can a Nursing Home and Alzheimer’s Planning Lawyer Help You?
A nursing home planning lawyer can provide you with comprehensive advice on all aspects of care for your elderly loved ones. We want to help you and your family take as much control as possible over your future, even in the case of medical uncertainty. To find out more about how an Atlanta nursing home planning lawyer can assist you, give us a call at (678) 242-8344 or contact Fouts Law Group, LLC online today to find out more about how we can help you.