Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?
Nursing home overview:
a nursing home is needed you will most likely be too ill to make all
of the relevant decisions on your own. Knowing what to think about
and look for now will help you to know the most critical information
necessary to make a wise decision when the time comes for a nursing
home. You should talk with your family before-hand and let them know
what your intentions and concerns are about being in a nursing home
before the time even comes.
Nursing homes are frequently referred to as long-term care facilities
or skilled nursing
facilities. Regardless of their name, all of these
facilities provide nursing and medical care for patients in a
residential environment. It is important to know that living in a
nursing home is not the end of the world. People frequently stay for
either short or long periods of time for a multitude of reasons.
Individuals may stay in long-term care facilities for rehabilitation
after hospitalizations or as permanent nursing home residents. If you
need this level of care, you will usually be notified by a social
worker in the hospital, an assisted-living staff member, family member
Nursing home costs:
Medicare we usually pay for nursing home stays for 30 days and a total
of 100-day maximum after a three-day hospital stay. Also, Medicare
will only pay as long as the patient needs skilled nursing care. If
you qualify, Medicaid will pay for your residence after your Medicare
coverage ends. Nursing homes are not required to accept Medicare or
Medicaid. It is strictly up to their discretion as to the required
payment sources necessary for you to remain. Frequently nursing homes
will have a limited number of Medicaid beds. However, it is important
to understand that if an individual enters a nursing home as a private
pay patient and then becomes Medicaid eligible (by spending down to
the required Medicaid level); the nursing home cannot make them leave
and is required to accept their Medicaid payment.
If a nursing home does not accept Medicaid, it will not be required to
keep the resident once their private pay funds have been expended.
Also, an individual who enters a nursing home under Medicare or
Medicaid cannot be required to pay a security or advance payment.
Also, nursing homes are required to have a bed hold policy in
which Medicaid will pay for a set number of days while a patient is
away at a hospital or another facility.
It's important to understand that nursing homes are very expensive
with an average cost per year of about $50,000 according to the AARP
(formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons). If
you have long-term care insurance or private insurance, some of the
cost may be reimbursed through the insurance coverage. You
need to make sure to read the policy closely and make sure that all of
the nursing home costs are covered under your policy. Many have
percentages or caps that may apply to payment for your nursing home
Some information from
Seniorís Rights: Your Legal Guide to Living Life to the Fullest By
Brette McWhorter Sember
Paul Susic M.A. Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate (Geriatric Psychologist)