What You Should Know Legally Before Going to a Nursing Home

By The Care Centers.

If you are an elderly individual and you have chosen to enter a nursing home, or if you have loved ones who are in need of assisted living, then there are some legal matters that must be handled in advance to avoid issues in the future. Unfortunately, there are people who take advantage of elderly individuals, so it is vital to have everything in place from a legal standpoint. This will help to avoid those situations and protect you or your loved one depending on the situation. 

Dealing with Medicare and Medicaid

To begin with, it is smart to check into the legalities of Medicare and Medicaid as far as paying for nursing home or homecare costs. As a general rule, Medicare doesn’t pay for stays in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, but Medicaid may in many situations. There are programs designed specifically to help pay for these expenses and even to protect the mental and physical wellbeing of residents. It helps to find and hire an attorney who has experience with Medicare and Medicaid in order to navigate the sometimes confusing legalities. 

Updating Documents

Another thing you will need to do is update documents in order to ensure everything is in place. These documents will include: 

  • Wills
  • Living Wills
  • Trusts
  • Advanced Directives
  • Power of Attorney
  • Durable Financial Power of Attorney
  • Healthcare Directives

If anything is not up to date, then your wishes may not be met in various medical situations. You need to ensure you have all of your I’s dotted and your T’s crossed in order to ensure everything you want to happen does. Of course, again, it is best to hire a lawyer to handle these documents. 

An attorney will also help you handle everything to do with your life estate, which refers to your properties. 

When you will be entering a nursing home, it’s just the best decision to have all of these types of documents properly in place and filed away. That way, there will not be an issue when you are in the assisted living facility. 

Having the Conversation

If the person who will be entering the nursing home is your loved one, then it is vital that you have a talk with them to cover all of these details as well. They need to thoroughly understand the legal issues that come into play before the assisted living facility and they also need to know their rights when they are living there. There are both state and federal laws in place that ensure all nursing home residents have rights to privacy, proper care, and more. 

Entering a nursing home isn’t as simple as making a move. There are legal issues that are important every step of the way, and whether it is you going to an assisted living facility or your loved one, you will want to make sure everything is properly covered. If you want more information about preparing documents, see our article on the topic (Legal Checklist before Entering a Nursing Home), and read our article on finding an attorney (How to Find an Elder Care Lawyer) to make that choice easier as well. 


Tags: Nursing Homes