If you need to select a nursing home for a loved one, there are several factors you should take into consideration. Some of these include:
- Overall cleanliness of the facility;
- Staff-to-patient ratio;
- Location of the facility;
- Proximity to family members and friends;
- Proximity to the closest hospital/urgent care center;
- Whether the facility is religiously affiliated (or not);
- The overall ratings and reviews of the facility; and
- Payment methods accepted.
These six factors require due diligence before placement occurs. When researching facilities, be sure to utilize the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website www.cms.gov which allows you to look up past complaints filed against prospective nursing homes, what forms of payment they accept (Medicaid, Medicare, private pay, etc.) and even the owners or major shareholders of the prospective nursing homes.
Of particular concern for elder law attorneys are the business practices of certain nursing homes. Here are some examples of things we have encountered which created problems for nursing home residents… This is by no means an exhaustive list of issues we have encountered, but I present these merely for illustration purposes:
- A nursing home who has the resident/resident’s Attorney-in-Fact or Guardian sign bank authorizations that allow the facility to withdraw money from the resident’s bank accounts;
- A nursing home that convinces a resident’s spouse that the resident and spouse need to be “spent down to nothing” in order to qualify for Medicaid;
- A nursing home that lists a resident’s home for sale.
These issues and more can potentially be avoided by doing your research before placement ever occurs. Most importantly, speak with an elder law attorney to review your options, placement plans, and the potential to save assets even after qualifying for Medicaid. The attorneys at Fink Rosner Ershow-Levenberg Marinaro Marinaro can assist you with this process. Set up a consultation today by calling (732) 382-6070 or by visiting www.finkrosnerershow-levenberg.com and using the attorney profiles to schedule a consultation online.