Options in Nursing Home Care
Planning for long-term care, for yourself or for a loved one, is something that most of all will be called to do at some point. Over the last five years, over 10 million people have needed some form of long term care, and 70% of people age 65 and over will require this type of care sometime in their lives. In certain cases, a nursing home may be the best and most viable option. Nursing homes can provide a level of care that can’t necessarily be provided at home, such as 24 hour nursing services, medical monitoring, and post-operative care. When making choices regarding nursing home care, it’s important to factor in a number of considerations, such as cost, location, and the level of care that can be provided. Of course, resident safety and comfort is first and foremost. Knowing what to look for in a nursing home, and what questions to ask, can help ensure you pick the right nursing home for your needs.
Choosing A Nursing Home
Sometimes a nursing home is needed after a hospital stay for a particular illness or injury for which the patient will continue to require care, but doesn’t need to be in the hospital. Other times, the burden of care for someone currently living at home becomes too great, and the choice is made to enter a nursing home. According to the National Institute on Aging, there are a number of factors to consider in choosing the right nursing home, including:
- Level of Care Needed: Nursing homes can generally be classified as either hospital-like or household-like, depending on the level of care provided and the environment in which residents live. A hospital type nursing home is generally set up like a hospital, with a nurse’s station on each floor to monitor the resident’s condition and care. There are generally two patients to a room, and arrangements can be made for couples to share a room. A household type nursing home is more relaxed, and provides some of the independence of a home like setting, where residents can use the kitchen, socialize, and decorate their living spaces.
- Method of Payment: Paying for nursing home care is expensive, and there are several options available to help meet those costs. Medicare will cover part of the costs of nursing home care for patients with medical conditions that require constant care or supervision. Private pay can quickly deplete any savings you’ve accrued; if long-term care insurance was purchased in advance, this can help defray costs for these length of your policy. Once any personal funds or insurance has been depleted, Medicaid may be an option.
In addition to the above, you’ll want to be sure the nursing home you choose meets health and safety standards. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers consumers a checklist for choosing a nursing home that includes questions to ask nursing home staff and residents, what to look for when visiting nursing homes, as well as additional information on how to defray the cost of nursing home care.
Contact Our Experienced Medicaid and Nursing Home Attorneys
When considering a nursing home for yourself or a loved one, there are many considerations, not the least of which is how to pay for the care you need. At Cavallo & Cavallo, our experienced New York Medicaid and nursing home attorneys can help guide you through the process of deciding upon long term care, and how best to afford it, while protecting your current assets. It’s never too early to think about your future.