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Home > Blog > Estate Planning > Skilled Nursing Facilities and Your New York Estate Plan

Skilled Nursing Facilities and Your New York Estate Plan


When is a nursing home not a nursing home?  You never have to think about this unless you face a major health crisis or unless you are a caregiver for an elderly relative or for a family member with a severe chronic illness.  Clients often approach their initial consultations with estate planning lawyers with the mistaken assumption that some seniors live out their days at home, while others move into nursing homes simply because they have no one to care for them or do not want to live with their families.  In fact, the choice is not always one or the other.  The same senior may alternate among spending time at home and in a skilled nursing facility before deciding to move to an assisted living facility, nursing home, or memory care facility.  If you are in the early stages of estate planning, such as just getting ready to print out a draft of your will and show it to an attorney, then you can make more detailed plans if you have a better understanding of the various types of long-term care that seniors can receive.  To find out more about skilled nursing facilities and other types of facilities that provide long-term care, contact a Bronx estate planning lawyer.

How Do Skilled Nursing Facilities Work?

The main goal of hospitals is to provide treatment for acute health conditions; patients go to hospitals to get medical interventions that they cannot get anywhere else.  Hospitals discharge patients as soon as their condition is stable enough that they do not require the constant monitoring that hospitalized patients get.  As soon as a patient no longer needs in-hospital care, or as soon as the hospital has done everything it can do, it discharges the patient to make room for another patient who needs the kind of treatment that is only available in a hospital.

By contrast, nursing homes simply help patients maintain the level of independence and stability they already have.  Patients only enter nursing homes if they need help with at least two of the activities of daily living, namely eating, dressing, walking, bathing, and using the toilet.

Skilled nursing facilities have some elements of hospitals and some elements of nursing homes, but they serve a different purpose.  Their main purpose is rehabilitation.  Patients enter a skilled nursing facility if they still need help with activities of daily living after being released from the hospital.  They receive this nursing care, along with physical therapy, until they are able to go home.  If it turns out that the need for nursing care is permanent, the patient enters a nursing home after leaving the skilled nursing facility.

Don’t wait until you are in a skilled nursing facility before stating your wishes about your healthcare and finances.  Talk to an estate planning lawyer about all the possible things that can happen with your money and your health in the future.

Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Bronx Estate Planning Attorney

An estate planning lawyer can help you plan for long-term care and make it as affordable as possible.  Contact Cavallo & Cavallo in the Bronx, New York to set up a consultation.




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