I. Selecting a nursing home;
Many nursing home residents enter the home directly from the hospital. Often the process for selecting the home is rushed, you may have been given only a short period of time to find a facility and your loved one will have taken no part in the selection process. Try to help eliminate this by discussing the situation with your loved one prior to their health deteriorating to this degree.
When it’s time to locate the right facility for you;
a. Visit local nursing homes and have meetings with the staff and business office manager.
b. Visit the following website, this site compares nursing homes and lists any deficiencies they may have. http://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html
c. Referrals, check to see if anyone you may know has any experience with the local nursing homes.
d. Ultimately visiting the facility will be your best information.
e. Choose a facility that offers options for your loved ones future needs.
II. Financial Information and documents needed;
You will need to locate and identify as much financial information as possible, especially if your loved one is either experiencing or will be experiencing memory loss. This information will also be needed if you choose to apply for Medicaid benefits to pay for the costs of a nursing home.
a. Locate and Gather all financial information such as;
1. Bank accounts – locate all open bank accounts. ( checking, savings, etc. ).
2. Investments – locate all investment accounts – stocks, bonds, IRA’s, CD’s, etc.
3. Life insurance policies
4. Existing loans – locate all existing loans they may be responsible for paying ( auto, home, credit cards, personal loans, furniture or appliances, home equity, etc. )
5. Vehicle titles and Property deeds
6. Utility companies – identify all utility companies if they are moving from an apartment or home ( they will need to be paid until you determined what will happen with the previous residence ).
7. Create a will and other necessary legal documents such as Powers of Attorney [both financial and health care] and advanced medical directives.
b. Gather identification documents ( driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, etc. )
c. Payment… discuss how the nursing home will be paid…..
1. If you don’t want to deplete your savings Medicaid will pay for the nursing home care of your loved one.
I. Medicaid requires financial documents in addition to what we have listed above.
Click HERE for a complete list.
II. Contact us to complete the Medicaid process for you, we will gather all of the necessary documents required.
III. Health information;
a. Insurance - Gather information on all health insurance
I. Include copies of Medicare cards
II. Include information on all supplemental insurance companies
b. Discuss all of their health issues
I. Make a list of all of their disabilities, sicknesses, concerns, issues, allergies, medication, oxygen needs, wheelchair or cane needs, assistance with eating or dressing, etc.
II. Make a list of their habits, likes and dislikes to discuss with the staff.
III. Discuss this with the nursing home so they are aware of their needs.
VI. Have an authorization form signed by your loved one stating that the nursing home is allowed to discuss their medical information with you.
c. Medical records and transfer orders
I. Have their doctor prepare transfer orders to the desired nursing home [if they are coming directly from a hospital this will usually be done by the hospital without asking].
II. Have their medical records transferred if your main physician does not practice at the nursing home they are going to.
IV Talk to your loved one
No one wants to enter a nursing home, however, if they do enter it’s because it’s necessary. Whenever possible, have the discussion with your loved one prior to the absolute need [we understand that this is an extremely difficult conversation to have but it’s a necessary conversation].
a. Whether they will be going in for what you expect will be a relatively short period of physical rehabilitation, as a permanent move, or anything in between, it is important that your loved one be as much a part of the decision-making process as possible. It is important that they understand as much as possible of what is happening. If they will need therapy to relearn certain skills (such as walking or eating) before they can go home do your best to explain this. Wanting to go home can be the most powerful motivation your loved one has to work hard at getting stronger and more independent.
b. If you do not know if your loved one will be able to go home again it’s suggested that you not try to fool them by promising otherwise. Of course you want to be optimistic and encouraging, but if you make promises you cannot keep, your loved one may feel you have betrayed them and may not believe anything you tell her about the situation. You can emphasize the kinds of physical skills you hope they will be able to get back, the help with everyday tasks and the medical care that they may not be able to receive at home and the possibility of increased social contact with other people. It may also reassure your love one to know particular details about the nursing home, such as that there are daily religious services, or a garden, or that you can bring the family pet for visits. It is possible to talk about this without denying the fear or sadness you both feel.
Questions? Contact us today, our expert staff will help in every way they can.
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