It’s a frightening situation when you find out that you or a loved one will need to become a nursing home resident due to failing health or a debilitating physical or mental condition that makes it unsafe to continue living at home. Often, the person moving into the nursing home has lived in their own home for many years and has played an active role in the community. Moving into a skilled nursing facility seems like such an overwhelming change to one’s comfortable routines. Family members and friends can help make this transition easier by visiting and assuring the patient that he or she will be receiving good care and not be forgotten. Providing the patient with clothing, personal items, and familiar objects from home will also help. And most importantly, managing the costs of skilled nursing care will provide you and your loved one with security and peace of mind.
Paying for Nursing Home Care
Of course, one of the greatest concerns about moving into assisted living or a skilled nursing facility is how to pay for the expense of that care. With the average cost of nursing home care at $80,000 per year or more, that concern is not unwarranted. Most families do not have adequate resources or do not want to deplete their life savings to finance that type of expense for possibly five years (average nursing home stay) or longer, and Medicare and private insurance will pay for only short periods of skilled nursing care.
When your loved one cannot return home and will enter long term skilled nursing care, you have the option of applying for Medicaid to cover the costs. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program, with the states setting the benefits they will offer and the eligibility criteria for those benefits. Medicaid requires that people seeking Medicaid funded care have minimum financial resources. Therefore, it may be necessary to spend down, transfer, liquidate, etc., assets in order to qualify. The guidelines for Medicaid eligibility vary from state to state and change periodically, so it is a good idea to make sure you have expert guidance in preparing the application for your loved one. You can learn more about Medicaid eligibility and planning here.
An attorney specializing in elder care concerns can provide the guidance you will need for this process. The Medicaid experts at the law office of Glenn A. Deig, Attorney at Law, are ready to give you peace of mind and walk you through the process step-by step. To help you gather the information and documents you need, refer to the Medicaid case application checklist here.
Although the need to enter a skilled nursing facility may have come up suddenly, there are still options available to help your loved one preserve some of his or her hard-earned assets without compromising eligibility for Medicaid.
The rules for Medicaid eligibility are complex, so it is wise to seek qualified, competent assistance from a Medicaid planning attorney. The experienced professionals at Glenn A. Deig, Attorney at Law, will help you make the decisions that are most suitable for your situation as you work through this challenging life transition.