Financial planning for older Americans can be a challenge. Many think that they will rely on programs like Medicare or Medicaid to help them cover costly medical care needs as they age. What these individuals don't realize is that there are strict limitations to what these programs do cover.
While the accommodations available to your aging loved one in a nursing home may seem basic, they will likely cost a significant amount of money. Depending on the location of the facility, the size of the room and the medical needs of your loved one, you could pay well over $1,000 each week for nursing home care.
Even when all parties agree that moving from a traditional home to a nursing home is the right decision, there is sure to be an adjustment period. If it's your responsibility to help a loved one adjust to life in a nursing home, there are several steps you can follow to ease the tension and ensure a smooth transition.
As difficult as it may be, there could come a time when you have to help a loved one choose a nursing home. Regardless of where you live, there's a good chance you have a few options in the area.
When medically frail and dependent individuals rely on a nursing home's care, it's unacceptable for the nursing home to be ill-prepared for an emergency. Emergencies happen, whether they're due to fire or a snowstorm. The facility needs to have steps in place to protect its residents and to make sure they get the care they need during the emergency situation.
New York residents will have a lot of different options available when selecting an appropriate nursing home for their loved one. In fact, the selection process can be confusing as you try to balance your financial considerations with your wish to find the best facility available.
If you're trying to choose a nursing home for your elderly mother, it might be the first time you've ever had to do this. As such, you'll be in a new world that you may know nothing about.
Several years ago, after I had concluded an elder law presentation, an attorney in attendance approached me and recounted a conversation he had with the Director of Social Services for the nursing home where his mother was admitted (he was also a member of the Board of Directors for said nursing home). The Director explained to him that because his mother (a widow) had $500,000 in non IRA/retirement savings, she needed to pay the nursing home privately ("spend down") until she had no more than $14,000 in savings. He was further advised that only then would his mother be eligible for Medicaid. The attorney also told me that his mother had already expended $150,000 of the $500,000 on her care at the nursing home.