At some point in your life you may be forced to accept the reality that a parent, or other elderly loved one, is no longer safe living independently. It is never easy to acknowledge that an elderly loved one needs to be moved to a nursing home. Nonetheless, failing to make the decision could lead to serious injury or victimization for your loved one.
Your best option is likely to take action as soon as possible so that you can provide the right tailored accommodation for your loved one. Choosing a nursing home, however, is not as easy process. This is particularly true if you have never previously had to do so. Ultimately, only you can decide which nursing home is best for your loved one.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Nursing Home
There are a number of factors you may wish to consider when deciding the future of your loved one’s care, including:
Level of care needed –
It is often difficult to be objective about a parent’s physical and/or mental state. We may refuse to see the degree of deterioration that has occurred/is occurring. Consult with your parent’s regular physician to get a clear picture on your parent’s physical health and mental capacity. Also, keep in mind that not all nursing homes are created equal. Some specialize in patients who need more intense care while others offer residents a great deal of autonomy. It’s important to know which option suits your loved one’s needs.
The nursing home you choose should be located closest to the family member that has taken over the role of caretaker. Someone will need to continuously check on your loved one to make sure he/she is receiving adequate care. Visiting often will help ensure that your loved one is not being mistreated. Thus, location is an important factor to consider.
It is impossible to spend too much time checking into prospective facilities. State agencies are a good source of information regarding accreditation, violations of safety codes, and inspection results. Do your homework before even considering a nursing home.
In–person visits –
Take the time to visit prospective facilities in person. Along with a scheduled visit, you should also make a least one surprise visit when you are not expected. This way, you can see how the day-to-day at the facility really runs.
Cost of care –
Most people have no idea how expensive long-term care can be until faced with paying for it. The average cost for a year in a long-term care facility in the U.S. is over $75,000 per year. Paying for that care is a pragmatic concern for most people. Thus, it’s an important factor to consider when choosing a nursing home for your loved one.
Medicaid planning –
Did your parent include Medicaid planning in his/her estate plan? If so, Medicaid will likely cover the majority of costs associated with long-term care. However, if your parent does not have an existing Medicaid plan it may not be too late to add a Medicaid planning component to his/her estate plan.
At the end of the day, we want to provide the best care possible for those who have spent their life caring for us. An experienced estate planning attorney may be able to help you determine the best long-term care option for your loved one and a way to pay for it. If you have additional questions or concerns about Medicaid planning or about your Texas estate plan in general, contact the experienced Texas estate planning attorneys at The Mendel Law Firm, L.P. by calling 281-759-3213 to schedule your appointment today.
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