By Sabrina Winters
The decisions regarding placing a family member into a nursing
home are some of the toughest that a spouse, child or family member will
be faced with. The decision is not just based on finances, but is
deeply rooted on emotions... which by the way are not consistent day to
day. Unfortunately, many people do not think ahead when it comes to
nursing home care (for many very legitimate reasons), and that means
that choices may become even harder and potentially more limited.
Talking to a Charlotte elder attorney in advance can provide an
invaluable opportunity for pre-planning.
Pre-planning means that you as the spouse, child or family member,
take the time necessary to make the right choices, and involve your
loved one in helping got make the decisions. This is often not the case
when a nursing home needs to be found immediately after an illness or
injury. Instead of dealing with the stress of being in crisis while
trying to make life changing choices, pre-planning with an elder
attorney in Charlotte affords the time to get the information you need
and to think clearly.
When pre-planning for nursing home care, there are 3 important questions to ask:
1. Will a nursing home be the right choice? There
are other options available depending upon the situation, and rather
than "settling" for the obvious choice, pre-planning allows you to
explore them. It may be possible for your family member to remain at
home with a health-care aide or to move into an assisted-living
2. Is it difficult to get a family member into a nursing home? By
pre-planning with an elder care attorney in Charlotte you can
familiarize yourself with the process and go through the steps in a
logical manner, rather than rushing to find an opening and being
overwhelmed. The admission process, negotiating costs, and dealing with
an estate all take time and energy, and you will likely handle it much
better without being in the midst of a crisis.
3. How do I find the right nursing home? Your elder
care attorney will likely have some great suggestions for you, as will
your loved one's doctors, social workers, and other health care
professionals. Once you've compiled a list of recommendations, go visit
in person and plan to meet with the director. If possible, your family
member can be a part of this process, ensuring a better fit and more
cooperation later on down the road. I would also suggest making a
surprise visit after your initial scheduled visit. Many of us tend to be
on our "best behavior" when we know something is going to happen. A
surprise visit may afford you a clearer more realistic impression. Also,
you should take the time to speak with the residents. Who better to
provide you with the day to day activities than someone who is living it
day to day?
Due to the Nursing Home Reform Act, there are a number of duties that
the facility will be bound to perform. Working with an experienced
elder care attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina will ensure that you
know your rights, as well as the responsibilities of both the family and
the nursing home you choose.
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