The question of how to get someone admitted to a nursing home tends to come up when a loved one has debilitating health issues or needs frequent medical supervision due to aging or an illness. Nursing homes are ideal for loved ones with medical conditions, as they have trained nurses who deliver the best care to residents round the clock. However, before a senior is admitted to a nursing home, they need to meet their state’s criteria.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offers regulations and guidance to states to follow. Within those rules, states can create their own assessments, which can be found by contacting one’s local Medicaid or government county agency. As part of most states’ assessments, a physician will be sent to assess the senior’s healthcare needs and determine if they are qualified for nursing home care.
When considering how to get someone admitted to a nursing home, one must first understand all the payment options available:
- Medicare is an insurance program where medical bills are paid from trust funds that individuals have paid into. Medicare is run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It is worth noting that Medicare does not cover long term stays in a nursing home. However, it does cover hospital care, doctor services, and medical supplies for seniors in a nursing home.
- Medicaid is an assistance program that serves low-income people of every age. Medicaid is a federal-state program; hence its eligibility requirements vary from state to state. Medicaid covers long term care costs, but not all nursing homes accept Medicaid payments. To check a senior’s eligibility, one should call their state’s Medicaid office.
- Long term care insurance is provided by private companies, and their policies may vary. Some policies may only cover nursing home care, while others may cover a range of long term care services such as assisted living, home care, and medical equipment. One should call their insurance company and check that their loved one’s stay in a nursing home is covered.
- Personal finances are an option for those who have saved up money. One should always consult with a financial planner to weigh their options.
Before making a decision, use this helpful tool provided by LTC News to calculate what the care you need will cost in your area.
Once a payment option is secured, seniors will need the following documents for admission to a nursing home:
- Physician’s order for admission to a nursing home: This is provided by the senior’s primary doctor.
- Physician’s order for medications and treatment: This document helps the new caregivers in the nursing home understand the senior’s current treatment plan. It allows nurses to develop the resident’s care plan in the nursing home software and track their medications through eMAR software.
- Medical history and physical examination: Nursing homes require the most up-to-date information about a loved one. Hence, the senior’s primary physician should perform a physical exam and provide a complete medical history of the new resident.
- State-required form: Every state has its own unique nursing home admittance form. The senior’s primary physician will fill this form before the senior citizen is admitted to a nursing home.
- Health care tests: Different states have different laws that require residents and staff to be immunized against viruses, such as influenza, and provide proof of their immunization.
- Completed admissions paperwork: These are filled out before or upon admission. The legally-responsible party with power of attorney should be present and should sign the admissions paperwork
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How to Get Someone in a Nursing Home With No Money in 6 Easy Steps
What happens if one does not have money for a nursing home? What does one do if they want to know how to get someone in a nursing home with no money? Find Counting Care notes the following six easy steps to getting someone in a nursing home:
- Enlist the senior’s input as early as possible: One must consider the feelings and emotions of the elderly loved one. Empathy is an integral part of the process, as one should want them to not only receive quality care at a nursing home but also high quality of life. Talk to the elderly loved one, and let them feel like they have the option to choose where they would like to go.
- Visit local facilities: Ideally, one should place the senior in a nursing home close to home and in a familiar environment. So consider local options and make a visit along with the elderly loved one so they can get a feel for the nursing home. Also, one should ask staff questions and observe how the staff treat their residents. If possible, one should talk to a resident about the facility, ask them how they are treated and if they would recommend the nursing home to other senior citizens. Finally, never forget to check the food and the dietary standards.
- Get the elderly loved one on the waiting list: The best nursing homes are often full, with rooms only becoming available when a resident leaves or passes away. If a loved one is interested in a particular nursing home, getting them on the waiting list will give them a better chance of getting a spot when one becomes available.
- Consider Medicaid for funding: Curious about how to get someone in a nursing home with no money? Medicaid may be the answer. Each state has different requirements; hence, one should check if their state provides Medicaid for nursing homes and what it takes to meet the eligibility requirements. Though an elderly relative previously may have not qualified for Medicaid in the past, that may have changed, as the income limits for nursing home care are now higher. As was previously mentioned, Medicare does not cover long term care for nursing homes. US Aging provides a tool on their website to help seniors search for their local agency on aging. Services provided by the local agency on aging include:
- Information services
- Referral service
- Transportation services for seniors
- Care and personal care for seniors in their homes
- Nutritional services
- Legal services
- Let it all sink in: One should take the time to reflect on all the decisions they have made. Remember, it is normal to feel overwhelmed. Should one feel the need to change a past decision, they should discuss it with the elderly loved one and let it sink in before making a final decision.
- Agree on the final decision: One should be aligned with the elderly relative on the final decision. They are the ones who will be staying in the nursing home, so there should be agreement from all parties.
What to Do if a Parent in Nursing Home Wants to Go Home
There are many reasons for the elderly to go to nursing homes. They include cognitive and physical decline, which require 24-hour care by a qualified medical professional. We previously looked at how to get someone admitted to a nursing home. But what about helping them get out? Assuming they met all the nursing home admission requirements and were admitted, what is one to do if a parent in nursing home wants to go home?
Try the following tips provided by Join Cake for cases in which a parent in a nursing home wants to go home:
- Ask why: Try talking to a loved one to find out why they want to leave. Some of the reasons for them wanting to leave could include:
- Poor care
- Inability to get along with other residents
- Problem with the food quality and variety
- Listen to them: Empathy is key. Listen to the parent and any concerns and complaints they may have. A compassionate ear will help them feel heard and appreciated. Also, one can gain insight into what is truly behind their reason for wanting to leave the nursing home.
- Discuss the consequences: If the parent understands the consequences of leaving the nursing home, they may change their mind. Explain to them the benefits offered in nursing homes and what they could lack when they go home. Identify the caregiving responsibilities and explain the challenges of adequately providing the care they need at home.
- Solve the problems: Talk to the nursing home staff and see if there are ways in which the issues raised by the parent can be addressed.
- Ask someone else to talk to the parent: One should ask someone else to try if one is not making any progress in convincing the parent to stay. It could be a relative, an elderly peer of the parent, or even a different family member.
- Offer alternatives: Consider moving them to an assisted living facility or other popular nursing home alternatives.
How to Get Someone Admitted to a Nursing Home
When it comes to how to get someone admitted to a nursing home, the American Council on Aging recommends specific steps to be taken before getting into a nursing home:
- Determine the senior loved one’s Medicaid eligibility
- Create a list of nursing homes that accept Medicaid as a form of payment.
- Get a referral from the primary physician of the elderly relative.
Ultimately, one should involve the elderly loved one in the process as much as possible. They are, after all, the ones who will be staying in the nursing home for, presumably, a number of years.
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