You care about your loved one and the nursing home care that they receive. You want them to have the best possible care. If you are like most families, the cost of care comes as a tremendous shock ($8K for assisted living and $12K for nursing home, a month in Connecticut). The care that’s needed is often not affordable over the long run.
Nursing Home Strategy
Your best strategy depends on the health of your loved one, whether they need care today or in the future, their financial resources, and other factors.
Nursing Home Admissions
The nursing home and assisted living admissions process can be overwhelming and confusing. There are countless forms to sign and information to provide. If you are not the nursing home resident (i.e. you are the spouse or child), be very careful before you sign any documents. Nursing home and assisted living admission offices will often tell family members that the admissions documents they are signing are “for notification” purposes. In fact, those documents may be making a family member financially liable for the resident’s cost of care. The best thing to do is to have the resident sign their name on all nursing home documents, however illegible, and whether or not the person is capable of understanding what he is signing. If that is not possible and you have to sign for the resident, sign the resident’s name and then sign your name with the words “attorney in fact” after your name if you have power of attorney. Do not sign your own name on anything that has the words “Responsible Party”, if you do, you may have just guaranteed the payment to the nursing home for the resident. You can be sued for non-payment.
How Can an Elder Lawyer Help?
As your Elder Care Lawyer Danbury CT, John Sweeney will help you find solutions and knows how to navigate these very complex situations. John will try to ensure your loved one enters a quality nursing home and may be able to implement a plan to pay the nursing home bills without losing all of your loved one’s assets. Once in a facility, John will ensure that your rights are protected. John will act with kindness, compassion and care. He helps Mom and Dad and the Family, and helps to soothe a difficult situation.
Contact John to help ensure you don’t lose control of your affairs or lose your financial security when putting your loved one in the care of a nursing home.
Connecticut and New York have slightly different laws so it makes a difference if you live in Easton CT or Mount Kisco NY.
Legal Sweeney, a Nursing Home Lawyer You Can Turn To
As a large percentage of the population in the United States nears retirement age, issues that go along with aging raise a lot of legal questions. Issues concerning health care, nursing home care, retirement, Medicare/Medicaid, long term care, guardianship, and wills and estates are just some of the important topics that should be addressed if you are nearing the time you will be retiring.
The attorneys at Legal Sweeney has the experience needed to specifically handle the needs of the elderly. Our lawyers are highly knowledgeable of the various physical and emotional needs that go along with advancing in age, elder care and nursing home rights.
What Does an Elder Attorney for the Elderly Do?
- Compose a durable power of attorney
- Explain why estate planning is important including creating a will
- Talk about providing for the care of an adult or child with special needs
- Explaining probate
- Discuss long term care choices, and a power of attorney specifically for health care
- Discuss finances, creating an estate if applicable
- Explain guardianship or conservatorship, help with selecting a legal guardian
- Assist in finding assisted living facilities or nursing homes
- Talk about the rights of nursing home residents and what to do if those rights are violated
- Help you understand the purpose of a living will and advanced health directives
When Would I Need to Create a Conservatorship or Guardianship?
If there comes a time where you or a loved one becomes incapacitated and unable to make decisions financially or regarding health care such as nursing home care, assistance may be needed. When assistance is needed for daily care, and there is no living will or durable power of attorney in place, it may be necessary for the court to appoint a conservator.
There are different types of conservatorships. Some of the more common types for elderly people are:
The first is Conservator of the Person. This person makes sure the conservatee (individual needing assistance) receives proper medications at the right time, authority to make medical decisions, and provides clothing, shelter, care (such as nursing home care) and food for the conservatee.
A Conservator of the Estate is appointed when the court determines that the conservatee is not able to make sound financial decisions. Situations where a court would make this determination include the individual not paying their bills on time, unresponsive to bank notices or creditor’s calls, or the inability to resist fraud attempts.
If the elderly individual is still able to mentally function but may need help, it may be better to create a financial power of attorney to enlist the assistance of an agent who has authority to help with bill payment, banking issues, or other decisions regarding their finances.
There are reports periodically requested by the court from the conservator to ensure that the conservatee’s best interest is always a priority and to make sure the conservator is not taking advantage of the conservatee. A nursing home lawyer may be able to assist in managing situations involving conservatorships.
Creating a conservatorship may be a necessary step to help an elderly family member or friend who can no longer take care of themselves. In some cases, the family member may even need the additional care that a nursing home can provide. An attorney with experience in conservatorships and elder law can help facilitate the process and explain all the steps and costs involved.
Are you in need of a lawyer that can assist you in protecting the rights and interests of your elderly loved one? Whether you are in need of legal assistance to help manage nursing home situations, conservatorships, help make long term care choices, or develop an estate plan, contact Legal Sweeney for the help you and your loved one deserve.