Do you have a loved one residing in a convalescent home? If so, you’re not alone. Each year, approximately 8.4 million people receive long-term care through one of the following providers:
- home health agencies
- convalescent homes
- residential care communities
- adult day service centers
Want to ensure your loved one has someone on their side? An advocate looking out for their well-being and safety? Finding such assistance is easier than you think.
Read on to learn more about how a nursing home attorney can ensure your loved one receives the best long-term care possible.
Long-Term Care Decisions
Making the decision to place a loved one in a convalescent home can be difficult, even heartbreaking. But there are situations when a convalescent home represents your best option.
In 2012 alone, total public, out-of-pocket, and private spending for long-term care amounted to 93 percent or $219.9 billion of all personal health care spending in the U.S.
Individuals requiring long-term care come in all ages and different conditions. But the majority are elderly.
They are often frail and may have trouble adjusting to change, particularly if they suffer from dementia. Finding the safest, best, most comprehensive care for them is your top priority.
But how do you ensure this over the long haul? Visiting regularly and getting to know the nursing home’s staff can be helpful. But hiring a patient advocate, a nursing home attorney, will give you added peace of mind.
What’s a Nursing Home Attorney?
Nursing home attorneys provide specialized advocacy for those residing in convalescent homes and their loved ones. Nursing home attorneys provide guidance about long-term care matters for the elderly and disabled. They can help you navigate decisions associated with:
- Social Security
- long-term care planning
- financial and estate planning matters
- assisted living and life planning
- Veterans benefits
- elder abuse
- other important matters
They’re a great ally to have on your side as you deal with the changing health needs of a loved one. When you’re involved in long-term care decisions for a family member, you experience many emotions.
Stress, guilt, worry, fear, and doubt can plague decision-making. Having someone in your loved one’s corner can ease these feelings.
They’re trained to assist with sensitive matters regarding the physical and emotional needs of the disabled or elderly. They can anticipate and assist with a variety of challenging situations unique to convalescent homes.
What’s more, they can help you look out for your loved one’s financial and legal needs, too. These are issues easily overlooked when caring for a loved one. But, left undone, these issues can lead to extra expenses and legal troubles in the future.
How Can a Nursing Home Attorney Help?
Legal planning for an elderly or disabled loved one can feel draining and overwhelming. The paperwork and legal jargon are confusing and frustrating. An experienced nursing home attorney represents the best investment you can make when faced with long-term care decisions.
They’ll guide you through the laws specific to your state. They’ll ensure that you fill out the necessary paperwork. They’ll advocate on behalf of your loved one to guarantee the best convalescent home care.
They’ll work on behalf of your family so that your loved one remains well-cared for and safe… Physically, emotionally, and financially. And they can save you thousands of dollars in legal expenses down the road.
Your loved one’s situation is unique. But here are some common questions that a nursing home attorney can answer:
- How do I protect my loved one’s house and assets but still afford the care needed?
- How can my loved one qualify for Medicaid so it will pay for nursing home care?
- When should we consider a power of attorney? Which kind?
- After my loved one passes away, will Medicaid try to get money from their estate?
- How can I best respect my loved one’s wishes and ensure they are met?
These are all great questions to ask.
What to Look for in a Nursing Home Attorney
When researching a good nursing home attorney, don’t settle with the first lawyer that you call. Instead, make a list of candidates.
Then, give each one a call. Most nursing home attorneys do not specialize in every area of the law for which your loved one may need advising. So, save time and money by asking the right question and hiring the best lawyer for your unique situation.
You’re hiring this person to advocate for your loved one in a professional, ethical, expert manner. Make sure that you find someone who will represent your loved one in an understanding and knowledgeable way.
When you have each lawyer on the phone, you’ll want to ask a list of questions to help you make a hiring decision. So, brainstorm a list of things you absolutely need to know before hiring a candidate.
You’ll want to ask them about:
- their experience practicing law
- how much time they devote to nursing home or elder law
- any particular emphases in certain areas of nursing home or elder law
- their fee structure and how they compute bills
- the documents they’ll need you to bring to your first consultation
You can also ask friends, family, or acquaintances for referrals to a trusted attorney. But keep in mind that you need a lawyer who specializes in the statutes of your state. So, if you receive referrals outside of your area, look elsewhere.
For More Information On a Convalescent Home
Struggling with issues related to a convalescent home for an aging or disabled loved one? You’re not alone. Many Americans today face the same painful decisions.
Fortunately, nursing home or elder lawyers are specifically trained to handle matters related to long-term care. They can safeguard your loved one’s assets, advocate for their needs, and provide you with peace of mind.
Resources abound for finding the best attorney. Do online research to create a list of possible lawyers. Ask friends, family, and acquaintances for referrals, too.
Brainstorm a list of essential questions and issues you’d like each potential candidate to address. Then, give each one a call to find the best fit for your situation. You want to feel comfortable that the person you choose will have your loved one’s best interests at heart.