Many seniors have serious concerns about going into a nursing home. They have questions such as whether they can be forced to go into a nursing home, how to pay for nursing home care, and how to choose a nursing home facility that will provide good care. They also wonder if they can qualify for Medi-Cal to pay for such costs.
No one can be forced into a nursing home. If you do not believe you need nursing home care, the only way you can be forced into such a situation is through a court ordered conservatorship. An interested party can file a petition to have a conservator appointed if you are unable to take care of yourself. You have the right to appear at the hearing, present evidence that you do not need a conservator, and have a lawyer represent you.
If you do need nursing home care, there are many reputable ones. Choosing the right nursing home can be an important decision for you and your family. Nursing homes are strictly regulated by the state and federal government. There are regular inspections and procedures for complaints. In San Diego, there are many nursing homes. You can get information about how to choose one from AARP and California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. Personal referrals from friends, senior centers, or churches can help narrow your search. Make sure you personally visit the ones you are considering and if Medi-Cal may be paying for such care at some point, choose a place that accepts Medi-Cal so that the individual will not have to be moved once Med-Cal is paying for the care.
The cost of a nursing home stay can be covered by Medicare but only for skilled nursing care ordered by a doctor. Once your care becomes routine custodial care, Medicare will not cover the expenses. Medi-Cal qualification may be an option if you meet the income and assets limitations.
Once someone is moved into the nursing home, they cannot be forced to move unless the individual endangers the safety of other residents, their needs cannot be met at the facility, or there are problems with payment of services.
If you need assistance to insure that you or a loved one have the appropriate estate planning documents such as a will or a trust, a power of attorney and a health care directive prior to entering a nursing home, contact us at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation. We can also help with Medi-Cal planning or Medi-Cal qualification. We can help you determine if you have some exempt assets, whether annuities or reverse mortgages might help you remain in your home, and explain the options you have for long term care.