Category Archives: Nursing Homes

Ways to Pay For Nursing Home Care

The easiest way to pay for nursing home care for an elderly or disabled family member is also the hardest. You write the monthly check. It hurts because the average yearly cost is now $70,128.

Before writing a check, it makes sense to talk with a knowledgeable attorney or accountant so that your family does not overlook tax deductions or available benefits. For example, if you pay more than 50% of the support for a relative who meets certain gross income guidelines, then you may claim the relative as a dependent on your own federal tax return. You might also qualify for the dependent care credit which is available for a dependent parent who needs full time attention.

The I.R.S. also permits a tax deduction for qualified long term care services. Many of the costs incurred in a nursing home can qualify for the medical expense deduction under a proper plan as long as it is set up by a licensed healthcare practitioner.

Medical expenses can be claimed as itemized deductions, so long as they exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income. Qualified health insurance premiums, long term care service and other eligible medical expenses can be added together to meet this cutoff. If you pay nursing home costs for a parent or disabled family member, it is important to consider this deduction.

Many people turn to Medicaid to write the check for nursing home care. The program is jointly funded by the states and the U.S. government. The first hurdle is that your family member must have a medical reason to be in a nursing home. It is not a housing program. The next hurdles are the income and asset guidelines. The single person guidelines for Medicaid limit assets to $2,000 in the bank, possibly a car, some personal property and a prepaid funeral account. The rules are more generous for spouses. A spouse can keep approximately $100,000 in assets and the family home. If any assets were given away within five years prior to applying, those transfers may block your family member from eligibility. The guidelines do vary from state to state.

Considering that some government statistics predict that 50% of U.S. population will spend at least some time in a nursing home, it is a good idea to consider long term care insurance. The average stay is 11 months. Long term care insurance policies have many different features, including daily benefits, elimination period, inflation riders and benefit length limits. Two good starting points are to be sure that any policy you purchase is tax qualified and that the insurance company is sound. Since long term care insurance is a new product and the companies have had limited claims losses, it tends to be reasonably priced.

The United States Veterans Administration is another possible source of nursing home care. The U.S. Veterans Administration maintains about 115 nursing care facilities. That is a very small number to house all of our veterans. They have about 300 beds each and there is some availability for spouses of veterans, surviving spouses and certain eligible parents, such as Gold Star mothers.

Medicare is another checkbook but its funds are very limited. It doesn’t come out until a patient spends three days in a hospital and is prescribed to a nursing home by a doctor for “skilled nursing care.” After 21 days you have to write checks for a significant co-pay of $128 per day. A medi-gap policy can cover this but your own checkbook comes out again for full pay after 100 days.

It pays to plan and consult ahead and long term care insurance may be a bargain in the long run.

Joseph M. Hoffmann, Esq. is an attorney in Newton, who helps clients with trusts, estate planning, Wills and related transactions.

About the Author:

Joseph M. Hoffmann, Esq. is an attorney in Newton, who helps clients with trusts, estate planning, Wills and related transactions.

Article Source:,_Esq

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Elder Abuse

By: Aaron Crane

Moving a loved one into a nursing home is a difficult decision. Families doing this expect their loved one to be treated properly and with dignity. The unfortunate truth is that nursing home neglect happens more often than one expects, affecting millions of people in America every single year.

Vulnerability of Nursing Home Residents

Nursing home residents are most often not able to care for themselves any longer and are admitted into such a living situation because of their personal vulnerability to injury or death if not cared for in supervised accommodations. Most residents are over the age of 65, although some may be younger people with disabilities.

Many of these residents do not have another place to live due to limited personal resources or few family members in close proximity. Families unable to care for their elderly loved ones may place them in a home to ensure they receive the best possible attention and treatment that cannot be provided at home. Lack of space, financial issues, long work hours, other obligations and situations may apply that prevent families from caring for their own family members in a family environment.

Neglect of Nursing Home Residents

One in three residents of nursing homes suffer from neglect, according to recent studies of American eldercare homes. Neglect is a failure to provide the attention and services required for personal security and comfort of residents. Neglect is not always an intentional act by nursing home staff or management. It is the existence of the situation that causes danger, harm and anxiety to people living in these homes, however.

Federal and state laws regulate how nursing homes must be operated. Neglect can be attributed to overlooking issues of importance, ignoring resident needs and even direct actions of staff leading to grief or misery of residents, whether or not physical harm occurs.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home residents who do not have regular contact with family members are more often the victims of neglect than those who are frequently visited by family members. Family visitations should include careful observance of the elderly person to look for any signs of neglect or abuse.

Bed sores, stiff joints and other physical signs may be present to indicate there is a problem of neglect when the individual is left in one position for too long on a bed or in a chair. Medical neglect can occur when ailments or injuries are not treated or are improperly handled. There may also be signs of behavioral changes in the elderly person, staff behavior changes toward the patient or limited access to your loved one. Malnutrition and dehydration may also be present. You may have noticed increased frequency of trips to the E.R., hospital or other medical facilities.

Prevention of Nursing Home Neglect

There are many ways that nursing home neglect may occur. But many incidents can be prevented. By being aware and observant of the circumstances of your loved one’s living arrangements, behaviors and care, you can be quick to notice nursing home neglect, should it occur.

Ongoing and regular family contact is the best way to keep nursing home neglect from happening. A thorough background check should be conducted into the performance of a particular nursing home before family members are admitted to the facility. Medical boards provide information about infractions or problems at a nursing home, in regard to abuse and neglect. Caretakers should be screened through background checks by a nursing home prior to employment. This can be confirmed before admitting someone you love into such a facility.

When Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse Occurs

When nursing home neglect or abuse is suspected, it should be promptly reported to law enforcement. Such abuse or neglect can lead to criminal activity at the facility, if left unchecked. When injuries are discovered, medical attention should be provided through licensed medical professionals outside of the nursing home to ensure the victim is treated and issues causing the problem are resolved.

A Lawyer Helps in Cases of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

Whenever nursing home neglect or abuse occurs, it is important to contact a legal representative. This lawyer should be experienced in nursing home care issues and protection of victims living in these facilities. The lawyer can investigate the problems of the facility and gather evidence of abuse or neglect for the case. Lawyers may recommend hiring an expert witness who can help substantiate claims of neglect and abuse and in regard to injuries suffered by the victim. A qualified lawyer can help locate other victims within the establishment who may have suffered the same abuse or neglect.

If you know someone that is victim of elder abuse due to nursing home neglect, contact Cantor Crane today.

Article Source:

Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?

Nursing home overview:

When a nursing home is needed you will most likely be too ill to make all of the relevant decisions on your own. Knowing what to think about and look for now will help you to know the most critical information necessary to make a wise decision when the time comes for a nursing home. You should talk with your family before-hand and let them know what your intentions and concerns are about being in a nursing home before the time even comes.
Nursing homes are frequently referred to as long-term care facilities or skilled nursing

facilities. Regardless of their name, all of these facilities provide nursing and medical care for patients in a residential environment. It is important to know that living in a nursing home is not the end of the world. People frequently stay for either short or long periods of time for a multitude of reasons. Individuals may stay in long-term care facilities for rehabilitation after hospitalizations or as permanent nursing home residents. If you need this level of care, you will usually be notified by a social worker in the hospital, an assisted-living staff member, family member or doctor.

Nursing home costs:

Medicare will usually pay for nursing home stays for 30 days and a total of 100-day maximum after a three-day hospital stay. Also, Medicare will only pay as long as the patient needs skilled nursing care. If you qualify, Medicaid will pay for your residence after your Medicare coverage ends. Nursing homes are not required to accept Medicare or Medicaid. It is strictly up to their discretion as to the required payment sources necessary for you to remain. Frequently nursing homes will have a limited number of Medicaid beds. However, it is important to understand that if an individual enters a nursing home as a private pay patient and then becomes Medicaid eligible (by spending down to the required Medicaid level); the nursing home cannot make them leave and is required to accept their Medicaid payment.

If a nursing home does not accept Medicaid, it will not be required to keep the resident once their private pay funds have been expended. Also, an individual who enters a nursing home under Medicare or Medicaid cannot be required to pay a security or advance payment. Also, nursing homes are required to have a bed hold policy in which Medicaid will pay for a set number of days while a patient is away at a hospital or another facility.

It’s important to understand that nursing homes are very expensive with an average cost per year of about $50,000 according to the AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons). If you have long-term care insurance or private insurance, some of the cost may be reimbursed through the insurance coverage. You always need to make sure to read the policy closely and make sure that all of the nursing home costs are covered under your policy. Many have percentages or caps that may apply to payment for your nursing home care.

Some information from Senior’s Rights: Your Legal Guide to Living Life to the Fullest By Brette McWhorter Sember
Additional Information By Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist (Geriatric Psychologist)