The chances of requiring nursing home care at some point in your life are very high. The Wall Street Journal reports that more than 70 percent of Americans who are 65 or older are going to require care in a nursing home at some time during the remainder of their life. For someone who has reached aged 65, there is a 40 percent chance nursing care will be necessary and a 20 percent chance that you will have to go into a nursing home and remain in the care facility for at least a period of five years.
Nursing home care is expensive, and there is a significant elder abuse and neglect problem in nursing care settings. In order to make sure you can pay for care and that the nursing home you reside in provides you with an acceptable level of care, it is important to get proper legal help.
The Law Office of James A. Miller, P.C. can provide you with the assistance that you need to make an advanced nursing home care plan so you can cover costs and select the right care facility for yourself or for a loved one who requires residential care. For personalized advice, give us a call at 866-370-3888 or contact us online to to speak with an attorney. You can also review the nursing home resources below to find out more about the different options for nursing care and to make sure you are prepared in case you need coverage.
Massachusetts Nursing Home Resources
There are some resources specific to Massachusetts which can help seniors to find a nursing home or to pursue a remedy in case something goes wrong in a nursing home setting. Massachusetts nursing home resources include:
- HHS reports on individual nursing homes: The Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services has details on scores and surveys for nursing homes in the state of Massachusetts.
- HHS quick reference guide: This guide provides details on Massachusetts nursing home regulations and on the care that nursing home patients can expect to receive when residing in a nursing facility.
- Massachusetts regulations on nursing home licensure: This provides details on regulations which nursing homes must comply with in order for nursing care facilities to be licensed and provide care to patients.
- Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home: This online guide provides details on steps to consider and on questions to ask when selecting a nursing home.
Nursing Home and Medicaid Resources
Nursing home care isn’t paid for by private insurance or Medicare, except on a limited and time-restricted basis when skilled medical care is mandated. Other than out-of-pocket payments or an effective long-term care insurance policy, Medicaid may be the only source of nursing home payments. It is important to understand how Medicaid benefits work with nursing homes. Resources to help include:
- Medicaid.gov. Medicaid explains eligibility rules for skilled nursing; rehabilitation services; and long-term care. Medicaid also offers details on where nursing home facilities are available and the circumstances under which Medicaid will pay for nursing home coverage.
- The Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services: This site has details on applying for Medicaid coverage, and provides additional information, such as lists of health providers who offer services to Medicaid patients.
- Benefits.gov: This page provides information on general Medicaid requirements, including income limits and the maximum possible money which you can earn while still being eligible to receive Medicaid benefits.
Veterans’ Nursing Home Resources
Veterans may be entitled to a number of benefits aimed at helping with nursing home care needs. There are options including Aid & Attendance, which increases pension benefits, as well as community nursing homes. Resources to find out how the VA helps older vets who need residential nursing home care include:
- Geriatrics and Extended Care Services from the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs: You can find out about adult family homes, community residential care, medical foster homes, assisted living, and other programs and services for older vets.
- The VA Community Living Center page from Benefits.gov. This page provides information on the VA’s Community Living Centers, the program requirements, and the steps which need to be taken to qualify for and obtain benefits.
Help for Elder Abuse
Unfortunately, there is a substantial risk of being abused or neglected for seniors in care facilities. The Massachusetts Attorney General indicates “Massachusetts seniors are on the front lines of consumer protection, health care, housing, age and disability discrimination, and domestic violence.” These resources will help ensure you can respond in the event the abuse happens:
- The Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs: This office has designated 22 Protective Service agencies located throughout Massachusetts who will respond to elder abuse and neglect allegations. The agencies respond to allegations of physical and emotional abuse, as well as claims of financial exploitation.
- The statewide Elder Abuse Hotline: This hotline can be reached at all times, including on weekends and holidays. To reach the hotline, you can call 1-800-922-2275.
- The National Adult Protective Services Association: This Association helps you to find information about local agencies in Massachusetts and throughout the United States which investigate allegations of abuse or neglect of vulnerable seniors.
Getting Legal Help from a Worcester, MA Nursing Home Planning Lawyer
If you are planning ahead for future nursing home care or if you are facing an impending nursing home admission for either yourself or someone you love, you need to make sure you have done your research and made informed choices. The Law Office of James A. Miller, P.C. is here and ready to help you.
We provide you with advice on researching a care facility, making a plan to pay for nursing home care, and reviewing nursing home admission paperwork before you or your relative agrees to sign. Give us a call at 866-370-3888 or contact us online to speak with a member of our legal team and to find out how a Worcester, MA nursing home planning lawyer can help.