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Emergency Nursing Home Care: What You Should Know


When an elderly parent or loved one, or a spouse, suddenly experiences a serious accident or receives a diagnosis that results in the need for immediate care in a nursing home, what should you do? Being able to plan for nursing home care is extremely important for a wide variety of reasons. In planning ahead, you can spend time assessing the quality of a nursing home and conducting research into its history of care. In addition, planning for nursing home care can allow you to establish a Medicaid asset protection trust or to take other steps to avoid having to spend down assets in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage. Yet emergencies can arise, and it may be necessary to find a nursing home and to cover the cost of it on short notice.

When there is a need for emergency or immediate nursing home care, it is critical to seek advice from an experienced Westchester County elder lawyer as soon as possible to avoid any costly mistakes. In the meantime, the following are some tips for helping you to select nursing home care on short notice.

Prepare As If an Emergency Will Occur

If you are able to do so, the best way to be ready for an elder care emergency is to plan as if an unexpected event will happen and your elderly loved one will need immediate nursing home care. This means working with an elder law attorney to consider Medicaid planning and asset protection strategies. It also means doing the research on skilled nursing facilities, their safety records, and their ratings in advance, and even visiting several facilities in person. Then you can have a list of nursing homes that may be possibilities for your elderly loved one, and you will already have information about how the admission process works.

Yet our Westchester County elder law attorneys recognize that planning ahead is not always possible. When an emergency need does arise for nursing home care, you will need to take the same steps as quickly as possible that you would have during a more extended planning process.

Identify Potential Nursing Homes and Do Your Research

While it can feel frantic to be researching nursing homes while an elderly parent is receiving care in a hospital and will soon need to be discharged to a nursing home, it is critical to research facilities in advance. You can look at the New York State Department of Health’s NYS Nursing Home Profiles, where you can look at inspection information and can find out about safety violations. You can also look at the lists of top nursing homes made by U.S. News & World Report to compare. If you are able to do so, it is essential to visit a facility in person since many red flags only arise during an in-person visit, such as obvious staffing issues or cleanliness concerns.

Get Help with Asset Protection As Soon As Possible

Nursing home care is extremely expensive, and you do not want your elderly loved one to have to spend down a lifetime’s worth of savings in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage at a nursing home. You should get in touch with an asset protection attorney as quickly as possible—certainly before anyone moves into a nursing home and begins receiving care there.

Contact Our Westchester County Elder Law and Asset Protection Lawyers

If you need help with asset protection and long-term care planning, one of our Westchester elder law attorneys can speak with you today. Contact Meyer & Spencer, PC for more information.



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