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Planning For Nursing Home Care


Placing an elderly loved one in nursing home care requires a lot of planning.  It also involves legal questions surrounding the person’s medical care, finances and his or her estate.  Before placing your relative into nursing home care, you must ensure that they have their affairs in order to facilitate a smooth transition.  Emergencies can occur.  With a well-crafted plan, your loved one does not have to encounter any hitches in his or her care along the way.  These issues that must be settled before a loved one is placed in long-term care requires the guidance of a knowledgeable elder law attorney. This is why it is invaluable to hire an attorney to aid with the process.

Health Care Planning

Medicare is a federal government program that provides healthcare coverage to individuals who are age 65 and over and are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance.  Given that most individuals who enter nursing homes will be 65 and over, they qualify for Medicare.  It is imperative to initiate this program for your loved one before placing them in long-term care.  To sign up for Medicare, the individual must do so three months before reaching the age of 65 years old.  The application is available online and provides sign up for both Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance).  Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs and is available to those who are covered under Parts A and B and live in a geographical place where Part D is provided. An advance medical directive is also essential for directing the medical treatments and decisions on behalf of a loved one that no longer has the capacity to make medical decisions for themselves.  An advance medical directive is a legal contract.  Apart from medical treatment instructions, it can also provide instructions on measures to be used to prolong life.

Financial Planning

A will is one of the most important, if not, the most important aspect of financial planning for an elderly person.  A will ensures that all the person’s assets are accounted for and will be properly distributed based on the wishes of the testator.  Writing a will sooner than later is the best practice.  People of advanced age tend to lose capacity over time.  And because capacity (albeit a looser form of the requirement) is required to write a will, the elderly person is better served when this is done earlier in time.  Another financial activity that is pertinent in preparing for long-term care is to track all pension, trust, and retirement funds.  At an advance age, people will tend to forget the quantity and substance of their finances as well as its location.  Before long-term care, it is helpful to track down the details of all financial accounts.

Contact Us for Legal Assistance

It is wise to involve an attorney when preparing a loved one for long-term nursing home care. To learn more about these processes and best practices, contact an experienced elder law attorney at Meyer & Spencer, P.C. We have offices in Pleasantville and Mahopac and serve individuals and families throughout Westchester and Putnam Counties.

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