Is it time to move your spouse into a nursing home? You have spent decades with your spouse and now, unfortunately, the time may have come where you can no longer give him or her the support and attention that you know he or she deserves. For most couples, this means turning to the tough task of placing a spouse in a nursing home so that they get the attention and care that is needed.
One way to pragmatically approach this difficult situation is by having a checklist of things that will help you make the best choice. At the top of that list is to ensure that the home that you have selected is Medicaid/Medicare approved. This will go a long way in helping you manage your finances while your spouse is properly cared for.
Let us take a look at some other factors that you may want to consider when choosing the right care facility.
- Review the inspection report. There is no doubt that your spouse’s wellbeing comes first. You will want to find out if the nursing home’s inspection report shows any type of care problems or other citations. This may include a failure to meet one or more state or federal requirements. If the home is Medicaid qualified then it should be no problem obtaining the most recent state or federal survey of the facility. These reports are crucial because they will tell you how well the nursing home meets federal health and safety regulations. You can also find these reports on most state survey agency websites and Medicare.gov.
- Follow-up on the inspection report. If the home has a citation, it does not mean that they cannot care for your spouse. It can be a good idea, however, to make sure that the facility has corrected all citations in its last state inspection report.
- Watch for signs of potential abuse. A very important issue that must also be considered is how you can avoid abuse. To do this, you will have to try and do your own assessment when you go into the home for information. Try to spend some time observing the relationship between staff and residents. Some things to note are: Does the staff appear to be warm, polite, and respectful? Does the nursing home do proper background checks to make sure they do not hire staff members who may have a history of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of residents in the state nurse aid registry? If a person associated with the home is found to be abusive, what measures does the nursing home have in place for reporting abuse and neglect?
- Ask about measures protecting against abuse. It is also perfectly normal to ask the nursing home what they are doing to ensure that residents are safe from abuse, neglect, mistreatment, and even exploitation. Also, you may want to find out how you can report any incidents that threaten the care and safety of your spouse.
As you can see, there are many questions that you will want answered before placing your spouse into a nursing home. You can also check out the Medicare.gov website for more information. Our law office also acts as a resource for those considering placing a spouse in a nursing home. There are many important related legal issues to consider in this kind of life change. We are here to provide you with legal support to help protect yourself and your loved one. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with attorney Alan Hougum.