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Should I Place My Elderly Parent in a Long-term Care Facility?

Long-term care facilities, also frequently known as nursing homes, are settings that strive to combine the comfort of a private home with the resources of a hospital to provide a safe, secure, nurturing environment for individuals who can no longer live independently. If you have power of attorney for your elderly loved one, you could be tasked with the decision to move him or her into this type of setting.

It is never an easy decision. You might doubt whether you are making the right choice or face opposition from other family members about the decision. How your loved one’s money will be spent to cover the cost of long-term care can also become an issue that you need to face in your role as your loved one’s agent. Discuss the possibility of long-term care with your attorney during your estate planning sessions.

Planning for Long-term Care

Today, Americans are living longer than they ever did before. Planning for long-term care during the estate planning process is wise because it lays the groundwork that your agent will follow in the future. If you have not already, start discussing this process with your elderly parent to determine his or her opinions and desires.

Medicaid can cover the costs of long-term care, but only if the individual resides in a Medicaid-certified facility. Many individuals enter long-term care facilities as privately-paying residents, then rely on Medicaid to cover their costs after their money runs out. Medicaid could be a viable option for your loved one, but keep in mind that the program has the right to receive compensation for the money it spent on him or her from his or her assets after he or she passes. This is known as estate recovery.

Deciding Whether Long-term Care is Right for your Loved One

There are a lot of factors to consider when determining whether moving into a nursing home is the right choice for your loved one. Other options can include in-home healthcare, moving into your home or with another relative, or living in an assisted living facility. Assisted living facilities can best be described as socially-enriched environments where seniors live fairly independently. Meal preparation and other services are offered in assisted living facilities, but skilled nursing care is not. Keep this in mind – if your loved one does not need constant supervision but rather, some daily help and social activity, assisted living might be a better choice. Assisted living facilities are often less expensive than nursing homes because they do not provide the same level of care.

Work with a La Crosse Estate Planning Attorney

Talk about long-term care plans with your parent as part of your ongoing discussion about his or her estate. It is not always an easy topic to discuss, but it is an important one. For guidance as you move forward in the estate planning process, contact our team of experienced estate planning attorneys at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd.

Published March 10, 2016
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