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To many peoples’ surprise, the bill for nursing home charges does not cover everything. It does not cover doctors, dentists, ophthalmologists, podiatrists, physical therapy or diagnostic services such as labs, x-rays and electrocardiograms. Many of these may be covered by Medicare…to a point. What should you look for when you’re evaluating a nursing home?

Check to make sure that you understand the bed hold policy. Make sure that there is an escape chair to get down the stairs if your loved one uses, or someday may use, a wheelchair or walker.

Avoid a nursing home with restrictions on applying for Medicaid and, if you can, one which requires a deposit or private pay while the application is being processed. It is illegal for a nursing home to even suggest that a third party pay or guaranty payment

Avoid a nursing home which illegally limits visiting hours or requires that an Advance Directive or Out-of-Hospital DNR be on file.

Make sure that there is backup power for oxygen and extra hearing aid batteries.

Find out more tips on choosing a nursing home here: How to choose a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Elder law attorney, Terry Garrett, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is an Approved Guardianship Attorney. She assists people in elder law, estate and special needs planning, guardianship and settling estates. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.

 

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