No one wants to think about putting their parents in “a home” or taking them away from the comfort and familiarity of their own house; a house that could have been in the family for generations. Yet, your parent may be too ill or confused to function safely on their own and it is almost impossible to care for an ailing parent single-handedly.
There are a plethora of questions that need to be answered. What to do about the high-cost of a care center? What to do about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid? How do you protect your parent’s assets?
The primary issue is, what kind of care center you should place your parent in. You need to decide what level of care your parent needs. There are services that can help you do this, such as A Place for Mom. You may also want to have a family sit-down and decide what is best and what your options are. A managed care facility or assisted living is a great option for a parent that can still get around on their own and has most of their cognitive ability. These facilities can be costly but your parent may also qualify to have some or all of the costs covered by Medicaid or Medicare, depending on the facility and your parent’s income.
The costs of a nursing home stay can be extremely high. Nursing home debt can also last after your parent has passed. Below are the National Average Care Rates:
In-home health care: $21 / hour
Adult day care services: $67 / day
Assisted living care communities: $3,293 / month
Skilled Nursing Care Centers: $205 / day (semi-private room)
$229 / day (private room)
There may also be additional costs that are not included in the price of a “stay”. These costs can include laundry service, cable television, prescriptions and dietary needs.
Once you have decided what facility to place your parent in; ask questions. For many of the reasons identified above; it is imperative that you ask as many questions as possible. Try to think of every hypothetical scenario that you may have with your parent in the future, make a list of questions and take note of the answers you get. Also make sure to take down the name of the person you are speaking with, the date and time, and the name and phone number of the supervisor. This can help resolve potential discrepancies down the road.
Since you are placing your parent in the care of others and this may be the place where your parent passes and if you haven’t already now is the time to:
• Get your parent’s affairs in order.
• Assign a health care proxy and power of attorney.
• Have the difficult conversation with your parent about their wishes, should they be unconscious or unable to make decisions on their own.
Does your parent want a “do not resuscitate” form? Does your parent wish to have CPR performed, a feeding tube or a breathing tube? What about final arrangements? These are all issues that need to be discussed amongst you and your family.
When considering legal matters, it is best to consult an attorney to prepare the paperwork and instruct you on how to proceed. The offices of Arnold Hirsch Law are standing ready to assist you and guide you through what can be a very trying time in life. Contact us for more information on how we can help you and your parent with this transition.
The transition into a care center can only be eased by being prepared and seeking assistance from professionals. Consult all possible resources to help walk you and your parent through this difficult time in your lives.