How can I get assistance helping to pay for nursing home care?
New York is one of the most expensive places in the US for nursing home care. Luckily, there are many avenues for assistance with the cost of long term care, including funds from personal, private, and state sources. Most likely, paying for nursing home care will first come from insurance such as Medicaid and Medicare, or a personal long-term care policy.
If your savings are depleted, there are multiple options. You might apply for an Eldercare Bridge Loan to help you for a limited period of time while you are establishing residency, or helping a loved one to establish residency. Alternatively, you could apply for federal assistance in the form of Medicaid. Medicare will only cover nursing home care for a limited amount oftime while Medicaid can be used for long periods of time; however, not all nursing homes accept Medicaid assistance.
In addition, there are also special programs for veterans assistance and state programs. Veterans may apply to receive the Aid and Attendance Benefit which provides an enhanced pension, or they may admit themselves to a state VA nursing home. There are other aid programs that help to cover medical and daily expenses so that elderly people can continue to reside safely in their homes outside of nursing facilities. Consulting with an attorney on these issues is a smart idea.
How do I ensure that a nursing home is safe before placing my loved one there?
There are many private websites dedicated to evaluating nursing homes around the country, but these websites often contain incomplete information and search based on cost, location, and services provided rather than complaints and personal experience. The New York Health Department provides a search database where people can review inspections and complaints associated with each nursing home across the state. Statistics include number of complaints per 100 residents, deficiencies found on inspection, and the percentage of complaints that were reported by the facility.
The best thing to do before placing a loved one in a nursing home is to visit and evaluate the facility visually, asking lots of questions. The New York State Department of Health has also published a guide for visiting nursing homes, including a list of questions to ask different people at the facility.
How can I make sure my loved one is getting proper care in the nursing home?
In order to assure a facility is meeting the standard of care that your loved one deserves, there are many steps to take. First and foremost, make sure to ask them specific questions about their day to day care. Although they may not feel that they are being neglected and do not want to “make a scene,” you can learn a lot about their standard of care from their personal accounts. Does the nurse come when they are called for? Has your loved one made any connections with others at the home? Does he or she feel respected and comfortable?
It is important, if possible, to establish positive relationships with your loved one’s caregivers and to show them appreciation for their work. Not only will this likely improve their relationship with your family member, but it will also encourage them to inform you of any abuse that they suspect from others. If you are unable to visit the home, consider enlisting the help of a family member or social worker to check in on your loved one. In addition, you may ask to review both the plan of care and any medical records that the home has periodically. Often, a nursing home will have quarterly meetings during which you can speak with nurses about your loved one’s condition.
Who do I report suspected neglect to?
There are many options for reporting suspected neglect. If you trust the nursing home management and believe they can conduct a swift and impartial internal review and take necessary action to protect your loved one, each facility should have procedures for reporting any concerns to management. In addition, you can report to the New York state ombudsman, who is responsible for investigating complaints against administrations in the states, or to the Adult Protective Service Agency, which will evaluate the complaint and choose whether or not to conduct an investigation.
You may also report to the Office on Aging, the Medicaid Agency, the Citizens Advocacy Group, the Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrator, the Licensure and Certifications branch of the NY Department of Health, or the police if you suspect immediate danger. Any investigation into an employee’s abuse of your loved one, however, may increase their vulnerability if they are not protected by the management at the facility. Be sure to take the proper steps to protect them before reporting incidents that may endanger them. An attorney can also help you to file reports with the appropriate organizations.
How can I remove my loved one from an abusive or negligent nursing home?
There are many steps to take if you suspect abuse or neglect, and your actions will depend on the severity of the situation. Residents have the right to discharge themselves from a facility at any time, as do their appointed guardians. Often, nursing homes will have policies stating that they need to be given a certain amount of notice, but they cannot prevent a resident from exiting the premises. A physician may advise against the removal, in which case the resident will have to sign a form acknowledging that they are leaving against medical advice. Additionally, a social worker may be assigned to assist with placement of the resident in another home.
When can I file a lawsuit for neglect?
Even if the nursing home or Adult Protective Services or another regulatory body conducts an investigation and advises certain courses of actions, punishments, and fines, if you are not satisfied with the outcome and feel there is more to be done, you might consider filing a lawsuit against the nursing home. The lawsuit can be filed by residents themselves, by a family member, or jointly, depending on the mental condition of the victim. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit claiming nursing home abuse based on negligence in New York is three years from the date of the occurrence. Email us for a free evaluation, and one of our attorneys will contact you to discuss your case, or call us today at 888-465-8790.
Nursing Home Abuse: Case Study 19: Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home
You can’t be there every minute. But what of the warning signs for nursing home abuse?
Review our portfolio of case studies covering numerous aspects of nursing home abuse: falls, bedsores, over-medication, neglect.
Nursing Home Abuse Case Study: Understaffing or neglect in a nursing home can cause severe loneliness, depression, loss of appetite or ignore health warning signs.
Nursing Home Abuse: Despite best practices intended to reduce the incidence of falls, they remain a common cause for nursing home injuries.
Nursing Home Abuse: Bedsores caused by neglect
Nursing Home Abuse: Bedsores can lead to fatal complications, including organ failure and even cancer.
Nursing Home Abuse Case Study: Patients fail to receive prompt attention from nursing home physicians.
Nursing Home Abuse Case Study: A medication error leads to dangerous health complications or death.
Nursing Home Abuse Case Study: We could not get a loved one’s medical records after she died in a nursing home.