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How To Get Someone Into A Nursing Home: Care For Your Senior Loved One

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Many people require long-term care services as they age. Nursing homes provide 24-hour care and assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Some nursing homes also offer Memory care for residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

There are a few ways to get someone into a nursing home. The most common way is to have the person admitted to the hospital first and then be transferred to the nursing home from there.

Another way is to work with the person’s doctor and have them write a letter recommending that the individual be placed in a nursing home. Nursing homes usually require that the individual has a certain level of care needs and cannot be safely cared for in their own home.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that skilled nursing facilities are not just for the elderly. In fact, there are many nursing homes that cater to people of all ages who require special care and assistance.

I worked as an Occupational Therapist in several of these types of facilities in several states. Some were wonderful and some not so much. But then again, that’s true for most anything.

For seniors who are receiving home health care services but are finding that this is just not enough, they and their family caregivers may want to consider looking into a skilled nursing facility.

How Do You Know When It’s time For A Nursing Home?

The decision to move a loved one into a nursing home is never an easy one. But sometimes, it’s the best thing for everyone involved.

Deciding to move your loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility can be a difficult decision riddled with conflicting feelings of guilt, relief, anxiety and grief. However, recognizing the signs it’s time for a higher level of care is key to the health and quality of life of your loved one.

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If you’re struggling with the idea of moving your loved one into a nursing home, here are 10 clues that indicate it may be time.

1. Their health is declining.

If you’ve noticed that your loved one’s health has been steadily declining, it may be time to consider a nursing home. They can provide the 24/7 skilled nursing care and supervision that your loved one needs in order to stay healthy and safe.

2. You can’t provide the level of care they need.

If your loved one needs more medical care and personal care than you’re able to provide, a nursing home may be the best option. They can provide around-the-clock care, which can be difficult for family members to provide on their own.

3. They’re at risk of falling.

Falls are a common cause of injury in older adults, and nursing homes can help to prevent falls by providing a safe environment and close supervision. If your loved one has been falling more frequently, a nursing home may be the best place for them to stay safe.

4. They’re not eating properly.

If you’ve noticed that your loved one isn’t eating enough or isn’t eating healthy foods, a nursing home can help to ensure that they’re getting the nutrition they need. Long-term care facilities usually have on-staff dietitians who can create meal plans for residents and make sure that they’re eating enough to stay healthy.

5. They’re not taking their medications properly.

If your loved one is forgetting to take their medications or taking them incorrectly, a nursing home can help to ensure that they’re getting the proper medication and dosage. Nursing homes have staff members who can dispense medications and make sure that residents are taking them correctly.

6. They’re not bathing or grooming properly.

If your loved one is having difficulty bathing or grooming or other personal care issues, a nursing home can provide assistance. The staff can help residents with bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene.

7. Their house is becoming cluttered or dirty.

If your loved one’s house is becoming cluttered or dirty, it may be time to consider a nursing home. Whether it’s become physically difficult for them to maintain the home, or they are suffering from depression, dementia or other cognitive issue – they are currently unable to care for themselves at this time.

8. They’re losing weight or not eating properly.

If your loved one is losing weight or not eating properly, a nursing home can provide meals and snacks that are nutritious and appetizing. Nursing home staff can also make sure that residents are getting enough to eat and drinking plenty of fluids.

9. They’re having problems with their medications.

If your loved one is having problems with their medications, a nursing home can provide assistance with administering medications and monitoring side effects. Nursing home staff can also work with pharmacists and doctors to make sure that residents are taking the right medications at the right doses.

10. They need specialized care.

If your loved one has a chronic illness or dementia, their medical needs may be too complex for you to provide at home. A nursing home can provide the specialized care that your loved one requires.

Read more about How To Know When It’s Time For A Nursing Home here.

How Are Nursing Homes Regulated?

Knowing who and how these facilities are regulated can help to ease your mind that your elderly loved one will be well cared for should you decide that a nursing home is the best option.

The federal government regulates nursing homes through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This agency sets guidelines that all nursing homes must follow in order to receive reimbursement from these programs.

In addition to CMS guidelines, each state has its own rules and regulations that nursing homes must follow. These laws vary from state to state, but they all address issues such as staffing levels, resident rights, quality of care, and much more.

The federal law that governs nursing homes is the Nursing Home Reform Act. This act was put into place in 1987 and sets specific standards that nursing homes must meet in order to be certified by the government.

These standards include providing residents with a safe and clean environment, adequate staffing levels, and quality care. If a nursing home does not meet these standards, it can lose its certification and be shut down.

Beginning The Process

When you’re ready to start exploring nursing homes, the first step is to contact your local Area Agency on Aging or a geriatric care manager. They can provide you with a list of nursing homes in your area and can also answer any questions you may have about the admissions process.

Once you’ve chosen a few nursing homes that you’re interested in, the next step is to schedule a tour. This is a great opportunity to see the facility, meet the staff, and get a feel for the overall atmosphere.

During your tour, be sure to ask any questions you have about the admissions process, as well as what type of care and services the nursing home provides. Click here to download a PDF of questions you can ask.

Just a few examples are…

  • Is there a waiting list?
  • Does the facility have experience in dealing with my parents’ condition?
  • What is the staff to resident ratio?

After you’ve toured a few nursing homes, it’s time to make a decision. Once you’ve chosen the right nursing home for your loved one, the admissions process will begin.

The admissions process can vary from nursing home to nursing home, but generally, it involves completing some paperwork and providing information about your loved one’s health and care needs.

If you have any questions or concerns about the nursing home admissions process, don’t hesitate to reach out to the administration at the nursing home for assistance. They can help walk you through the process and ensure that your loved one gets the care and services they need.

There’s more information about choosing a nursing home in our article on How To Choose The Right Nursing Home For An Aging Parent.

How Do You Commit Someone Into A Nursing Home?

The best way to get someone into a skilled nursing facility is to have their Power of Attorney person contact the nursing home you want them to go to. That person can then sign all of the necessary paperwork and contracts on behalf of the person who is going into the nursing home.

A medical power of attorney can be used in certain circumstances to admit an individual to a nursing home. A person can appoint an agent to make medical decisions for him in case he becomes mentally incapacitated.

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If the senior person does not have a Power of Attorney, then either the senior has to be declared incompetent by their physician or legal guardianship has to be set up.

Once all of the paperwork is signed, the person can be moved into the nursing home and will be able to receive the care they need.

How To Get Someone In A Nursing Home With No Money

The process of getting an older person into a nursing home can be difficult, especially if you don’t have much money. There are a few ways that you can get someone into a nursing home without spending a lot of money.

Medicaid Waivers

Medicaid eligibility can be difficult to obtain, but there are ways to get around this. One way is to look into Medicaid waivers. These waivers allow people with certain medical conditions to get coverage even if they don’t meet the eligibility requirements.

This means that people who may not otherwise be eligible for Medicaid can get the care they need through these waivers.

Medicaid Program

The most popular and often used is Medicaid. If you’re looking to become a Medicaid recipient in your state, be sure that the income limit and asset limits are low enough. In most cases this means an individual must make less than $2k per month or own no more than $2000 worth of assets each.

Government Assistance Programs

Another option is to get someone into a nursing home is to look for government programs. These programs can help cover the cost of nursing home care. You can also look for private scholarships or grants that can help with the cost of nursing home care.

Fundraiser

You can also hold a fundraiser. You can hold a bake sale, car wash, or any other type of fundraiser to help raise money for the nursing home care. You can also ask family and friends to donate money to help with the cost of nursing home care.

Long Term Care Insurance

Of course, if your senior loved one has purchased long-term care insurance, then the policy will likely pay for some or all of the nursing home care. Be sure to check the policy details to see what is covered.

You can also shop around and compare different long-term care insurance policies but I do have to tell you that they are often much more expensive if you purchase them as an older adult.

Reverse Mortgages

Yet, another option that might be possible for you are reverse mortgages. These are mortgages that are available to seniors who own their homes outright. The loan is based on the equity in your home and it does not have to be repaid until the last surviving borrower dies or permanently moves out of the home.

The loan amount can be used for any purpose, including paying for nursing home care. Just keep in mind that if you take out a reverse mortgage, you will be depleting your home equity and leaving your heirs with less inheritance.

Of course, none of these options are perfect and they all come with pros and cons. The best way to figure out what is right for you is to consult with an elder law attorney or financial planner who can help you understand all of your options and make the best decision for your unique circumstances.

With a little bit of research and effort, you should be able to find a way to get the nursing home care that your loved one needs.

There are multiple other options available as well – you can read about them here.

Can You Force Someone Into A Care Home?

Well, technically and legally, yes you can. But it means obtaining a guardianship over that person first.

Elderly guardianship, also known as elderly conservatorship, is a legal relationship created when a court appoints an individual to care for an elderly person who is no longer able to care for himself or herself. The appointed guardian has certain duties and responsibilities to the elderly person.

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This isn’t an easy task and it’s not inexpensive either. An elder law attorney can help you through this process.

If you’re worried about a loved one’s well-being, the best thing to do is talk to them about your concerns. If they’re resistant to the idea of moving into a care home, try to find out why. It may be that they’re worried about the cost or they don’t want to leave their home.

Once you know their concerns, you can try to address them. For example, you could look into funding options or talk to them about the different types of care homes available.

If you’re still struggling to convince your loved one to move into a care home, it may be worth talking to their doctor. They can assess their needs and offer advice on the best course of action.

At the end of the day, it’s important to respect your loved one’s wishes. But if you’re genuinely concerned about their well-being, moving them into a care home may be the best option.

Can Social Services Force An Elderly Person Into A Care Home?

If your elderly relative is no longer able to take care of themselves at home, you may be wondering if a social worker from social services can force them into a care home. The answer is often ‘no‘, as most people have the right to make their own decisions about their care and accommodation.

Of course, if a guardianship is in place then social services may be able to assist you with the process of moving your loved one into a facility.

However, there are some circumstances where social services may step in to ensure that an elderly person is receiving the care and support they need. For example, if an elderly person is living in unsanitary or unsafe conditions, or if they are not eating or drinking enough, social services may intervene.

Honestly, usually the best thing to do is to talk to them about their options and see if they would be open to moving into a care home. Often, just having the conversation can be a huge relief for both parties.

If you’re still worried, you can always contact social services or a geriatric care manager for advice.

Can A Doctor Put Someone In A Nursing Home?

A doctor can’t actually force someone to go into a nursing home against their will. However, if a doctor believes that a person is unable to take care of themselves and poses a danger to themselves or others, they can involuntarily commit them to a mental health facility for up to 72 hours.

After that, the person can be released or committed to a long-term care facility for further treatment.

Other than that the physician can write a letter (a referral) to a nursing home. You can speak to your doctor about this.

There has to be proof that the person is incapacitated in some way. I recommend that you speak with an elder law attorney and your physician about this issue.

Can A Dementia Patient Be Forced Into Care?

The short answer to this question is ‘no‘, a dementia patient cannot be forced into care. However, if the person living with dementia is at risk of harming themselves or others, then they may be legally able to be forced into care.

If you’re concerned about someone with dementia, the best thing to do is to talk to their primary care physician. They’ll be able to offer advice and support, and can refer you to other services if necessary.

If you’re considering residential care for someone with dementia, an important thing to remember is that this should only be seen as a last resort. The person with dementia should be involved in the decision-making process as much as possible, and their needs and preferences should be taken into account.

What To Do When A Parent Refuses To Go Into A Nursing Home?

It can be really tough when you have an elderly parent who is starting to need more care than you can provide at home. They may not want to go into a nursing home, but sometimes it’s the best option for their own safety.

Here are some things to do if your parent refuses to go into a nursing home:

1. Talk to them about their options.

Make sure they understand all of the different care options available to them, and why a nursing home may be the best option. It’s important that they feel like they’re making the decision themselves, even if you know it’s ultimately for the best.

2. Find a nursing home that meets their needs.

Do your research and find a nursing home that you think would be a good fit for your parent. They’ll be more likely to agree to go if they know it’s somewhere they’ll be comfortable and well-cared for.

It may also be that they can qualify for an assisted living instead of a nursing home. A geriatric care manager can help you with this.

3. Get them involved in the process.

As much as possible, involve your parent in the decision-making process. This includes things like helping to choose which nursing home to go to, and picking out their room. letting them have a say will make them feel more comfortable with the transition.

4. Help them pack.

Start packing their belongings a few weeks before they’re set to move. This will give you time to sort through things and figure out what needs to be kept, donated or thrown away. It’s also a good opportunity to get your parent involved, if they’re able.

5. Make the move as smooth as possible.

On the day of the move, try to keep things as calm and relaxed as possible. Help your parent get settled into their new room and make sure they have everything they need. Let them know that you’re there for them and will visit often.

After the move, give yourself some time to adjust as well. It can be difficult to see a parent in a nursing home, but remember that they’re being taken care of and are in a safe place. Visit often and keep in touch to let them know you’re still thinking of them.

Final Thoughts

There are many factors to consider when making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home. It is important to do your research and visit several facilities before making a final decision.

Be sure to ask plenty of questions and get a feel for the staff and environment. Ultimately, you want to choose a nursing home that will provide excellent care for your loved one and make them feel comfortable and safe.

It is important to remember that getting someone into a nursing home is not always easy. You may have to provide a lot of information and documents, and you may not get the decision that you want. Not everyone that applies is admitted.

However, if you are persistent and advocate for your loved one, you may be able to get them the care that they need.

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