We understand that there is a lot of anxiety regarding nursing homes during this COVID-19 pandemic.
But, just as before COVID-19, seniors are still failing in their health. Many of them will need 24-hour care that can be provided through a live-in aide (very expensive) or through placement at a nursing home.
If Your Loved One Needs Nursing Home Care During COVID-19
However, as of now, many nursing homes in Maryland are not accepting new residents. While nursing homes are taking precautions by separating the COVID-19 residents from those who do not have COVID-19, many facilities are still not admitting any new residents.
As a result, some hospitals are keeping their patients longer than normal because they can’t locate an available nursing home. If a patient has a delayed discharge from the hospital for this reason, then issues can arise with Medicaid and with who is paying for that extended stay.
If Your Loved One Starts Nursing Home Care During COVID-19
For those nursing homes accepting new residents, they will be asking for information relating to your family’s level of assets and income. Be prepared to provide that financial information, as well as providing a copy of the financial power of attorney and advance directive.
If the nursing home wants you to sign the nursing home contract, no matter how nice the director of admissions is, tell them that you need your elder law attorney to review the contract first before it is signed. This is a normal request, and it will help you avoid potential problems in the future, such as having your loved one get involuntarily discharged from the nursing home, or having the nursing home seeking immediate payment from you if the Medicaid application is denied.
If Your Loved One Stays in a Nursing Home During COVID-19
For existing residents of nursing homes, there is a very real issue of staff shortage to address current needs. Staff shortage can often lead to nursing home negligence issues.
Because most nursing homes are not open for family visitations, there is a very real concern of family members not being in a position to determine if the nursing home is still properly caring for their loved one.
One possible solution to this is that many nursing homes will allow for private duty aides/attendants to visit your loved one to provide their care. This is normally a welcome solution for a nursing home that is dealing with a shortage of staff. This can also provide a direct link of information that normally would not exist. This could include not only insight for medication and care, but also open up the possibility for telephone or video calls. Some nursing homes only extend the visiting privileges to certain nurses/aid agencies, while others have less stringent requirements.
We’re Here to Help During COVID-19
We understand that these are uncertain times. Now, more than ever, is when your loved ones need you to be their advocate in planning for the future.
As an experienced elder law firm in Maryland, we’re happy to guide you through the issues of nursing home cases. Please call us at (410) 296-8166 x292.