Nursing Home Myths, Busted!

The decision to move a loved one to a nursing home is often riddled with anxiety and unending questions. Nursing home residents and family members have much more influence in determining the care received than they may think. Unfortunately, some nursing homes know that most residents and their family members are unaware of their rights and employ policies that violate Nursing Home Reform Law. These policies involve resident admission, care, reimbursement, and eviction. Without the knowledge and help of a nursing home attorney, it can be hard to ensure that you or your loved ones are not being taken advantage of.

The best thing you can do is contact a nursing home lawyer and ensure that all policies benefit the resident. An elder law attorney knows the ins and outs of nursing home law, and is your best bet for a smooth admission process. There are many myths that often hinder resident admissions, so we felt it was important to post the realities that are important to know.

MYTH: Medicaid probably won’t cover the services you want.
REALITY: Residents on Medicaid are entitled to the same services offered to other residents.

MYTH: The staff alone determines the care a resident receives.
REALITY: Both residents and their loved ones have the right to participate in care plan development.

MYTH: Individual schedules cannot be accommodated.
REALITY: A resident’s needs, schedule, and preferences must be catered to with reasonable adjustments.

MYTH: If the resident does not progress, therapy must be discontinued.
REALITY: Therapy may be fitting even if the resident does not show progress. Medicare will often cover the costs even without recent progress.

MYTH: There might not be available private space for family members or residents to meet.
REALITY: Nursing homes are required to provide private space for resident or family meetings. 

MYTH: Restraints must be used for the prevention of wandering residents.
REALITY: No type of restraint can be used for discipline or for the staff’s convenience.

MYTH: The nursing home can require you to pay extra charges at any time.
REALITY: Nursing homes can only require an extra charge that was authorized in the admission agreement.

MYTH: For optimal care, you must hire private help.
REALITY: Nursing home staff members must provide any and all necessary care.

MYTH: Family must visit within strict visiting hour periods.
Family members may visit the resident at any time, night or day.

MYTH: If a resident is considered difficult or refuses medical treatment, they can face eviction.
REALITY: Neither refusal of medical treatment nor a difficult personality justifies eviction.

The best way to understand how best to go about finding the nursing home for you or a loved one is to work with a nursing home attorney who can ensure that your best interests are kept as a priority.  A little advanced planning can save a great deal of future anxiety; often the need for a nursing home is abrupt and requires quick action.

Click here to find out more about Massachusetts laws regarding nursing home patients and resident rights. If you are have any inquiries as to the process, contact us or arrange a contact us or arrange a free consultation with Massachusetts Nursing Home Attorney Adam Tobin.

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