Nursing home planning in Kentucky has become more important than ever. The coronavirus pandemic has affected nursing homes severely. In Kentucky, more than 900 nursing home residents and over 370 nursing home employees have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Sadly, 187 nursing home residents have died from the coronavirus along with two employees. Many nursing homes are unprepared to handle an influx of coronavirus patients. These uncertain times have caused nursing home residents and their loved ones to seek out emergency estate planning services.
Contact Our Kentucky Medicaid and Nursing Home Planning Lawyers
There are a number of reasons that your loved one might need care that only a nursing home can provide. If your loved one is in a nursing home and does not have estate planning documents in place, or your loved one needs to become a resident at a nursing home, our Kentucky nursing home planning lawyers are here to help. At CommonWealth Elder Law, we are offering telephonic and online legal services, including emergency nursing home planning services. Contact us today and we will work with you to schedule a meeting that is convenient.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Emergency Nursing Home Services
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia are two diseases that often require nursing home care and treatment. A significant number of Americans who are over the age of 85 end up contracting one of these diseases. In many cases, we meet with clients whose parents who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia have remained living with them at home. Sometimes, their parent’s condition will take a dramatic turn for the worse, and they need to place their parent in a nursing home as soon as possible.
Sudden Injuries or Chronic Conditions Might Require Emergency Nursing Home Care
In other cases, an elderly individual suffers an injury from a car accident, serious slip and fall, or another type of accident. As we age, it becomes more difficult to heal after serious injuries. These individuals might spend three weeks in rehabilitation and at the end of the rehabilitation, their caretakers determine that they can no longer live on their own. In these cases, the individuals need to be transferred into a nursing home as soon as their rehabilitation is over.
In other instances, an emergency medical condition or chronic condition requires quick placement in a Kentucky nursing home. For example, a patient might experience a heart attack or a stroke that limits their independent living abilities to an extreme amount. Or, their diabetes or high blood pressure might become uncontrollable. In these situations, placing the individual in a nursing home might become necessary. Nurses at the nursing home will ensure that they effectively treat their diabetes and take their medication on time.
The Cost of Nursing Homes is Extremely High
Some individuals will qualify for Medicare when they turn 65 under the existing guidelines. This is a federally-run health insurance program that is designed to help senior citizens meet their health care needs. The average cost of nursing home care in Kentucky is nearly $7,000 per month. Most senior citizens are not able to afford nursing home care on their own.
Most seniors will need help with their daily activities at some point in their lives. Many of these people will need to live in Kentucky nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, Medicare only pays for convalescent care, it does not pay for long-term nursing home care.
Asset Protection and Nursing Home Planning
Sometimes, our clients need to qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is a program for low-income individuals. It offers health insurance benefits that include long-term nursing home care. In Kentucky, Medicaid covers the cost of nursing home care and in-home personal care. However, only those who have a limited income and limited assets will qualify for Medicaid.
With careful estate planning, you can qualify for Medicaid and long-term nursing care without losing all of your assets. As of now, the person in the nursing home cannot make more than $2,163 per month. The income will be paid to the nursing home every month, minus the $40 for personal needs such as haircuts. A spouse who still lives in the community keeps his or her own income, of up to $4,000 per month.
At CommonWealth Elder Law, we can help qualify a family member with Kentucky Medicaid planning when they are already in a nursing home, or when they need to enter a nursing home as soon as possible. We help individuals “spend down” their assets to qualify for Medicaid nursing home benefits. Keep in mind that you cannot just give away your money to beneficiaries or donate your money. You need to follow strict legal regulations when engaging in the spend-down process.
For example, if you simply give your money to your adult children, Medicaid will consider the amount you gave away as assets and the assets will still count against you. Our lawyers can help you create a strategy to pay for long-term care. Often that strategy includes creating an irrevocable trust and placing your assets in that trust to avoid them counting against you when you apply for Medicaid planning.
Creating Emergency Legal Documents for Those in Nursing Homes
In addition to helping families pay for the cost of nursing home facilities, we also help families create the emergency legal documents that they need, including the following:
- An advance health care directive that sets out the type of care your loved one wants to receive if they become incapacitated
- A durable power of attorney for healthcare and HIPAA release allows you to have access to your loved one’s health records
- A durable power of attorney for finances allows your loved one to appoint someone to manage their financial affairs, sell property, and pay bills
- A will
- A trust
Contact Our Experienced Nursing Home Lawyers Today
During these uncertain times, estate planning is even more important. Contact CommonWealth Elder Law as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.