Checklist before entering a Nursing Home

By The Care Centers.
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If your loved one will be moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility of any type, then you need to ensure they have all of the documents and details required so that their finances and their healthcare will be handled properly.  You may wish to speak with the nursing home social worker to discuss in detail what type of documents the facility will need on file and what things your loved one simply needs to keep with them. 

A Care Plan

You, your loved one, the nursing home administration, and several other people, including an attorney will need to come up with a care plan for their stay in the assisted living facility. This plan should cover everything from how their health will be managed, their medications, dietary needs, etc. 

Financial Information

If you plan on taking over the finances for your loved one, then you will need their account information as well as their bills. That way, you can handle all of the finances. However, if your elderly loved one will continue handling their own finances, then it is important to gather up all of this information before they go to the nursing home. Be sure to help them create a checklist of the information they need, including: 

  • Bank Account Information
  • Credit Card Information
  • Bills
  • Other Expenses

Make sure all of this documentation is available so that they will have everything they need to handle their own finances. 

Home Information

If your elderly loved one owns their home, then it is vital that they keep information about their property with them as well. This could include a mortgage or deed. If they don’t want to take these documents to the nursing home with them, they could be placed in a safety deposit box as well. 

Healthcare Directives

These are very important documents for your loved one to have on hand when they move into a nursing home because they will tell the doctors what to do if medical issues come up. The healthcare directives will cover certain different things that can and cannot be done in certain different healthcare situations. This could include, but is not limited to, do not resuscitate orders. 

Moving to a nursing home can be stressful for an aging loved one. However, you can make things much easier when you ensure they have all documents they need on hand. Sometimes, this type of paperwork can get lost in the shuffle when you are packing your loved one’s belongings, so make sure you get them out and gather them up first thing.  If you are having trouble discussing nursing homes with your loved ones, then read these articles on how to have the conversation (How to Have the Nursing Home Conversation with Your Elder Loved One) and what to talk about (What to Talk about with Your Loved Ones Regarding Assisted Living Facilities). 

Legal Checklist 

Whether you or your loved one will be entering a nursing home, there are certain legal documents that you need to have in place. However, making this move can be a stressful time all on its own, so ensuring you have your affairs in order could be on a back burner. Or, you may even forget something very important just because you have so much on your plate. To make things easier, you will find a checklist here. Essentially, it goes over everything you need to get in order, hopefully with the help of an attorney, before you make your move. 

  1. Medical Directives - You need to make it very clear what you would and would not want done when it comes to treatments. This may also be called advanced directives and can include power of attorney as well as a living will. However, you have medical directives you want recorded that fall outside of the realm of these two documents, so go over this with your attorney and determine what you want recorded so that the nursing home will know what to follow. 
  2. Durable Power of Attorney (Healthcare) - A healthcare power of attorney will give someone else the power to make medical decisions for you. It is important that you choose a durable power of attorney so that it will stay in place even after you have become incapacitated. 
  3. HIPAA Release - If you want your children or other family members to have access to medical records, make sure you sign a HIPAA release that says so. If your loved one is going into an assisted living facility, then suggest that they sign over a HIPAA release to someone they trust within the family. Of course, this isn’t required, but it can be helpful. 
  4. Durable Power of Attorney – (Finance) - As the durable power of attorney for medical issues allows someone else to make decisions about your healthcare, this type of power of attorney will give someone else control over your finances. This way, when you move into a nursing home, someone else can handle your bills and expenses. You can choose what is included in this type of power of attorney and what is not. 
  5. Will - Finally, make sure you or your loved one has a will that is updated to include all information needed. This should include all assets such as money and property. Your will can be very specific, including even small items if you want or it could be more general. This is all your decision. 

When you or a loved one will be moving into a nursing home or other assisted living facility, it is extremely helpful to have these legal documents in place, so use this as a checklist of sorts. If you need more information about powers of attorney, then read this article (Four Questions You Need Answered about Power of Attorney), and if you need more details on wills and trusts, then read this article(Five Things to Keep in Mind about Trusts). That way, you will have all of the information you need to get these documents properly drawn up before you make your move. 


Tags: Nursing Homes