By Attorney David Engler
You are at the nursing home. It was a terrible decision you had been forced to make because your Mom had told you years before that she never wanted to go to a nursing home. She said she would rather die.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the nursing home now is asking you to sign something as you and your mother are standing in the doorway!
If you are standing in the doorway and you are asked to sign a contract, understand your rights.
Under federal law, no one is liable for the cost of care in a nursing home except the resident, no matter if the relative signs the contract or puts a Power of Attorney (POA) next to the name.
The nursing home cannot ask for a deposit upfront as a requirement for admittance. They cannot ask for a ‘gift’, to expedite admittance.
The nursing home cannot deny admission just because the resident is going to pay with Medicaid benefits.
The nursing home cannot require that the resident be on private pay for so many months before Medicaid is applied for.
The nursing home may not charge a resident for failure to notify them in advance that he or she is going to leave.
The bottom line is to know what you are doing at this very stressful time.
I would suggest not signing any contract.
The only recourse a nursing home would have against a relative is if they believe and could prove that the relative depleted assets belonging to the resident that could have been used to pay for care.
If you have a question email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at 330.729.9777.