Stop throwing away $$ on Medicaid Spend Down. We can help!

If your loved one is paying for nursing home care out-of-pocket, or is heading to the nursing home soon, you need to see what’s in our book! Click here for a FREE download: The Workbook for the Barraged Boomers Guide to Nursing Home Planning. Complete the exercises in this workbook to discover ways to help your loved one pay for long-term care expenses.

Family Night

About once a month we speak to a group of family members at a nursing home somewhere in Arkansas at a function referred to as “Family Council” or often just “Family Night.” If you are part of one of these groups or have been invited to join one, you are familiar with these meetings. But for the benefit of those who aren’t involved, it is a group of family members who meet to discuss events and concerns that affect their loved ones at a particular nursing home. If you have a loved one in a nursing home and have not attended the monthly council meeting at that facility, I highly encourage you to see what it’s all about. The families are in charge of this group – not the management or staff of the nursing home. This group has a powerful voice, which is definitely heard.

The catch is that the voice is heard to the extent that families participate. I have been to family council meetings that were well-attended, and where group members were on top of everything that happened at that nursing home. Often, the families would ask the administrator or other nursing home staff to attend so various topics could be discussed and concerns could be addressed. In situations like this, where families are pro-active, things get done. The nursing home staff appreciates the feedback and can answer questions or “fix things that need fixing” immediately, before problems occur. Families feel empowered and know that their voice is being heard. This is the way it should work.

I have seen other situations where the family council existed in name only. During some months, only one or two family members showed up, drank punch and ate a cookie, then went home. Nothing (except elevated blood sugars) was accomplished. This type of meeting is pointless.

If you have a loved one at a nursing home, check out your family night. If it is well-attended and families are active, be thankful and participate. If you and one other person are the only ones who show up, then it needs help. Ask someone on the nursing home staff to help promote next month’s meeting. Also, take the initiative to talk to other families about the benefits of participating in this group. Everyone there will be a winner. And if you need a good speaker to explain Medicaid benefits while you are drinking your punch and eating your cookie, give us a call at The Elder Law Practice!

Too Much Money!?

I was the speaker at a recent family night that was well-attended. This group was very involved and aware of everything that was happening at that facility. They asked great questions, both of me and of the nursing home staff members in attendance. And the cookies were hot and fresh baked. It was all good!

As I was wrapping up to go home, the son of a resident caught me in the hall to visit for a minute. He had enjoyed the meeting and mentioned that he really liked this particular facility and the care that his father was receiving there.

As we were about to walk out the door, he said something that surprised me.  (Though it shouldn’t have – I’ve heard it many times.) The family member said “I heard what you said in there, but Dad has too much money to receive any Medicaid assistance. We can’t get any help, so we’ve just been spending his money down for about three years. He is almost out of money now, so we’ll be able to get Medicaid soon.”

It didn’t have to happen that way. But now it was too late, the money was gone. The shocking thing is that they could have saved at least half!

Stay tuned to next month for the “Rest of the Story.”

Tip for Now

If you have a loved one in a nursing home and are just writing a check each month, GIVE US A CALL BEFORE THE MONEY’S ALL GONE!  We can help.

[ssba]

The information provided on this blog is intended as general information only for a broad audience. It is not intended as legal advice and should not be acted upon as such. If any reader has questions or concerns about any matter mentioned herein, he/she should contact an Elder Law Attorney or other appropriate professional. If any reader has questions or suggestions about a future topic area that he/she would like to see discussed, please contact the author at doug@arkelderlaw.com.