Responding to Sudden Health Changes and the Unexpected Need for Skilled Nursing Placement
I receive new client calls each week regarding family members that have been at home, living independently, whose lives are suddenly changed by the urgent need for hospitalization. Many issues are due to falls resulting in fractures and the need for short term rehab or longterm nursing home placement for convalescent care.
Families are usually left feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, confused, and upset, not knowing what to do next.
If possible it is best for some planning to be done prior to an emergency....
1. Develop a list of 3 nursing rehab, 3 assisted Living, and 3 long term care facilities that you prefer. Check from time to time (every 6 months is best) the facility online ratings and recent inspection reports. Update your list as needed.
2. Realize that if you are hospitalized you may not be able to choose a facility due to their bed availability, but you can provide the discharge planner with your preferences for follow up. Usually if you have a list of three you will get one of the facilities on your list.
3. Have your wishes clearly documented on your advanced healthcare directive- Virginia form: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/OLC/documents/2011/pdfs/2011-VA-AMD-Simple.pdf and power of attorney. Ensure that you choose decision makers who will carry out your wishes.
4. See an elder care attorney for long term planning and as a resource for going forward. This is especially important if you have limited resources and Medicaid conversion is needed in the future.
5. Have transparency of information regarding healthcare wishes and finances with your decision makers.
6. Having a plan in place will allow you to have input into your future no matter what the circumstances are!
7. If you need more information or assistance with planning feel free to contact me via the contact section of my website!