Assisted Living or Nursing Home, which is Best for Your Loved One?

Assisted living and nursing homes offer different levels of care; choosing the right option depends on your loved one’s medical needs. If your loved one may need Ohio Medicaid, eligibility planning with the assistance of an Ohio elder law firm needs to be done far in advance to avoid penalty for assets.

Nobody wants to end up in a nursing home. Nobody wants to put their parents in a nursing home. Nursing homes have a bad reputation for neglecting or even abusing their residents. However, not all nursing homes treat their residents poorly – in fact most do their best to treat residents well – and sometimes a nursing home is the right solution for an aging individual.

In “Assisted Living or Nursing Home?”. an article posted on the New York Times website last June, states that while most people would prefer to put their aging parents in an assisted living facility, many elderly people need a higher level of care than most assisted living facilities are able to provide. Generally, the article says, if an elderly person needs little more than help with transportation or preparing meals, then an assisted living facility may be a good solution.

However, if your loved one has a severe cognitive impairment or behavioral problems, or if they need regular medical care, help with incontinence or medication management, then a nursing home may be a better answer. Underestimating your loved one’s care needs or overestimating a facility’s ability to provide care can result in an unpleasant match-up and often regular trips to the hospital.

Assisted Living, Nursing Homes and Medicaid Qualifications

Whether for assisted living or a nursing home, if you think your loved one may need long-term care paid for by Ohio Medicaid, eligibility planning should be done with an Ohio elder law firm as far in advance of that need as possible.

Medicaid places strict limitations on the amount of assets and income an individual can have in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits. If planning is done in advance, an Ohio elder law firm can help transfer assets and income sources out of your loved one’s name while still maintaining them as part of their estate and giving them control over those assets and putting them in a position to qualify for Medicaid if need be. However, an applicant can be penalized for assets transferred or given away within five years prior to applying for Medicaid. This can result in a denial of Medicaid eligibility for several years – sometimes more than five years!

While the best strategy is to do Ohio Medicaid eligibility planning far in advance, there are strategies for managing assets and minimizing penalties if you must apply for Medicaid in less than five years. Regardless of whether the need is for assisted living or a nursing home, an experienced Ohio elder law firm can help your loved one achieve eligibility with as little disruption to their estate as possible. In Ohio, the elder law firm of Gudorf Law Group, LLC, can assist with both Ohio Medicaid eligibility planning and spend-down purchases for Medicaid eligibility. Call our office at 1-877-483-6730 to schedule a free consultation regarding Medicaid for assisted living or nursing homes.