The number of people needing long-term care continues to grow as life expectancy climbs to an all-time high. Living in a nursing home for a long time can take its toll, and in the best of circumstances, residents get healthy enough to leave. Whether they’re returning home or to a retirement community, residents need help through the transition period.
Why Move Out of a Nursing Home?
Reasons for moving out of a nursing home range from residents wanting to feel more independent, to things out of their control like negligent staff or a home overburdened by too many residents. If there are more residents than the staff can handle, the residents’ care suffers.
Preventable but, sadly, very common, signs of nursing home neglect can include bruises, bed sores, fractured bones, and malnutrition.
Programs That Assist in the Transition
Programs such as the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Demonstration help residents leave a nursing home and enter community living. The 43 states that participate in this program provide services to these people for as long as they live in the community and are eligible for Medicaid coverage.
What Does Medicaid Have to Do with This?
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In other states, Medicaid is required to cover nursing home care, but not required to cover services and resources for those transitioning out of a nursing home. The Republican-led healthcare overhaul includes large cuts to both Medicaid and nursing home grants, which fund programs like the MFP Demonstration.
Most nursing home residents – upwards of 65% – are supported primarily by Medicaid.
This new information leaves those who rely on Medicaid feeling helpless. The fear of not being able to survive outside a long-term care facility because of cuts of federal aid leaves many patients trapped inside negligent and abusive nursing homes.
Medicaid supports people after leaving a nursing home by giving them a transition coordinator who helps them do things like:
- Pay a security deposit on an apartment
- Modify the apartment to accommodate use of assistive technology, such as a wheelchair
- Buy furniture
- Pay for an initial grocery trip
- Learn how to use computers and set up e-mail accounts
Stay Tuned for More Changes to the Healthcare Bill
It’s still unclear if the Republican Party’s changes to the healthcare bill will proceed as planned. As it stands, the bill would bring significant cuts to funds for current and post-nursing home care. Stay tuned for more information about the status of revised drafts of the new healthcare bill.
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If you suspect your loved one has been abused in a nursing home and aren’t sure how to handle the legal, emotional, financial, and medical problems, contact our dedicated nursing home injury attorneys at Pintas and Mullins Law Firm for legal advice you can trust. All phone calls and consultations are free.