Watch out for this nursing home red flag while planning ahead

When planning for your senior years, you may need to give some thought to what might occur if you become incapacitated. An illness or unexpected accident may require your admission to a long-term care facility.

If your condition renders you unable to make decisions regarding your health care, it could become the responsibility of an appointed guardian. Rather than letting the courts select the individual responsible for your medical care, you may instead make the choice in advance by including an advance health care directive in your estate planning.

Avoiding nursing homes with inadequately trained employees

As reported by the Atlantic Journal-Constitution, Georgia ranked 43rd in the nation in 2020 for its average rating of hands-on care. State officials also authorized facilities to hire nurses who have not met all of the traditional training requirements. Some new hires may not have substantial experience in caring for residents with severe conditions such as dementia or memory loss.

If you choose a guardian or health care agent in advance, you may also wish to choose which long-term care facility you prefer. As noted by the National Institute on Aging, an advance visit to a nursing home could help to determine the level of care a facility provides. An understaffed nursing home with overworked employees may pose a higher risk of injury to its patients, but an advance visit may forewarn of substandard care.

Looking for and responding to red flags

When your chosen health care agent checks in on you after an admission, your health care directive can outline the details of what should take place under various circumstances. If red flags show up during a visit, your chosen health care agent may either follow your specified instructions or make informed decisions on your behalf.

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Kevin Tharpe

With 25 years of experience, Kevin understands how estate planning, special needs planning, and government benefits programs work together. This is a crucial element of a thorough plan. He explains your eligibility for benefits programs and ensures that you do not make costly mistakes that may disqualify you or deplete your assets.

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