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Everyone understands how difficult it can be to place a loved one in a nursing home facility. The process is often emotional for everyone involved. The elder may have real reservations about giving up a degree of freedom and the family members may feel guilty. It’s important for family members to try and put the turbulence of the moment aside and carefully scrutinize any papers that you or your loved ones are asked to sign by the nursing home operator.

When checking a loved one into a nursing home, make sure to look for certain things in the paperwork. First of all, check for a resident’s bill of rights. This contains a list of important rights that the residents have, such as being treated respectfully by staff members and having a say over their own medical care. The facility should provide all residents with such a list and if you don’t see one make sure to ask for a copy.

When checking a loved one into a nursing home it’s also important to make sure to receive written instructions for the process used to raise problems with the nursing home operator. Ask for contact information for superiors as well as a discussion for what procedures should be followed when raising grievances against the nursing homes.

It’s also critical to look for the section of the contract that explains any and all fees associated with your loved one’s care. Ask for an explanation of how financial reports will be handled as well as what the costs for certain extra services might cost that are not included in the standard nursing home fee.

Just as important as looking for certain contractual language, it’s critical that you and your loved ones avoid signing certain documents during the confusing process. First of all, most experts recommend not signing anything that gives away your rights to file a lawsuit against the nursing home operator. These arbitration agreements are designed to favor the nursing homes and almost never work to the advantage of the injured residents.

It’s also important to watch for any provisions that reduce damage caps in medical malpractice or personal injury awards at levels lower than what state law caps are. If such a clause exists, it’s best not to sign it.

The process of moving a relative into an assisted living facility can be a challenging one and all too often individuals sign important documents giving away vital rights without even realizing it. The whole ordeal can be exhausting, but it’s crucial to ensure you don’t give away rights that might be important down the road.


One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Ralph Catania
    Ralph Catania

    It is important to have your contracts checked. Another starting point can be found here:

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