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Making the Move to a Nursing Home

Making the Move to a Nursing Home

The decision to move a loved one to a nursing home can often come at a time of stress for both the individual making the move and their family. Having information before the decision needs to be made can alleviate some of that stress.

People move to a nursing home for a variety of reasons. They may need the care provided in a nursing home that an independent or assisted living cannot provide. They may also have recently experienced a fall, serious illness, or surgery. Even if a nursing home move is planned and expected, it is often a good idea to be prepared before the time arises.

The nursing home will have a staff member assigned to helping you navigate the process of a nursing home admission. However, knowing what will be asked of you or your loved one will help you be ready to answer questions and complete paperwork.

By being prepared with the following information, the transition to nursing home living can be much smoother:

Physician’s order for admission - a doctor must confirm that a patient actually needs nursing home care. This order is similar to writing out a prescription. Oftentimes, that order is sent to the nursing home directly from the hospital’s social workers or discharge planners.

Physician’s order for treatment and medication - since you will have new caregivers, they need to know how to best provide your care.

History and physical - the nursing home will need the most up to date information on your medical history and current physical condition.

Negative tuberculosis test (TB) or chest x-ray - nursing homes need to make sure all residents do not have or carry this communicable disease.  Some nursing homes will provide the test for you.

Completed paperwork for admission to the care community - this paperwork can often be filled out on the day of the admission, usually with a nursing home staff member. The individual or their guardian/power of attorney may be required to sign several forms consenting to nursing home policies and treatment. As part of the application process, a social security card may be needed.

Completed financial obligations - this step makes sure that you are able to pay for the care you will be receiving. The process is similar to providing financial information for obtaining a mortgage; in both cases, you are moving to a new home. You will need to disclose financial information (and provide documentation) on insurance enrollments, pension funds, retirement funds, assets, and enrollment in Medicare or Medicaid. They will also need to know information about your current living situation.

If you or a loved one are in the hospital at the time of a move to a nursing home, the hospital physicians will perform the first four items on the checklist. If not, it is important to visit a primary care physician to complete these items.

Being prepared in advance of a move to a nursing home could be extremely beneficial for you or a loved one. Although there are many stresses associated with making a move to a nursing home, navigating the admission process shouldn’t be one of them.

The decision to move a loved one to a nursing home can often come at a time of stress for both the individual making the move and their family. Having information before the decision needs to be made can alleviate some of that stress.

People move to a nursing home for a variety of reasons. They may need the care provided in a nursing home that an independent or assisted living cannot provide. They may also have recently experienced a fall, serious illness, or surgery. Even if a nursing home move is planned and expected, it is often a good idea to be prepared before the time arises.

The nursing home will have a staff member assigned to helping you navigate the process of a nursing home admission. However, knowing what will be asked of you or your loved one will help you be ready to answer questions and complete paperwork.

By being prepared with the following information, the transition to nursing home living can be much smoother:

Physician’s order for admission - a doctor must confirm that a patient actually needs nursing home care. This order is similar to writing out a prescription. Oftentimes, that order is sent to the nursing home directly from the hospital’s social workers or discharge planners.

Physician’s order for treatment and medication - since you will have new caregivers, they need to know how to best provide your care.

History and physical - the nursing home will need the most up to date information on your medical history and current physical condition.

Negative tuberculosis test (TB) or chest x-ray - nursing homes need to make sure all residents do not have or carry this communicable disease.  Some nursing homes will provide the test for you.

Completed paperwork for admission to the care community - this paperwork can often be filled out on the day of the admission, usually with a nursing home staff member. The individual or their guardian/power of attorney may be required to sign several forms consenting to nursing home policies and treatment. As part of the application process, a social security card may be needed.

Completed financial obligations - this step makes sure that you are able to pay for the care you will be receiving. The process is similar to providing financial information for obtaining a mortgage; in both cases, you are moving to a new home. You will need to disclose financial information (and provide documentation) on insurance enrollments, pension funds, retirement funds, assets, and enrollment in Medicare or Medicaid. They will also need to know information about your current living situation.

If you or a loved one are in the hospital at the time of a move to a nursing home, the hospital physicians will perform the first four items on the checklist. If not, it is important to visit a primary care physician to complete these items.

Being prepared in advance of a move to a nursing home could be extremely beneficial for you or a loved one. Although there are many stresses associated with making a move to a nursing home, navigating the admission process shouldn’t be one of them.