If you have a loved one currently living in a nursing home, you’re probably worried about them right now. You may not be able to visit them or check in on their care. You may be afraid that the next COVID19 outbreak will strike their facility. And … you may be struggling with the decision about whether it’s best for them to stay in the facility, or if you should bring them home.
These are all reasonable concerns. There have been more than 5,670 coronavirus deaths in long-term care facilities nationwide, according to state health data reported by NBC News on April 15.
But would Mom or Dad fare better, even with all due social distancing, in the family home?
Some issues to carefully consider if you are struggling with this question now:
- Are you prepared to shoulder the entire burden of care for your loved one now? If not, are there other family or community resources that could help – and can you access them in the current situation?
- What does your loved one want? Do the benefits of moving them out outweigh the stress of disruption and displacement?
- Can you really keep your elderly loved one safer at home … especially if they have chronic conditions such as heart, lung, or kidney disease?
- How long will you be able to keep up with your loved one’s care at home … and
- Will your loved one be able to return to the facility if you cannot keep up … or after the danger has passed?
- Will your loved one lose their Medicare or Medicaid benefits if they leave the nursing home?
These questions, and more, should be addressed before making the decision to remove your loved one from a nursing facility. Check with an elder law attorney who is familiar with your situation, state and federal laws, and nursing home policies who can explain your options and guide you to an informed decision.
Resources: NBC News, Coronavirus deaths in U.S. nursing homes soar to more than 5,500, April 15, 2020; March 18, 2020;