If a family member suffers a sudden health event, such as a stroke, or a parent with dementia has gradually lost the ability to live on their own, you may be faced with trying to find a nursing home or assisted living facility for them. When you realize that your loved one can no longer safely live alone in his or her home, you may feel lost as to how to go about locating a long-term care facility for them.

The first step is to talk to the doctor to determine what level of care your spouse, parent, or family member needs. In North Carolina, doctors fill out a document called an FL2 form that details the type of care the person needs. The recommended level of care is either assisted living, skilled nursing care, or in some cases, an intermediate level of care.

If your family member is in the hospital, the hospital Social Worker will help locate a rehab or skilled nursing facility as part of the discharge plan. Generally when a person goes to rehab from the hospital, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of care at the rehab facility. If the person doesn’t have long-term care insurance, you may want to consult with an Elder Law Attorney to determine if he or she can qualify for Medicaid to pay for their nursing home care after their Medicare coverage runs out.

If your family member is living at home, you’ll need to locate a long-term care facility for them. See my Article entitled “What’s the Best Nursing Home in Wake County?” for tips on finding the best facility for your family member’s care. Before making the move to assisted living or a nursing home, you may want to talk to an Elder Law Attorney about programs that can help pay for care in those facilities, such as the North Carolina Special Assistance program, Medicaid, or the Veterans’ Aid and Attendance pension. An Elder Law Attorney can explain those programs and help you determine if your family member may be eligible.

If you need help navigating admission to a long-term care facility in North Carolina or assistance applying for Medicaid to help pay for the cost of care in a nursing home, give Amanda Spence a call at 919-863-4183 or email aspence@allenspence.com.