I fight to protect the elderly from nursing home abuse. Now nursing home trouble may be coming for the children of those senior citizens.
Here is what is happening. The seniors’ kids are filling out the nursing home intake forms and not realizing that they may be personally signing up to pay the bill. Add to this that some nursing homes are relentless in trying to collect.
The problem is so bad I would expect Congress to step in.
Let me teach you a little about the law so you can protect yourself. Learn about the term “responsible party.” This legal phrase does not mean, as some think, the person who the nursing home contacts for information. It means the person who is ultimately responsible for paying the bill.
In the often dramatic and emotional experience of putting a parent in a nursing home, many children say they did not understand what they were signing. I know of one case where the daughter asked if she would be financially responsible, and the intake person said no. The daughter checked the “responsible party” box. Now, the nursing home wants her to pay close to $80,000.
Here is how it generally works. If you want the government to pay for nursing home help, you must first spend most of the resident’s money on the care. When that money runs out, the government kicks in. You, as the child, are not required to spend any of your own money.
Don’t think that refusing to sign will prevent your loved one from getting the care he or she needs. Federal regulations make it illegal for a nursing home to require any non-resident to be personally responsible for the bill.
Now it is not illegal for the nursing home to ask you to pay. My advice is to say no and refuse to sign any statement saying you will.
If you suffer a personal injury, like nursing home abuse, an auto/railroad wreck, or slip and fall, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.
Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We will take your calls live. We do like answering your questions. We also have lawyers standing by at our offices on Monday mornings.
Mobile Personal Injury Attorney