Preparing for Nursing Home Admission

Entering a Nursing Home

Entering a Nursing Home

After selecting a nursing home, gathering certain personal information will make the process of nursing home admission much easier. The nursing home office will need medical history, payment information and healthcare advance directives.

Office staff will request information regarding the health care coverage or long-term care insurance that pays for the nursing home stay. This information may include the policy number and name of the insurance company. Also, those entering a nursing home will have to make a cash deposit for nursing home care if it is not covered by Medicaid or Medicare.

Certain medical information will need to be provided upon nursing home admission. While a doctor may send some medical records, bring a list including the following:

  • Current or previous health problems
  • Previous surgeries and treatments
  • Allergies
  • Vaccines
  • Recent diagnostic results
  • Current medications, including dosage
  • Health care providers and contact information
  • Emergency contact information

Healthcare advance directives will also be requested should a resident become unable to make a decision for him or herself during the assisted living stay. Most common healthcare advance directives include a living will and durable power of attorney for healthcare. A living will is consulted if the resident has six or less months to live and is unable to speak for him or herself. This legal document outlines what medical treatments the nursing home resident seeks and a decision on life support. A durable power of attorney, on the other hand, grants another person the right to make the decision on behalf of the resident.

After gathering important medical information, a nursing home admission agreement must be signed. While negotiating the agreement is possible, a resident should not sign something they do not understand. This written document /includes the responsibilities of the assisted living facility, charges and rules. The agreement will include the following information:

  • Summary of charges, including services and room fee
  • Designation of a trusted individual responsible for the bill, if not the resident
  • Establishment of a trusted individual responsible for health care decisions, should the resident become unable
  • A clause determining what requirements must be met to hold a resident's bed if a hospital stay is needed
  • Resident rights
  • Basic consent for daily nursing home care
  • Medicaid eligibility information
  • Liability information, according to state law
  • Discharge or transfer policy
  • Signature of resident, if able

A resident may be asked to sign additional documents including a release of information form. This document allows the nursing home to share medical information with insurance companies, hospitals, medical labs etc. A photographic permission form may also be signed for identification purposes should resident wandering or elopement occur.

Admitting a friend or family member to a nursing facility? If so, learn how to prepare yourself and your loved one.