By Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.
Older adults abhor the thought they might be forced into a nursing home. Yet, they might not have a financial choice.
Here is the typical road a senior might take: They become ill, or fall breaking something. Hospitals are now triage centers quickly funneling patients in and out with only partial treatment. Almost every Medicare paid admission is destined for a nursing home especially when their residence is not set up to care for a recuperating older senior.
Some patients return home, whereas others cannot get back to their physical ability to live on their own. Nursing home Medicare payments are limited and eventually stop. Who then pays?
For years, most of us create a nest egg, including a retirement plan with added asset in our house. If you don’t have savings or they’ve been used, nursing homes and hospitals place a lien on your nest egg to assure they eventually get paid. Your assets dwindle to nothing. Then you go on Medicaid (different from Medicare) which pays for the nursing home at taxpayer expense.
Voilà , you are now living in a nursing home and have no assets.
Any solutions for grandma?