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Nursing Home or Assisted Living (Part 1)

I’ve written a number of blog posts over the years about the failure to recognize the the differences between nursing homes and assisted living facilities. A number of recent cases in our office highlight the point and the mistakes that can be made, specifically with regard to the impact on Medicaid. When a client has a limited amount of money and Medicaid is going to be needed, families need to understand how choosing a nursing home vs. an assisted living facility for their loved one could impact the ability.

First of all, many people don’t understand that while many assisted living facilities do have memory care units that focus on caring for advanced dementia and other residents who need nursing home level care, they are licensed as assisting living facilities and not nursing homes.

That means that while choosing such a facility may be the solution, it is also possible that care needs may exceed what the assisted living facility can provide. Nursing home care might then be necessary. In other words, there is a “higher” level of care option. With limited funds available the private pay requirements of the facility before Medicaid eligibility are important to understand as well. We’ll discuss the difference there next week.