Nursing Home Closures Rise in Nebraska
Nursing homes in Nebraska are closing down at a record pace, as reported in an article on KETV 7. As of November 2019, 14 nursing homes went out of business that year, bringing the total to 31 in the previous three years. This trend has created a crisis for many nursing home residents and their families. It has also created an economic ripple effect in the areas where the facilities have closed.
What Is Behind All the Nursing Home Closures?
Most of the nursing home closures have been in rural areas of Nebraska. According to reports, the CEO and president of Rural Health Development explained that the state has not been fully reimbursing nursing homes for the care they provide to residents on Medicaid for years, and these facilities are receiving $35 to $40 per day less than their costs. This adds up to $1,200 a month for each Medicaid resident. Although lawmakers approved an additional $10.3 million in state funds to help close the gap, it is not enough.
How Are Nebraska Nursing Home Closures Affecting Residents and Their Families?
When a nursing home is closing its doors, family members of residents have to find a new facility in a short period of time. In many cases, they have to settle for a nursing home in another town, or even in another state. This can seriously limit the time family members are able to spend with an elderly loved one and cause personal hardship for all concerned. Loneliness can have a devastating effect on the physical and emotional health of older nursing home residents.
Economic Effect of Nursing Home Facility Closures
When a nursing home closes its doors, it has an economic impact on the entire area. Dozens of workers lose their jobs. Restaurants, grocery stores, and other retailers in the area lose those people as customers.
Review All Long-Term Care Options
The last thing you and your elderly loved one need is to have the facility you were relying on for long-term care close down on you. With the current situation in Nebraska, it is in your best interest to review all possible long-term care options before entering a family member in a nursing home. There are several alternatives to nursing homes to consider, including:
- Assisted living: These are group residences where elderly people can live in private apartments, share meals, participate in group activities, receive personal care assistance and medication reminders, and have assistance on call 24/7.
- Medicare PACE programs for Medicare beneficiaries: PACE stands for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. These programs offer a combination of services to elderly people who would otherwise require nursing home care, allowing them to remain in their own homes or homes of family members.
- Adult foster care: One to three seniors live in a private residence, receive personal care, share meals, and receive assistance with daily activities. Adult foster care offers a family-oriented living experience.
- Medicaid HCBS Waivers for Medicaid beneficiaries: Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers provide a variety of non-medical support and care services for elderly people and their caregivers. These services are intended to prevent nursing home placement, allowing seniors to live at home or in the homes of their caregivers.
Our Omaha estate planning legal team at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. can assist you with your long-term care planning. Call us at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a consultation.
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