Leaving a nursing home to return home is a goal for many residents and their families, but it requires careful consideration. While returning home is a good move for some, it won’t work for everyone.
A nursing home stay does not have to be permanent. Many residents enter a facility temporarily to recover from an illness or accident and are able to easily transition back to living at home. For residents who continue to need care but would rather be at home, moving out of a nursing home is more complicated.
Before considering a move out of a nursing home, here are some questions to bear in mind:
- Can you receive the care you need at home? Some patients require help with eating, dressing, and going to the bathroom. You will need to consider whether you can adequately get that care at home.
- Who will be providing the care? The care can come from family members or hiring in-home health care. If family members aren’t available, is money available to hire help? All 50 states have Medicaid programs that offer at least some home care. In Pennsylvania, the Medicaid Program is called Home and Community Based Services and you will be required to choose a Community Health Choices plan for your Medicaid Benefits. You will also need to qualify fro benefits under Pennsylvania’s rules.
- Will you be able to take the medications you need at home?
- How is your physical and emotional stamina? Moving back home requires determination and an ability to manage problems, since not everything will be taken care of as in a facility.
- Is the house set up to safely accommodate you? Are there a lot of stairs? Does the bathroom have rails? If the patient has dementia, there may be other considerations to take into account.
- Is there transportation available to get to doctor’s or other appointments?
If you determine that moving back home is the best option, then you can begin to craft a plan based on where you will live and who will provide care. It is important to contact an experienced Elder Law attorney who can guide you through the Medicaid At Home Program. You can also contact your local Area Agency on Aging to get information on finding and coordinating services.
For tips on transitioning from a nursing home to the community, click here.