Advancing age forces most people to think about their long-term care needs. Where will they live? How will they obtain health care? Who will get their assets when they die?
Georgians who receive Medicaid are often extremely thankful for the financial assistance. However, they are often surprised and saddened when they learn that their home and assets may be subject to Medicaid Estate Recovery after they die. This program was enacted by the Georgia legislature in 2006 pursuant the requirement in the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 2003. The federal statute requires the states to enact laws allowing for the recovery of money paid out of Medicaid for long term care and home and community-based care paid for by Medicaid.
Residents of Georgia who place their family members in nursing homes or other special care institutions worry about the quality of care that will be provided. They are especially concerned about physical abuse and failure to provide proper care. Can abuse be detected? What can be done about it?
One of the most challenging issues for a Georgia family that has a member requiring elder care can be finding the lowest cost facility and methods to pay for the care. While Georgia does not provide direct financial assistance for elder care, the state provides its citizens with links to federal and private funding sources that can significantly ease the financial burden of caring for aging loved ones.
Anyone in Georgia who puts a loved one in a long-term care facility wants be assured that the facility will provide adequate and appropriate care. Unfortunately, not all operators of long-term care facilities make the same commitment to their patients. The Georgia Department of Community Health has therefore promulgated a Residents' Bill of Rights for long-term care facilities.
The state of Georgia places strict limits on the right of nursing homes to discharge or transfer patients without consent. Even those situations in which the facility is exercising its legal right to discharge or transfer a patient require adherence to the procedures that have been prescribed by the state.
When planning for long-term and nursing home care, many people are worried about the possibility of abuse or neglect. Fortunately, Georgia has some protections for older residents.
Georgia families who make the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home do not do so lightly. This is done when the person's condition, illness or simply old age makes it impossible for the family to provide effective care and supervision. For some people, the facility will be certified by Medicaid with various levels of care provided and the cost mitigated by the person's eligibility to receive Medicaid.
Georgia families generally spend long hours researching facilities that offer elder care services. Usually, these efforts pay off with the discovery of a nursing home that can provide comprehensive and supportive care for an elderly or disabled relative. Occasionally, however, these efforts fail, and the loved one ends up in what might be termed an "abuse center" instead of a care center.
As loved ones begin to lose the ability to manage their daily care, finding a facility that can provide these services becomes a high priority. Most people in Georgia turn to one of two federal programs: Medicare or Medicaid. Medicare is intended to pay for most health care services for people over 65, and Medicaid is intended to provide medical care for people who do not have the necessary income or savings to pay for their own care.