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Making The Complex Understandable

Nursing home care in Louisiana: Read contracts before signing

Reading the fine print in contracts is something many people don't do. But when it comes to a living situation for an elderly family member in Louisiana, both the potential resident (if he or she is able) and a family member would be wise to read every bit of a contractual agreement before committing to a nursing home. The resident and/or family member will want to ensure that everything in the document is in order and that the would-be resident will be getting the best possible nursing home care

There are some things to look out for when it comes to these kinds of contracts. First, they should spell out concisely and completely what is being offered, including exact prices. What is not included should also be mentioned. Medicare and Medicaid should be mentioned in the document, including the resident's right to apply for them. Anything that directly involves the resident, like moving him or her to another room, should also be dealt with in the contract.

When it comes to the don'ts -- look for things like restrictions on visiting hours, or limits on liability for personal property of the resident. Don't sign if there is mention of having to pay upfront when the resident may be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. Also, it is wise for family members not to act as guarantors unless they wish to foot the bill for the resident's care.

Getting a Louisiana attorney's advice before signing a nursing home agreement may save a lot of problems down the road. A lawyer may be able to look over the contract to ensure a client's best interests are at the forefront when it comes to his or her nursing home care.  It is always prudent to get an experienced legal opinion prior to signing on the dotted line.

Source: findlaw.com, "Do's and Don'ts - Nursing Home Contracts", Accessed on Feb. 16, 2018

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