Moving into a nursing home can be a tough decision, but it can be a good one if you are in need of care that your family just can't provide you with. However, you do have to protect yourself. For example, you probably do not want anyone at the nursing home to end up with control of your pension payments. Luckily, following a few tips can help prevent this.
Give Someone You Trust Power of Attorney
If you do not already have a family member who has power of attorney over you and your finances, now is the time to put this in place. Choose someone who you know you can trust, and talk to an estate attorney about the process.
Have Your Money Sent Straight to Your Bank
Even if you have been receiving paper checks for your pension for years, it is important to have your money direct deposited into your bank account if you are going to be moving into a nursing home. Checks can be mishandled, and money that is sent to the nursing home might be handled in a way that you did not want it to be. Having it deposited straight into your checking account can help prevent this problem.
Also, make sure that you maintain your same bank account or that you open a new bank account at a bank that you trust. Some nursing homes do have their own account options, but this can put you at risk. You may feel safer by having your money in an account with a bank that is outside of the facility.
Many nursing homes have certain policies about cash disbursements. For example, they might give you a limited amount of money each month, even if you have more than enough money in your checking account. Asking questions about how finances are handled now can help prevent problems later. If you are uncomfortable with any of the laws that the nursing home has in place, then you should consider talking to your lawyer about it. Shop around until you find a nursing home that you feel comfortable with and that will allow you to have as much control over your own money as possible.
It's unfortunate that you have to worry about such matters, but the truth is that not everyone is honest when it comes to handling seniors' finances. Following these tips, however, should help you protect your money after you move into a nursing home.