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Can a nursing home transfer a patient to another state?

I don't see anyone answering your question twhit52. I have a very similar question. My mom is in a NY nursing home for the last 2.5 yrs. She's well taken care of. However, I live in Charlotte, NC and the trips every 2 months are taking their toll on my husband's who has Gold Stage IV COPD. We drive because we have 2 small dogs and it's easier to drive than fly. He can't fly anymore!! Anyway, my family lives in NY but I'm the only that takes care of my mom. She is steadily declining where's she's not eating, not wanting to take showers (completely unlike her - she was super clean!!), staying in her room most days, won't attend activities,etc., she stays really sad when we leave because she wants to come home with me. She still recognizes us. I have POA & HCP. She used to live with me when she was first diagnosed and made my life miserable. One day she got a plane ticket and left!! Of course she's too far advanced now to do that. I want to have her close to me but do not know if a nursing home can transfer patients to a nursing home in another state or if anyone else has had any experience with transferring a parent with Alzheimer's from one state to another. If I bring her to my home I have to prepare my house so she doesn't fall, leave the house. I have a 2 story house with no shower/bedroom downstairs. And no way to secure the stairs other than "gating" the upstairs. I need a solution to this situation because I have to think of my very ill husband as well.

twhit52 I wish you the best with your mom and hope you get a solution soon. It's not easy to see our parents so helpless. God bless you as you do what's best for you and your mom.

Status: Open    Aug 15, 2016 - 07:09 AM

Elder Law, Senior Living Communities

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Aug 20, 2016 - 09:58 AM

The short answer is yes, patients are transferred between care facilities all the time. However in eldercare situations, the complete answer is always much more complex.

The mechanics of physically moving someone has to be considered. Are they ambulatory? Can they endure a trip of that length? Cognitively impaired people do not always travel easily. Do you intend to move her in your own car or use an ambulance? Who would pay for the ambulance?

Is there a care facility bed available in your area? In some places there are waiting lists. If her current facility is part of a chain they might be able help find a bed within their system in your area.

Bed availability can be greatly affected by who is paying for the care. If she is paying her own costs, then the chances of finding a vacancy will be higher than if her costs are being covered by a government program like Medicade. Medicare does not cover long term care and Medicade is a state program. Changing states may involve having to serve an eligibly waiting period where her resources would have to pay for the care. When Medicade is paying for the care this limits the available options for facilities as some do not accept Medicade and some greatly limit the number of available Medicade beds.All this needs to handeled BEFORE she is moved.

Does your mother have other children? What are their feelings about moving her to another state? Ideally all eldercare decisions should be made by the entire family, but family dynamics does not always make this possible. You should not ‘steal’ their mother from them without at least consulting them first. You have said that they don’t provide care for her, but they need to be given a chance to do so before any changes are made.

As you describe your house it sounds like it is a totally inappropriate place for your mother. To place an elderly person in an environment where access to necessary facilities is impossible (e.g. bathing) or the likelihood of injury is high (e.g. stairs) is morally wrong and likely has legal prohibitions too. Do NOT bring her there!

There is another consideration that needs to be faced head on. You have a frail mother and a sick husband. I know you love your mother and want the best for her. However the vow you made to care for your husband (the man you love) ‘in sickness and in health’ did NOT come with an escape clause saying ‘unless my mother is sicker’. Make sure you mother is comfortable sure, but your first responsibly is to care for your husband.

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