My aunt was in a nursing home, hospital, and released to my home because she had no insurance. Awaiting Medicaid approval.

Asked over 1 year ago - Birmingham, AL

She has a son who did not sign her admission papers to the Nursing Home she was initially discharged to from her first hospital visit. The nursing home accepted co-payment of $750 and after about 10 days stated she had a GI bleed and sent her to the hospital. They would not accept her back because her son never signed admission papers. He basically wants no involvement with her care. I am not next of kin, and was told that even with Medicaid approval I could not place her in the Nursing Home because I do not have power of attorney. I don't know if a legal document exists giving her son this designation. How can I find out.? Does the fact that he is next of kin limit my ability to place her in Nursing Home pending Medicaid approval?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. John Griffin Watts


    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unfortunately some nursing homes will make up bogus reasons to not accept Medicaid patients. I've never heard of this reason before.

    As someone else suggested, look into a different nursing home.

    The son may be concerned he will be personally liable -- he should not be so it may be best to sit down with an elder law attorney in Birmingham and with the son to have a frank discussion of what needs to happen.

    Sounds like you are doing the right thing -- the honorable thing -- and I hope you will be successful getting your aunt the care she needs.

    John Watts
    Birmingham, Alabama

    No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal... more
  2. Kelly Scott Davis


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . People are admitted to nursing homes every day who have no family at all, so the next of kin issue shouldn't be a concern. There may be some other problem that they are not discussing. You could petition to become her guardian/conseervator, but that would take some time and money. You might want to either look at a different nursing home, or contact the Senior Ombudsman.

  3. Michael Leo Potter


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You certainly should look into petitioning to become her Legal Guardian. Your being next-of-kin would usually be fine as to nursing home admission. But to be safe, apply to the Court to become her Legal Guardian. Look on Avvo.Com under Find-A-Lawyer entering Elder Law as the area of practice and Birmingham AL as the jurisdiction. Good Luck!

  4. Lawrence A Friedman

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You had no obligation to take an aunt but once you did you assumed the obligation to make sure she is safe and cared for. If you want authority you can apply for guardianship. If you want to be relieved of responsibility, you can get the aunt into a hospital or nursing home and be done with it but you positively need elder law counsel to sort out your options and make sure you don't take on unintended liability.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law... more
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