Most nursing home admission packets require signature by a “responsible party”. Since the parent being admitted often is unable to sign his/her name, the documents often are signed by the adult child making the arrangements. Be very careful about how the documents are signed!

  • Although federal and state law prohibits a nursing home from requiring a child to guarantee the payment of a parent’s nursing home costs, a child, inadvertently, may end up volunteering to take on that responsibility.
  • Whenever possible, have all admission documents signed by the parent who will be entering the nursing home.
  • If you are signing for a parent because you are named as an agent in a Durable Power of Attorney Instrument, sign “Name of Parent, By, Name of Child, Agent”.
  • If you are signing for a parent because you have been appointed as a Conservator by the Probate Court, sign “Name of Parent, By, Name of Child, Conservator.”
  • If the nursing home requires one or more names to contact in case of emergency, use the phrase “contact person” not “responsible person”.

Please contact our office if you need help reviewing nursing home admission agreements. We can suggest language that will avoid the inadvertent assumption of financial responsibilities by an adult child.