Nursing homes can be a compassionate force in area

BRATTLEBORO — As an elder law attorney in Brattleboro, I read with great interest Gary Grinnell's March 9 piece, “Disappeared.”

He equates nursing homes to prisons and states that each year thousands of family homes are sold to pay Medicaid liens by the big companies that own the nursing homes.

While serious abuses take place nationwide in nursing homes, in this area we are fortunate to have several excellent facilities, mostly nonprofit, with compassionate staff who work hard.

Although most of us would prefer to stay at home, if that becomes impossible, it is important to have an alternative. Families should not be made to feel guilty for seeking out the best care possible for their loved ones.

While Mr. Grinnell states that judges “rubber stamp” paperwork to “railroad” people into nursing homes, that has certainly not been my experience.

I would add that with proper legal planning, much can be done to pass assets on to the next generation, especially the home, for lower- and middle-income families.

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