Are you caring for an aging parent or grandparent? Are you the primary caregiver for an Older American? Has the time come when you can no longer care for this person safely in your own home? Maybe this responsibility has become too time-consuming as you are working full time as well, or maybe your loved one’s care needs have moved beyond your caregiving skill set.

We understand these challenges and, for most of our clients, the next option is to consider placing your loved one in a long-term care facility. The concerning question then is: How do I choose the right one?

First, know that there are many different answers to this question. Let us start with the most important: Should your loved one need 24 hour care, are the nursing homes you are considering Medicare-certified? Know now that this is a “must-have”. It should be a non-negotiable aspect of your search as ensuring this certification will not only help govern your expectations for care but also help you manage the financial aspect of the transition more comfortably. 

There are, however, other factors that you should consider as well so that you can make the best decision for you and your family. We will explore a few that you may not have thought about before right here on our blog.

Location, Location, Location. Where is the facility located? What is it near? What is the campus like? Are there family members, friends, or neighbors who live nearby? A large part of a smooth transition includes ensuring the senior is not alone. If possible, finding a facility that can accommodate continuing personal and community relationships is always a good benefit.

Understand the Included Fees and Costs. When you make sure that the home is Medicare certified, also request that it informs you about included services, charges, and fees in writing before your relative moves into the home. If the nursing home is Medicare and/or Medicaid certified then the nursing home must tell you about these services in writing. This information can help you make an informed decision about the right facility for your loved one.

Additional Services and Costs. It is important that you request a copy of the fee schedule for all services. This can help you to better understand what costs are covered in your monthly fee and which services may cost extra. This information is also useful because it can enable you to compare nursing home costs.

Ratings and Safety. It is imperative that you always look up the organization’s ratings. You can use tools, such as on Medicare Nursing Home Compare, to look at local facilities.  This can help you answer crucial questions like whether or not the nursing home has the appropriate staffing to handle the number of residents that live there.

Special services. Many of our loved ones still require extra medical attention. You may want to ask the home you are considering if it can provide transport for residents to see their doctors, and whether or not it is included in the breakdown of the fees.

Of course, there are other things you want to investigate before you place your relative in a nursing home, but the tips mentioned above are a very good place to start. Do not hesitate to schedule an in-person visit, as well, to see the facility firsthand. The Medicare Nursing Home Compare website can also help provide more information when making this very important decision. 

Choosing the right nursing home for a loved one is a big decision. You want the best for them. You also want it to be an affordable living situation. Our office is committed to providing those looking to transition loved ones to nursing homes with the support necessary to help make the right decision. We provide legal counsel regarding what benefits your loved one may be eligible to receive in order to cover the cost of care. We are also here to answer your questions to help you make a more informed choice. Get in touch with our office to schedule a meeting.