Choosing the best nursing home for your loved one can be long and tedious. Making sure the facility meets your standards and has a team of nurturing caregivers who have their patient's best interests at heart can be challenging but does not have to. The process can be much smoother if you are adequately prepared and aware of what to look out for. Here's what you should keep in mind:
Know what you want. Before your search, determine what is important to you. These could be things like physical therapy options, nursing care, religious connections, distance, meals, special care for dementia patients, or if they have hospice care available.
Location. Being close to your loved one's health care facility can be very beneficial. The closer you are, the more likely you are to visit them. It will also make sure your loved one feels they are being adequately loved and taken care of and make it more likely for you to be informed of something happening.
Figure out your costs. Obviously, long-term care can be costly. It's important to research potential sources that could help pay for the ongoing expenses of your loved one's care. Here are a few options to look into:
- Life insurance (some policies)
- Social security benefits
- Long Term car insurance
- Long-term care veterans assistance (for veterans/surviving spouses)
- Proceeds from the sale of their house and other assets
- Personal funds (savings, retirement accounts, investments)
Talk with friends and family. Discussing your thoughts and plans with friends and family is essential. This can allow other perspectives and help you gain a clearer vision of what is best.
Get in touch. Call the different nursing homes you are looking into. Get connected and talk to someone letting them know you are interested. Ask about cost and if they have a waiting list.
Visit. Connect with the director and nursing director to schedule a time to visit the facility. According to the Medicare Nursing Home, here are a few things you should look for during your visit:
- Handicap access
- Medicare and Medicaid certification
- Warm interactions between staff and residents
- Residents who look well cared for
Be aware of odors, and question the director if something seems off. Strong bad-smelling odors (especially when coming from a patient's room or the kitchen) can signify something bad, as strong good-smelling odors can mean something is being covered up. Ask as many questions as you can think of. Questions to consider asking may include:
- What are the facility's visiting hours?
- What are visitation rules?
- What services are included in monthly room and board costs?
- Do the rooms have emergency call systems for residents to call for staff?
- What types of organized social activities does the facility have for its residents?
- Can the staff show the results of their last three survey inspections? If not, why?
- Is the facility locked after a specific time at night?
- Are there separate a la carte services that are additional charges?
Be sure to visit more than one time. Stopping by on a different day of the week or during meal times is also essential to consider, so you can see things and people you didn't on your first visit.
Ask your loved one's doctor. Doctors are a great resource that is commonly overlooked. They are likely to tell you facilities they recommended or would choose for a loved one of their own.
Thoroughly read your contract. Making sure you understand all elements of your contract is essential. Ask questions about anything you may have concerns about and have someone you trust look over it.
Contact an Attorney
Before making a decision and signing a contract for your loved ones' nursing home, consulting an attorney may be beneficial. This will also build a rapport in case any legal action needs to be taken later.
Contact our attorneys here at Grossman Green PLLC at (502) 215-3344 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation.