Finding a Nursing Home

Overview

Published: 01/22/2012

Photos

Making the decision to opt for a nursing home as a means to provide proper care for yourself or a loved one is a very important decision. A decision that should only be made after careful consideration and thoughtful discussion on the choice of selecting a nursing home as the means of providing the physical, emotional and medical care you or your loved one will be needing, but are no longer able to provide in your own home.

Upon reaching the momentous decision to begin searching for the right nursing home for your needs, we at
www.SeniorCareSociety.com would like to provide you with some useful information and important steps to take before making your final selection in your nursing home care:

Choosing a Nursing Home Facility

Initially you must first evaluate what level of care you currently are in need of and are likely to need in the future. For instance, do you need constant medical supervision for an existing condition or is it simply a matter of assistance such as shopping, errands, cooking and cleaning? These are very important factors in which nursing facility and/or the types of nursing homes that are available to meet your present and future needs.

Your second thought process should be under what conditions do I want my living space to be? In other words, in an assisted living facility you may choose to have your own room or apartment located on the premises of a full service facility that provides both medical and physical assisted living (outside Dr. visits, bathing and dressing) or to share a room with another resident. Typically meals are provided either in your room, apartment or a community dining area for the residents. There are a number of services and programs that are made available to seniors that may be helpful and may or may not be incorporated into your nursing home choice options such as:

 

  • Senior Centers
  • Senior Activities
  • Faith Based Senior Programs
  • Adult Day Care
  • Legal and Financial Aid
  • Meal Programs (ie. Meals on Wheels)

 

Choosing Where To Reside

 

After determining how much care you need your next task will be on deciding where you wish to live, there are important factors to consider before looking into which nursing homes are available to you. In example you may wish to be or remain in your local area where you may have children or other family members, friends and other community ties.

 

When you have made the decision about your personal relationships, i.e. family’s ease in being nearby in order to visit and friends and community or religious ties you can then begin your search for the desired location available to you by visiting the SCS directory.

 

Here, at the Senior Care Society you will be able to find all the nursing facilities in the desired locations you seek and others as well, you should do some comparative shopping to locate the facilities that best meet all your present and future needs, and whether you may wish to forego the nearby location convenience for a facility that may be further way, but better serves all your needs. For example the neighborhood may not be located in a safer area of town or located near hospital and doctor care.The following are some additional helpful hints on finding a nursing home:

 

  • Ask trusted family, friends or clergy members. Personal experiences or references are often the best source of information on which nursing homes are the best, or in some cases ones to avoid.
  • Your personal physician or staff may also be a good reference source of nursing homes he makes doctor visits to or works with.
  • Contact your local Senior Social Service Agency which can assist you with determining if you qualify for any financial assistance and which nursing homes are available to you in your desired location.
  • You may also use the governmental agency www.medicare.gov/NHCompare to receive a list of nursing home benefits to make comparisons for the location you are seeking.

 

 

Selecting the right nursing home facility is a decision of great importance which will affect your quality of life or that of your loved one, you may wish to get the opinion of a trusted family member or confidant to assist you in making this decision and to help you in deciding which nursing homes you wish to consider. Utilizing a host of sources such as the ones previously mentioned above will help ensure that you find the best available nursing homes in your desired area.

 

Selecting A Nursing Home

 

When you have compiled a list of the facilities you wish to make your selection from there are some very specific steps we suggest you follow:

 

  1. Print our Nursing Home Checklist for a list of questions you should ask at each nursing home you visit before deciding if it is the right one for you.
  2.  Make certain you understand all the fees involved to reside there which include your current state of nursing assistance needs, but additionally what fees are involved for long term medically supervised and or critical care and whether or not it is available. Most patients and their family members likely would not want to have to move to another facility due to a change in your medical condition or care. Make certain the facility can cover your present and possible future care needs in the event they change. Naturally the facility cannot guarantee available space for a change in higher nursing care until the time arrives, but determining the availability of the option and any preferential treatment existing residents may receive in finding the soonest available placement. 
  3. Visit the facility a second and third time unannounced (only ones you are seriously considering) and ask to make a tour of the facility on your own. Talk with some of the residents and family members and inquire as to their approval or not of the living conditions there. Ask residents about the medical care, care providers, cleanliness and disposition of the staff caring for the residents. You may wish to ask to have (pay for) a meal there in the community dining area as well, allowing you to experience the quality of the food and services offered there. Visit the facility at different times of the day and evening during regular visiting hours, ask to make arrangements to pay an unscheduled visit during after hours to see how well staffed the facility is late night hours. 
  4. Ask about the available space at their facility that meets your projected time frame, and if they have a waiting list, what the projected time frame for future occupancy is. 
  5. Ask for an information packet or information forms and any other requirements they may have which the nursing home requires you to provide them with prior to your arrival. 
  6. Once you have provided the nursing home with all the necessary information and required paperwork a meeting should be scheduled to devise a care plan for you with the nursing home staff. The health care plan should include you and your family member’s expectations for your safety, personal care, emotional well being, enjoyment or entertainment, facility standards and/or any medical care that you require.

 

What To Do Once You Have Selected A Nursing Home

Below is a standard check list of things you will need to provide the nursing home with:

  • A health care power of attorney
  • A Living Will
  • Family or emergency contact information.
  • Your insurance coverage plan, company name and contact information.
  • Medical history, past and present.
  • List of medications you are currently taking.

 

 

 How Do I Make The Financial Arrangements For Nursing Home Care?

 

Nursing homes vary in what types of payment they accept and depending on your financial status what assistance is available to you if any. Below are the typical types of payment most nursing home facilities operate under:

 

  • Medicaid – Certain financial criteria must be met to qualify for this assistance, a thorough review of your finances will determine if you qualify.
  • Medicare – Medicare is available to those persons 65 years of age and older, depending on your financial status some prescription drug coverage may be available.
  • Secondary Insurance – Some insurance policies cover long term nursing home care for pre-determined amounts of time or maximum dollar caps.
  • Personal Finances – 401K accounts or other personal funds may be used or arrangements may be made for family members to pay for the nursing home care. 
  • The nursing care staff will help guide you through the coverage that may assist in paying for your stay at the facility, but it is always best to make a thorough review of your financial status with an outside third party or state/governmental agency for senior care and services see http://www.medicare.gov/Nursing/Overview.asp.

 

 

For more information on nursing homes or other viable options to home health care please visit us at www.SeniorCareSociety.com where we make you find the best options available for health care or nursing care facilities. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for you or a loved one.