How to Pick the Right Nursing Home for Your Loved Ones
One of your top considerations when choosing a nursing home for your loved ones should certainly be the cost of care and your personal budget. Nursing home care is expensive; to be sure, the average cost of a nursing home in the United States is between $205 and $229 per day, or $6,235 and $6,965 per month, according to LongTermCare.gov. For many families, these costs can be crippling.
There are typically three ways to pay for nursing home care. These include:
- Personal funds. The most common way to pay for nursing home care is through one’s own personal resources. This may come from a personal savings account, or via assistance from family members.
- Long-term care insurance. Another way that some people choose to pay for nursing home care is through long-term care insurance, which refers to a type of private insurance policy that can be used to pay for a variety of long-term care, including nursing home care, as a person ages.
- Assistance through Medicaid. However, not all aging or disabled persons qualify for Medicaid - you may have to spend some of your own money first in order to qualify. Further, not all nursing homes accept Medicaid coverage. If you plan on using Medicaid to help you afford the costs of nursing home care, it is critical that you check with the nursing home first before admitting your loved one.
As you begin to think about nursing homes, set a budget, and know what your spending limits are. Some nursing homes are much more expensive than are others.Weigh Any Special Needs
If your loved one has any special healthcare needs, this should be at the top of your list when considering which nursing home to choose. It is very important that your loved one resides within a nursing home with staff and nurses that are trained in, and knowledgeable about, your loved one’s specific condition. Examples of conditions that may warrant specialty care include Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, or any other cognitive or physical disabilities.
In addition to thinking about your loved one’s health needs, you should also take the time to think about the type of nursing home care your loved one wants and needs; people with serious disabilities or health concerns will likely need more care. Types of nursing home care include: independent living facilities, assisted living facilities, intermediate care, congregate care, skilled nursing, hospice care, adult daycare, and respite care.Location, Location, Location
An important part of ensuring that your loved one is well cared for and protected from nursing home abuse and neglect is checking in on them and visiting them on a regular basis. In most cases, the more often that you are able to visit your loved one, the better. As such, the location that you choose for care is imperative; choosing a nursing home that is more than an hour’s drive away may impede your ability to see your loved one on a regular basis.
Depending upon the visiting hours and regulations of the nursing home that you choose, the location may also have a positive - or negative - impact on your loved one’s ability to see other friends and family members or leave the facility for special events or holidays.The Nursing Home’s Policies and Services
A nursing home’s policies and services can have a significant effect on your loved one’s comfort and experience during the years they spend in the facility. Everything from visiting hours to programs offered could make or break a decision.
Consider things such as the staff to patient ratio (which can be indicative of the level of care that each patient receives), the number and type of doctors and other medical professionals that the nursing home has on staff, meal times and meal options (for example, do nursing home patients have to eat at the same time as other residents or is their flexibility in mealtimes?), and social and community engagement opportunities. Also consider policies such as when nursing home residents are allowed to leave (if ever), and factors such as how most residents spend their days. Talk to residents, nurses, staff members, and managers to get a feel for the nursing home.History of Abuse or Malpractice
Finally, never select a nursing home for your loved one that has a history of abuse or malpractice, or has had numerous complaints filed against it. You can find and compare nursing homes using Nursing Home Compare, provided by Medicare.gov. If, in visiting the nursing home prior to selecting it, you notice any signs of abuse or understaffing, do not select the nursing home. Nursing home abuse is a serious problem in California, and hundreds of nursing home residents suffer every year.Contact My Law Offices Today for a Free Case Consultation
There are a lot of things to think about when selecting a nursing home for your loved one. However, even if you think that you have found the perfect place, nursing home neglect or abuse is possible. If you notice any signs of neglect or suspect that your loved one may be a victim of abuse, do not hesitate to contact me for your free consultation. I have experience representing victims of nursing home abuse, and their families, in seeking damages and holding nursing homes accountable for negligent actions. Please call me today to get started.Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Sacramento
Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 7.27.20]
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