What to Consider Before Choosing a Nursing Home

Today, as many as 1.3 million Americans live in nursing homes. Choosing a nursing home for a loved one can be difficult and there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before making a decision. Although every elder’s needs are unique, there are common criteria that may serve as a guide when choosing the best nursing home for a loved one’s needs. These important factors include method of payment, location, quality, and specialized services.

Method of Payment

Nursing home care can be very expensive so it is important to determine a method of payment early on the the selection process. The average cost of a room in a nursing home costs upwards of $83,000 per year. To pay for these services, almost 70 percent of seniors rely on Medicaid to fund their nursing home care, according to George Washington University. Seniors who cannot afford to pay for private nursing home care for an indefinite period of time should consider applying for Medicaid to support their long-term care needs. To qualify for Medicaid coverage, an individual must meet certain income and resource requirements. If an individual has more than the asset allowance for Medicaid, he or she may consult a Medicaid consultation company who can assist them in “spending down” their assets, expedite eligibility, and resolve other Medicaid-related issues that may arise. If he or she chooses to fund these services through Medicaid, it is important to pick a facility that is Medicaid certified.

Location of Nursing Home

Location will play a big part in determining what nursing home facility is best for an elderly loved one. It is important to choose a facility that is close enough for family members and loved ones to visit the resident often. According to California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, studies have shown that visiting residents improves their overall well-being and helps ensure that they receive quality care consistently. If a resident’s family or loved ones live close enough to visit often, they may be able to monitor the senior’s condition and care, participate in care planning decisions, and respond quickly if an emergency was to arise.

Quality of Care

Quality of care is a primary consideration when choosing a nursing home facility for a loved one. It is important that family members and loved ones research each nursing home’s record of care, including history of complaints, deficiencies and citations. If possible, take the opportunity to speak to other resident’s family members, friends, physicians, or others about each facility. Their feedback can be helpful in determining whether or not the nursing home is the right fit for the senior. Also, it is important to ask for details on the ratio of staff to residents during each shift. A lack of adequate staffing in a nursing home may lead to neglect and other deficiencies in care.

Specialized Services

It is always important to take a senior’s special needs into consideration when selecting a nursing home. Some elders may require ventilators, psychiatric care, or specialized treatments that may be offered at only certain facilities. Seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia may require extra assistance and supervision by staff members. Make sure that the facilities under consideration can provide the services that are needed by asking staff members detailed questions.

Choosing a nursing home that fits the needs of an elderly loved one can be difficult. Ofttimes, the decision comes at a time of crisis or by family members who, through no fault of their own, may not be familiar with the wide range of home and community services available to them. The geriatric care consultants at P&P Medicaid are experienced in nursing home placement and know all the options available. Currently, P&P Medicaid assists families with these decisions in Nassau County, Suffolk County and Queens. Additionally, P&P Medicaid specializes in Medicaid eligibility services for skilled nursing care facilities. For more information about our services or to schedule a consultation, call (516) 541-4770.

7 thoughts on “What to Consider Before Choosing a Nursing Home”

  1. I appreciate the tip you gave, to do research into any history complaints or citations a nursing home has had. My grandparents are getting to be pretty old and will need assisted living soon. It’s a big change, but knowing they are going somewhere with the best care and reviews, will make it a little easier.

  2. It’s interesting that you mentioned finding a home that is close enough for family to visit often. I have been looking at a few nursing homes, but I don’t know how to choose one. I can see how finding one that is close by, could help me make a decision.

  3. Finding a nursing home that meets all the right requirements is important when considering putting a loved one in their care. I like that you suggest talking to other resident’s family members to get their honest feedback on the facility. My grandmother has been considering moving into a home similar to this.

  4. Finding the right nursing homes for a loved one can be so hard. I like what you say about location being important. My mother is going to need a home soon, and we want to find a facility that we can visit often.

  5. I like that you recommend to think about the location of the nursing home. My grandpa might need to be moved to a nursing home as he is having difficulty taking care of himself. I’ll have to remind my parents to find one that is close to our house.

  6. Thanks for your tip to make sure that the nursing home you choose is in the area that friends and family can come visit their relative or friend that is there. I like how you said that this will allow them to know how their old friend is doing and to always be there for them. My husband is considering changing his parents into a nursing home, and he is considering facilities that are close by.

  7. My wife and I are very busy with our work and barely have enough time to spend with our kids. As much as I wouldn’t want to take my mom to a nursing home, we have to. I agree that location and the quality of care are important. My kids are very fond of their “gramma” and would want to visit her often. I also want to make sure that my mom gets the best care she deserves especially late in her life. Thanks for the great tips!

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