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.
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.