Whether it’s you, a spouse or a parent, deciding to move to a nursing home can be a stressful situation, especially if you don’t know the right questions to ask. You may read the fancy brochures and tour the facilities, but they begin to blend together and the search can feel overwhelming. Before you make your final decision, be sure to ask these questions to decide if a nursing home is the right fit:
- Is it available? This seems obvious, but availability is key. Are beds currently available or will you be subject to a waiting list prior to moving in? Be up front with the facility regarding your urgency to move and how much you can afford so it can work with you on your particular situation.
- What does it cost? If possible, find out the average cost of care for residents. Is it a flat monthly rate or based on the amount of care and attention needed? Ask nursing homes if they only accept private pay or take payments from Medicaid when you run out of money. You will want to verify what type of payments they accept for the services provided. This is the perfect time to consult with an Elder Law attorney to see if you can protect part of your hard-earned money from paying for nursing home costs.
- Does it meet the level of care? You must determine how much care is needed. Does your loved one require little supervision, 24-hour care or a special care Alzheimer’s unit? If Alzheimer’s or dementia care is required, be sure to find a nursing home that can accommodate these needs and ensure individual safety. Health can change on a daily basis. Will the facility be able to accommodate the care needed no matter how much health declines?
- Does it feel like home? Will your loved one be able to decorate, hang photos or bring a television? It is important to ask if rooms are furnished by the facility or if the family is required to provide furniture for move-in.
- Are there social events? Will your loved one be able to engage in activities that he or she enjoys? Are there daily activities to attend at the facility, such as bingo, puzzles or aerobics? It is important to determine if your loved one will enjoy living at this facility and if residing in this community will improve his or her quality of living.
- What is the nursing home’s reputation? Do you know of friends, neighbors or relatives who have had experience with a facility? Have you checked the online reviews? Shopping around is important. Make sure you don’t rush into a decision. You may visit websites such as medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare to browse detailed information on each facility in your area and compare up to three facilities at a time.
It is crucial to contact an Elder Law attorney when you discover the need for a nursing home, so you can be properly advised on how to get care without going broke. For more information on what to discuss with your Elder Law attorney, please feel free to contact AlerStallings today.