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How to Choose a Nursing Home- Part 3

The four steps to take in order to decide which nursing home may be best for you are:

Step 1: Find nursing homes in your area;

Step 2: Compare the quality of the nursing homes you’re considering;

Step 3: Visit the nursing homes you’re interested in or have someone visit for you; and

Step 4: Choose the nursing home that meets your needs.

Step 3: Visit the nursing homes you’re interested in or have someone visit for you.

Before you visit any nursing homes, consider what’s important to you.

Quality of life

  • Will I be treated in a respectful way?
  • How will the nursing home help me participate in social, recreational, religious, or cultural activities that are important to me? Can I decide when I want to participate?
  • Do I get to choose what time to get up, go to sleep, or bathe?
  • Can I have visitors at any time? Will the nursing home let me see visitors who may come to visit at early or late hours?
  • Is transportation provided to community activities?
  • Can I bring my pet, or can my pet visit?
  • Can I decorate my living space any way I want?
  • How will the nursing home make sure I have privacy when I have visitors or personal care services?
  • Would I be able to leave the facility for a few hours or days if I choose to do so? Are there procedures for leaving?
  • Are there a variety of activities/programming being offered in the facility?

Quality of care

  • What’s a plan of care, and what does it look like?
  • Who makes the plan of care, and how do they know what I want, need, or what should be in the plan?
  • Will I be included in planning my care?
    —Will my interests and preferences be included in the care plan?
    —Will I be able to change the plan if I feel there’s a need?
    —Will I be able to choose which of my family members or friends will be involved in the planning process?
    —Will I get a copy of my care plan?
  • Who are the doctors who will care for me? Can I still see my personal doctors? Who will help me arrange transportation if I choose to continue to see my personal doctors and they don’t visit the nursing home?
  • Who will give me the care I need?
  • If a resident has a problem with confusion and wanders, how does the staff handle this type of behavior to protect the residents?
  • Does the nursing home’s inspection report show quality of care problems (deficiencies)?
  • What does the quality information on Nursing Home Compare at Medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare show about how well this nursing home cares for its residents?

To be continued….
Aaron E. Futterman, CPA, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Futterman & Lanza, LLP with offices in Smithtown, NY and clients throughout Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Richmond, New York, Westchester and Rockland Counties. He concentrates his practice to Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Medicaid Applications, Estate Planning, Probate, Estate Taxes, and Estate Administration.

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