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How to Choose a Nursing Home- Part 6

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.


  • Does the nursing home have an arrangement with a nearby hospital for emergencies?
  • Can my doctor care for me at that hospital?


  • Are the nursing home and current administrator licensed in my state?

Note: This means nursing homes have met certain standards set by a state or local government agency.

Certification (certified)

  • Is the nursing home Medicare- and/or Medicaid-certified?
    Note: “Certified” means the nursing home meets Medicare and/or Medicaid regulations and the nursing home has passed and continues to pass an inspection survey done by the State Survey Agency. If they’re certified, make sure they haven’t recently lost their certification or are about to lose their certification. Also, some nursing homes may only have acertain “distinct part” of their building certified for Medicare or Medicaid residents.
  • What services does the nursing home provide? Does the nursing home have the services I need?
  • Charges & fees

  • Will the nursing home tell me in writing about their services, charges, and fees before I move into the home?
    Note: Medicare- and/or Medicaid-certified nursing homes must tell you this information in writing. Get a copy of the fee schedule to find out which services are available, which are included in your monthly fee, and which services cost extra. Then, compare nursing home costs.
  • Is there a basic fee for room, meals, and personal care?
  • Are there extra charges for other services, like beauty shop services?

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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