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How to Choose a Nursing Home- Part 8

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 4: Choose the nursing home that meets your needs.

When you have all the information about the nursing homes you’re interested in, talk with people who understand your personal and health care needs. This might include your family, friends, doctor, clergy, spiritual advisor, hospital discharge planner, or social worker.

What if more than one nursing home meets my needs?

If you find more than one nursing home you like with a bed available, use the information you got to compare them. Trust your senses. If you don’t like what you saw on a visit (for example, if the facility wasn’t clean or you weren’t comfortable talking with the nursing home staff), you may want to choose another nursing home. If you felt that the residents were treated well, the facility was clean, and the staff was helpful, you might feel better about choosing that nursing home.

What if I’m helping someone make a decision? 

If you’re helping someone, keep the person you’re helping involved in making the decision as much as possible. People who are involved from the beginning are better prepared when they move into a nursing home. If the person you’re helping isn’t alert or able to communicate well, keep his or her values and preferences in mind.

What if I don’t like a nursing home?

If you visit a nursing home that you don’t like, look at other options, if available. Quality care is important. If you’re in a hospital, talk to the hospital discharge planner or your doctor before you decide not to go to a nursing home that has an available bed. They may be able to help you find a more suitable nursing home or arrange for other care, like short-term home care, until a bed is available at another nursing home you choose.

However, you may be responsible for paying the bill for any additional days you stay in the hospital.
Moving can be difficult. However, an extra move may be better for you than choosing to stay at a facility that isn’t right for you. Be sure to explain to your doctor or discharge planner why you aren’t happy with a facility that they may be recommending.

Once in the nursing home, if you find that you don’t like the nursing home you chose, you can move to another facility with an available bed. The nursing home you leave may require that you let them know ahead of time that you’re planning to leave. Talk to the nursing home staff about their rules for leaving. If you don’t follow the rules for leaving, you may have to pay extra fees.

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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