At some point in your life it is likely that you will be faced with the difficult decision to put a parent or other elderly loved one in a nursing home. Deciding it is time to start looking at facilities it never easy. Choosing the right facility is often even more difficult. Like most people you are likely working around a tight budget as well, making it even harder to find the right nursing home. During your search you may be wondering “ Are county nursing homes o.k.? The truth is that there is no universal answer to that question because not all county nursing home are good but not all are bad either.
Unfortunately, elder abuse and neglect is on the rise across America due in large part to the simple fact that the elderly population in the United States is growing as well. By 2050 experts estimate that older Americans (65 and older) will outnumber their younger counterparts (21 and younger) for the first time in recorded history. With more people living well into their “golden years” the demand for services geared toward the elderly and housing intended for the elderly has increased dramatically as well. In some cases this increased demand has produced cutting edge facilities with innovative services while in other cases the increased demand has simply led to cutting corners in the rush to open the doors. Assuming that simply because a nursing home is a county run facility means it is in the latter group, however, would be a mistake. Some county nursing homes are better than their privately funded and operated counterparts. Instead of focusing on whether a nursing home is a county home or a private facility, consider the following when checking into any potential nursing home for your loved one:
- Check the resident to staff ratio.
- Check certifications and licenses for the facility and staff.
- Check with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to get the results of recent inspections.
- Show up unannounced at least once to see how the facility appears when no one is expected.
- Try and speak to some of the current residents to see how they like living there.
- Find out what type of recreation and activities the home has for the residents.
- Make sure it is Medicaid approved as over half of all seniors will depend on Medicaid to help cover the cost of long-term care.
If you have additional questions or concerns about long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, or elder law issues in general, contact the experienced Missouri elder law attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.