If you have an elderly loved one in your life, chances are that you may be faced with choosing a nursing home at some point in the future. If you believe that nursing home care will be needed, it is best to start your search as soon as possible in order to locate the best and most affordable care available. Between the time it takes to complete the application process, the time it takes to arrange for the financial aspect of nursing home care, and the fact that many good homes have a waiting list, it could be months before your loved one is able to make the move to the nursing home you select. Consider the following tips during your search for the right nursing home:
- Utilize neutral third-party sources such as Medicare’s online search tool. Here, you will be able to compare health inspections, staff, quality, and overall ratings for homes in your desired area.
- Ask your elder law attorney, family members, friends or co-workers for a recommendation. As with many things in life, there is no better source than someone who has personally used the product or service.
- Check with the state’s elderly ombudsman, department of elder affairs, or other similar agency to ensure that the nursing home is properly licensed and without significant complaints.
- Visit the nursing home numerous times. Make at least half of the visits unannounced and stagger your visits among different days and times.
- Check stats such as the patient to staff ratio (one staff for every six patients is ideal) as well as the qualifications of the staff. Look for a home with a physician on staff at all times and a high number of registered nurses, therapists, and other medical professionals on staff as well.