How to Choose a Nursing Home

How to Choose a Nursing HomeMany times a sudden accident results in the need to quickly find a nursing home for an elderly person, leaving little or no time to do the proper research. If you are caring for someone who may need a nursing home some day, taking the right steps now to choose the right nursing home could make a world of difference in someone’s life. Here are some tips on choosing a nursing home:

Research the statistics. Medicare has a nursing home ratings system called Nursing Home Compare, which is an online search tool you can use to find facilities in your area and compare inspection ratings. Follow the “Penalties” link for information from the state’s ombudsman and licensing agency on complaints for particular homes. Be sure that the home provides for your loved one’s special needs (i.e., dementia).

Visit facilities. Even if the facility you are looking into has stellar ratings online, you still need to visit it. Take an official tour and be observant, then return for an unannounced visit so you can get a good idea of the daily routine.

Determine who will pay. Medicare will only cover nursing home care for a limited period of time following a hospitalization, after which such care in Florida currently averages around $288 per day for a semi-private room and $over $300 for a private room. If your loved one has long-term care insurance, you will need to find out how much it covers. Once any privately held excess resources and any long-term care insurance benefits are exhausted, your loved one may then qualify for Medicaid to cover most of the basic cost to the extent that exceeds their income.

Find out if there is a waiting list. Many desirable nursing homes have a waiting list, so find out the average wait time and consider getting on the list now if that wait time is lengthy and you envision a need in the near future.

With the proper guidance, you can protect your finances and spare your loved ones the frustration of having to make costly and difficult decisions.  Contact us for your initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee.