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Long term care planning should include placement options

Not every nursing home is created equal, which is why health care placement options should be a part of your long term care planning. Do you have a specific facility in mind, or are there some things you would like loved ones to avoid when selecting a nursing home if necessary? Doing a little research now can help you establish concrete wishes for your long term care planning.

In Monroe County alone, the State of New York lists 34 nursing homes. The facilities range from small, privately owned operations that support a dozen or two dozen beds to larger facilities that house over one hundred patients. Some facilities are Medicare and Medicaid certified; others take specific commercial insurance. Private pay facilities may exist that work with families on monthly payment plans.

The amenities at every facility will be different as well. Some nursing homes are attached to assisted living facilities, providing a step-down approach to end-of-life care. While staying in a facility that provides assisted living services rather than ongoing medical care, individuals may be able to take advantage of outings and travel opportunities.

Some nursing homes engage patients in recreational activities, including crafts and games. Not all nursing homes are skilled nursing facilities, which means that certain facilities are more able to deal with debilitating or serious conditions than others. All of these factors can be part of a decision on what nursing home to choose.

At the time of estate planning, most people don't know what factors will definitely come into play during end of life. Spelling out some decisions for different conditions can help care providers make those decisions when the time comes. Individuals should also be aware of financial obligations and understand how things such as Medicare and Medicaid fit into the picture.

Source: New York State Department of Health, "Monroe County Nursing Homes" Sep. 04, 2014

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