Legal Help Evaluating Nursing Homes
Many people need the assistance of a nursing home later in life, but finding the right fit for your personality, lifestyle and medical needs — or those of a parent or loved one — can be an overwhelming task. At Weinstein & Randisi, a Rochester, New York, elder law firm, we help clients navigate all aspects of long-term care planning, including advising them on how to choose a nursing home.
Selecting the place you will live and the people who will care for you is incredibly personal. There is no one right answer, but there are a number of questions which you and your family should consider before making your decision, including:
Is a nursing home your only choice? While many people choose nursing home care, it may not be the only option available to you. Some individuals find that in-home care or utilizing community services, like Meals on Wheels or visiting programs, better fits their needs.
What geographic region would you like to be in? It is important to consider whether it is more important for you to remain close to your home, or whether you may want to be closer to children and other family members.
Are you a veteran? There are special facilities, including veterans’ hospitals, which may be available to you if you served your country. Exploring these options — and veteran benefits — is important before you make a final decision.
What nursing homes have a strong reputation in the community? The experiences that others have had with homes in the area can tell you a lot about what you can expect. While not everyone has the same needs, general impressions — especially about the staff — are important to consider.
Did you like the feel of the home on the tour? Touring a nursing home can feel like going on a sales pitch, but you can learn a lot about a facility just from walking through common areas. Did the residents look happy? Was the staff friendly? Was the building clean? Would you feel comfortable in one of their rooms or apartments?
What is the home like at different points in the day? It may seem like touring just once is enough, but there is a lot you can learn from visiting at different times. Are there activities scheduled throughout the day? Is it social in the morning but quiet in the afternoon? Getting a feel for the entire experience can help you know if a place is right for you.
What are the entrance fee requirements? Once you’ve found a home you like, it is important to ask about ALL costs associated with living there. Often, an entrance fee requires you to have a substantial down payment set aside.