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Packard Senior Services has answers!

Tips for Choosing a Good Nursing Home

The decision to place a parent into a nursing home or assisted living facility is never an easy one. Apart from the feelings of guilt that can come with this decision is the worry that the home one has chosen may only appear to be a safe, clean and friendly new home for your loved one. After all, one is leaving the care of a family member in the hands of strangers. The utmost care and sound judgment must be used in choosing a new home for your loved ones. Experts in nursing home quality say there are some steps families can take that will improve their odds of picking a well-run place. Here are just a few.

  • Make a list: There are several sources you can use to find nursing homes in your area including right here on our site. You can also use your parent’s doctor, friends and neighbors who have a family member in a nursing home as well to begin to compose a list. You will want to begin screening this list by circling candidates who are close so that it will be easy to visit your loved one.

  • Visit all homes you are considering with your love one: Remember, choosing a nursing home is not a decision that you should make unilaterally. Your loved one should have some say so in which facility he/she will be staying at. When you have narrowed down your list of candidates, consider making an unannounced visit to the home(s). This way you will be to gain a sense of how the facility operates when conditions are not ideal.

  • Find out prices and the kinds of payments they accept: While you are visiting or before, you will want to know the cost of the facility, which insurance plans they accept, etc. Price should not be the only factor when it comes to choosing a nursing home but it is an important one.

  • Keep your eyes and ears open: When you are visiting, be as observant as possible. Note how the staff interacts with each other, look for bruising and bedsores on the residents, note any overwhelming smells emanating from the facility. (Some unpleasant odors are normal due to incontinence, medications, etc.)

  • Ask questions: Be nosy. Ask probing questions about the home’s emergency facilities and access to doctors, how they handle emergencies and what their visiting hours are. Prepare a list of questions before you go to come up with some of your own questions that are specific to your personal situation.

Finally, if you are considering nursing homes the first person you should talk to is the parent or loved one who may become a resident of such a facility. After that, you should contact us. We can help you qualify for Medi-Cal Long-Term Care (LTC) benefits. Having access to these funds can help you preserve life savings that will be necessary for your own living expenses and that of your loved one.

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