Five Nursing Home Planning Tips

five nursing home planning tips

If you are considering moving into a nursing home or placing a loved one in a nursing home, you may have some concerns. Nursing homes have become expensive, especially in New York City. In Manhattan, a nursing home costs an average of $500 per day, or $15,000 per month. Even if you move out outside of the city, full-time nursing home costs are an average of over $11,000 per month. 

In addition to finding a way to pay for nursing home costs, you will need to choose a nursing home, which is no easy task. You will want to find a nursing home with enough staff members, sanitary conditions, and an enriching environment. Choosing a nursing home can seem like a daunting task, but with some dedication and planning, you can increase your chances of selecting an excellent long-term care facility. 


1) Determine How You Will Pay for Nursing Home Care

As we mentioned above, nursing home costs are on the rise. Even if you have diligently saved for your retirement, paying over $10,000 a month for a nursing home can be impossible. Additionally, Americans do not want to spend their savings on nursing home care. Most people want to leave something behind for their loved ones. Hiring an experienced Medicaid planning lawyer can help you tremendously. 

When you or your loved one qualifies for Medicaid, Medicaid will pay for the cost of long-term nursing home care as long as you qualify. For most people, qualifying for Medicaid is difficult. You will need to show that your assets are extremely limited. One option is to transfer ownership of your assets into an irrevocable trust. An experienced estate and trust lawyer can help you determine the best way to protect your assets and qualify for Medicaid benefits. 


2) Set Aside Time to Search for a Nursing Home

After you determine how to cover the cost of your nursing home care, you will need to search for a nursing home that meets your needs. In some cases, finding a nursing home for a parent is an emergency. For example, when an elderly parent develops a serious medical condition, time is of the essence. In an emergency, one of the best things you can do is research the highest rating nursing homes in your area and then check their safety ratings. 

However, if you do have some time to play, it is wise to not jump into choosing a nursing home too quickly. If you are searching for a nursing home for your parents, taking the time to do your research, and engaging in a hands-on investigation will be worth it. Moving your elderly parent into a different nursing home can be traumatic. It is best to find a nursing home that meets all of your criteria, one in which you can envision your parents living for a long time. We recommend writing down a list of your “must-have” requirements in a nursing home as well as things that you would like, but on which you are willing to compromise. 


3) Ask for Referrals

As soon as you anticipate needing a nursing home, start asking your loved ones, family members, friends, and even co-workers for recommendations and referrals. Sometimes the best research you can do involves personal experiences. Nearly everybody knows someone who has experience with a loved one living in a nursing home over the last several years. 

If you are close to the person giving the recommendation, you may even ask them if you could visit their loved one in the nursing home to get a recommendation. If possible, you can ask your friend’s loved one about their personal experiences in the nursing home. Personal experiences are incredibly important. In many cases, a resident will shed light on negative experiences at the home, even when a nursing home has relatively high reviews online. 


4) Conduct Your Own Research

Making a decision based solely on information on the internet is never wise. However, the internet can be an important starting point for researching nursing homes when used properly. You can start by reading reviews for the nursing home facility you have in mind. Some nursing home websites contain plenty of helpful information, including prices, activities, and amenities that are included in the monthly cost of care. Other times, nursing home websites are bare and have not been updated recently. 

Once you narrow your options down to five or fewer, the best thing you can do is to visit the facilities in person. The nursing home’s website might not reflect the quality of the nursing home in real life. In other cases, the positive reviews and descriptions on the website may be overblown, and you end up walking away from the nursing home unimpressed. 


5) Use Medicare Compare to Check the Safety of the Nursing Home

Medicare provides a website that allows you to search for nursing homes and compare them to other nursing homes. This search engine will allow you to see the overall rating of the facility as well as detailed information on health inspections that have taken place at the facilities. 

Specifically, health inspections contain information about staffing rates and other important quality measures among other important aspects. There are other websites that provide information and rate nursing homes, but Medicare Compare offers legitimate, and unbiased ratings and they are a trusted source for providing information. 

Speak to an Experienced Nursing Home Planning Lawyer Today

By following the steps above, you will be able to choose the right nursing home for you or your parent, or other loved one. By using these tips, you will be able to increase your odds of choosing a competent, compassionate, and caring nursing home facility. If you need assistance paying for your nursing home costs, speaking to an experienced New York City nursing home planning lawyer can help. Contact the Law Offices of Barton P. Levine as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.

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