Whether it is your parent or another older loved one, you may find yourself in considering nursing home care for someone close to you. Deciding that nursing home care is needed is a difficult decision by itself; however, once that decision has been made, you have another difficult decision to make – choosing a nursing home. Given that you will be entrusting the care of your loved one to the facility you choose, care should be taken when making your choice. To help you, the Los Angeles attorneys at Schomer Law Group, APC offer 10 tips for choosing the right long-term care facility.
Long-Term Care Facility Tips
Deciding on a nursing home for a loved one can be an extremely difficult and stressful process, particularly when you consider the statistics relating to nursing home abuse that you have likely heard. It is hard not to worry when experts tell us that in one study 64 percent of nursing home staff members admitted to abusing residents and another study found that one in five emergency room visits among nursing home residents was attributed to abuse or neglect. To help you make the right decision when choosing a long-term care facility, consider the following tips:
- Have a clear picture of physical and mental limitations. Before you begin your search, make sure you understand any limitations (physical or mental) that apply to your loved one to ensure that they are accounted for when picking a facility.
- Understand health care needs. Speak to treating physicians to make sure you know what diagnosis your loved one has and what type of medical care he/she will require on a regular basis.
- Talk to your parent (or loved one). When possible, consult with your parent or loved one and ask them what they are looking for in a facility. For example, does your loved one want a garden or walkway? Does he/she have dietary requests? Does he/she need transportation or are social events important? While you may not find a facility that accommodates all your loved one’s requests, knowing what he/she wants in a new residence helps make your decision easier.
- Prioritize needs and wants. Make a list that prioritizes your loved one’s needs and another one that does the same for “wants.”
- Seek referrals. Ask friends, family members, co-workers, and even neighbors for referrals. Someone you know likely has experience – good or bad – with a local long-term care facility that they can share with you.
- Check for complaints. Navigate to the California Department of Public Health website to check if a facility has a history of complaints or violations.
- Check quality ratings. You can check the quality rating for a facility on the Medicare.gov website. This is also a great resource for making an initial list of facilities in your area.
- Confirm a doctor’s licensing. To check the license status and history of a facility’s primary physician (or other licensed healthcare providers) navigate to the California Department of Consumer Affairs website.
- Don’t forget recreational activities. While the medical care your loved one will receive should be a top priority, don’t forget to also consider recreational activities so your loved one feels comfortable at his/her new home.
- Make sure that complaint procedures are clear. Hopefully, everything goes smoothly at your loved one’s new residence; however, the time to find out what to do if there is a problem is before the problem becomes a problem.
Do You Have Additional Questions about Choosing a Long-Term Care Facility?
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions about choosing the right long-term care facility, contact the experienced Los Angeles elder law attorneys at Schomer Law Group APC by calling (310) 337-7696 to schedule an appointment.
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