Selecting a Pennsylvania Nursing Home
Finding a nursing home for an aging loved one is complex, and family members face tremendous pressure to select the correct facility. While most nursing homes take pride in their facility and hire dedicated, caring staff members, that is not always the case. Thus, it is essential to do your due diligence before selecting a nursing home, whether it is for yourself or a family member.
Below are a few things to remember when reviewing the long-term care options available.
Identify the Most Important Needs
There is a wide range of available long-term care options, from assisted living to skilled nursing facilities. You should first determine the daily assistance you or your loved one requires, which will significantly narrow down your choices. Additional considerations may be a religious affiliation, specialty services offered by the facility, the availability of hospice care, and the proximity to your loved one’s doctors or the nearest hospital.
Talk to Friends and Family Members
While checking a nursing home’s online reviews is an excellent place to start, it is always best to speak with people you know and trust when selecting a nursing home for a loved one. Identify friends or family members who have loved ones at nursing homes, and ask about their experiences. You can also ask your doctor if they have any recommendations (or places you should avoid).
Interview Management at Various Facilities
Once you narrow your list down to a manageable number, your next step is to call each facility. During your initial phone call, your goal is to gather basic information about the facility, such as its number of beds, current occupancy rate, and monthly cost. You can obtain more detailed information during a visit.
Visit Multiple Nursing Homes Before Making a Decision
You wouldn’t buy a car without driving it first, and you shouldn’t place a loved one in a nursing home without visiting the facility in person. Granted, this is made more difficult with the COVID-19 restrictions; however, try to arrange a visit whenever possible.
Ask Questions During Your Visit
Before you tour a nursing home, prepare a list of questions to ask the manager or staff member showing you around the facility. For example, you may ask about how long the director has been at the facility, the staff turnover rate, or what social events are arranged for residents. If you notice something that strikes you as odd, don’t hesitate to ask about it.
Conduct an Unscheduled “Drop-In” Visit
While you can get much information through a scheduled visit, the nursing home will have time to put its best foot forward. Thus, if you are serious about a particular nursing home, it’s worth dropping by unannounced to see if the facility presents the same way it did during your scheduled visit.
Carefully Review the Nursing Home Contract
Nursing homes will present residents (or their loved ones) with a contract before they admit a resident. It is essential that you carefully review the agreement. Ideally, you should have an elder law attorney review the nursing home contract to ensure the terms are standard and fair to your loved one. Regardless, it is vital that you understand your rights in the event of the unexpected.
Do You Need Help Selecting or Paying for a Pennsylvania Nursing Home?
Planning for the future need for long-term care for yourself or a loved one can be overwhelming. However, you do not have to go through this complicated process alone. At the Harrisburg estate planning law firm, Hazen Law Group, we work with people from all walks of life with diverse backgrounds, financial needs, hopes, and goals. Our team of experienced nursing home planning advocates understands that your family’s needs are unique, and we will cater our discussions and recommendations accordingly. The founder of Hazen Law Group, Marielle Hazen, has been named one of the Best Lawyers – and the Hazen Law Group, one of the Best Law Firms – in the country by U.S. News and World Report for several years. We give you the peace of mind of knowing the best possible plan is in place to provide for your family members. To learn more about how we can help you plan for your future and that of your family, call 717-540-4332 to schedule a consultation with one of our compassionate attorneys today.