If your parent has reached the stage in life where he or she cannot take care of him or herself, you may have begun to consider moving your parent into a long-term care facility. At the start of this process a number of questions may enter your mind. These questions could include: How do you select the right facility for your parent? What factors should you consider? How will you be able to afford the cost of this care?

We know this can be a very challenging time for you and your loved one. If your parent only needs minor assistance, then an assisted living facility may be appropriate. Should your parent need more significant help, however, when it comes to his or her activities of daily living then he or she may need a skilled nursing home facility.

The process of finding the perfect nursing home to meet the needs of you, your parent and your family members can be challenging. We work with families each day making this choice and find ways to pay for good long-term care. Let us share a few of the tips we give our clients when it comes to choosing the right skilled nursing facility for your parent.

1. Make a priority list.

Having a priority list of what is most important to you and your parent can help filter out nursing homes that won’t meet your criteria early on. Your time is extremely valuable and you do not want to interview or tour facilities that will not be right for you in the long-run. For example, the location of the facility, size, specializations and price are all factors that you want to consider and rank in order of importance on your list.

2. Determine the location that is right for you.

While location is important, it may not be the most important qualification for you. In some cases, a more qualified nursing home for your parent’s condition may be further away than you initially hoped but will provide better care overall for your parent. If you are local, before looking at nursing homes, decide how far you and your family are willing to drive to visit your parent. With this consideration in mind, then look at nursing homes only within that radius. Do not just pick a nursing home because it is right around the corner from your house. Instead, choose one that is within your intended radius and has the best qualifications for your parent’s medical necessities.

3. Visit the nursing homes in person.

Online reviews can tell a significant amount about a nursing home facility but they cannot give you all the information you need. Visiting the locations in person will allow you to get a better sense of the level of care the residents receive and how the facility is managed. Look to see if the facilities are well maintained, if the residents are happy and clean, and if the staff are positive. While you may want to schedule a tour, especially in the interview phase, also visit unannounced as you compare facilities.

4. Ask a lot of questions.

When you visit the locations, ask as many questions as you can about where your parent will be living. You want to have a complete understanding of the inner workings of the nursing home. This will help you evaluate and judge the level of care you believe you can expect your parent to receive as a resident. In addition, the more questions you ask upfront, allows you to be prepared and reduces the chance that you will be caught off guard by anything in the future.

We know just how important this process is for you and your family. Do not hesitate to evaluate each facility to better understand how each location operates. Your research can result in you finding the perfect fit for your parent. Please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions on this or any elder law planning issues related to the long-term care needs of your parent.

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