6 tips to help you select the right nursing home

If your aging relative requires nursing home care, you probably want him or her to live in the best nursing home available. The thing is, nursing homes can appear like a great match for your loved one, when, in fact, they are not.

It takes time and diligence to ensure you've made the right selection when it comes to nursing homes and long-term care facilities. However, by keeping the following nursing home selection tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to doing the right thing for your loved one.

Be sure to follow these nursing home selection tips

Consider what's important. Before shopping for nursing homes make a list of what your loved one needs in terms of physical therapy, meals, special care, religious environment, special needs and hospice care. Also, consider somewhere close so it's easy for you to visit your loved one.

Ask your community for advice. Make sure to ask family, friends, religious leaders and social workers where they suggest you take your loved one. They may know of some great nursing facilities.

Call and talk to the nursing centers. Before taking the time to visit a facility, call them and ask as many questions as you can to determine whether it's a potential match.

Visit the nursing home. Go to the nursing home and personally meet with director. Ask for a tour and use your critical eye to judge the facility as best you can. Do the residents look happy and healthy? Do the staff interact kindly with you and the residents? Is the nursing home Medicaid and Medicare certified?

Visit a second time. Before making your final selection make a surprise visit at a different time and day of the week. This way you can meet other members of the staff and consider showing up at a mealtime to inspect the dining facilities.

Read the fine print. Take a close look at the fine print and contracts. Take the contract to a lawyer before signing it.

Need help transferring your loved one to a nursing home?

Relatives can do a lot to help their loved ones find a nursing facility as a part of a responsible estate plan. With time, diligence and an understanding of the law and nursing home contracts, your relative will no doubt be well-taken care of at the nursing home you choose.

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