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How to choose a nursing home

There is no escaping the fact that we and our loved ones will grow old. In many instances, this means that a loved one may eventually become unable to care for him or herself. When this happens, plans must be made with regard to one's long-term care. There are many options, including home health care, but many New Yorkers wind up turning to nursing homes. Although it may sound easy enough, choosing a nursing home can actually be a challenging endeavor. Yet, it is one of great importance and should not be taken lightly.

Fortunately, by taking certain steps, individuals may be able to select the perfect nursing home for themselves or a loved one. The first step is simply identifying nursing homes in one's area. This can be done by asking medical professionals, family and friends or utilizing resources available through government websites.

The second step is to compare the quality of those nursing homes that are in one's area. To do so, one can call the licensing agency the nursing home is licensed through, or even speak with the state's health department, in order to obtain information about the quality of care provided at any particular nursing home. By contacting these agencies, an individual may learn of any complaints filed against a nursing home. There are also online tools through the government that can assist with comparing multiple nursing homes.

The third step is actually visiting prospective nursing homes. This is perhaps the most important step. Visiting a nursing home allows an individual to meet residents and staff, as well as get a feel for the general social and medical atmosphere. When visiting a nursing home it is important to ask any questions one may have, as this information will serve as a strong basis for one's decision, which could be long-term in nature.

Once a nursing home is chosen, it must be paid for, which is no easy task. That is why it is just as important for an individual to financially plan for his or her long term care while carrying out the steps discussed above. Long-term care planning, including Medicaid planning and assessing one's Medicare benefits, is crucial to securing an appropriate nursing home. Those who would like assistance with the nursing home selection process, including how to plan for its payment, can speak with a legal professional who is experienced in this field.

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