The task of exploring long term care alternatives for a loved one can be an especially daunting and stressful experience. However, the stress may be lessened if you are able to plan ahead by investigating all options and making good financial plans early.
The task of locating a long term care facility or nursing home can be aided by tools available on the web. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has a tool on their website called Nursing Home Compare. The site provides detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country. Nursing homes can be located by state, city, zip code and other parameters.
The web site provides extensive data for consumers to compare the quality of any nursing home that is under consideration. The report highlights 5-Star Quality ratings, Health Inspection results, Nursing Home Staff data, other Quality Measures and Fire Safety Inspection results. Once you have narrowed the number of nursing homes that you are considering, it is important to visit the facility in person or have someone else visit on your behalf. Finally, before making a final selection, it may be helpful to get additional input from those that you trust like a family member, friend, doctor, medical professional, clergy or an elder law attorney.
In addition to the Nursing Home Compare tool, the CMS web site also provides additional resources such as a Nursing Home Checklist and Medicare’s guide to Choosing a Nursing Home. I also have found that the web site Snap for Seniors, provides a direct link to selected listings from a nursing home’s report card as provided by the Nursing Home Compare web tool. Hopefully, these tools will enable you to make the right decisions for your loved one.
Michael P. Dansack, Jr.