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Nursing Home Planning - Picking the Right One

Much in the same way estate planning can help you prepare for your financial future, nursing home planning can help you prepare for future living situations and specific healthcare needs. When you become unable to live alone and care for yourself, you and your family will have to make some tough decisions.

Most often, it is family members who will handle most of the planning.

With nursing homes, there are good ones and bad ones. You want to do everything you can to ensure that you are taken care of in a safe and friendly environment and, like all goals, long-term planning can be highly beneficial.

If a parent is afflicted with a sudden injury or health problem, you may have to find a proper nursing home on short notice. In some cases, A Medicaid planning attorney may be available to help you locate a suitable home.

If possible, though, nursing home planning is encouraged. So, what should you look for in a good home?

Peter Keating recently asked that very question in a Smart Money article.

The first step, an obvious one, is to simply pull together a list of potential homes. Perhaps create a spreadsheet with location, price and amenities. If you cannot find this information on your own, your state should have resources to help you.

Keating recommends checking with your long-term care ombudsman, who is responsible for advocating on behalf of nursing home residents in your area. You can locate yours at www.ltcombudsman.org/ombudsman.

Second, do your homework. Find any available reviews of the nursing homes you are considering and look for warning signs such as health and safety citations. You may be able to accomplish this with a simple Google search or you may need to use more serious resources. Whatever it takes, this is an invaluable step in determining the best home.

Lastly, go there in person and judge the facility and staff for yourself. Meet with the home's director and make sure that he or she is resident-focused. By doing your due diligence, you can help ensure that your loved ones are cared for and safe.

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