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FINDING A NURSING HOME: THE PROCESS Educate Yourself Early Education is the key to making sure you choose the nursing home that is best for you or your loved one. Start the process early by educating yourself as soon as it is determined that a nursing facility is needed and by relying on key advisors that you trust. There is a lot to learn, from understanding the care services that nursing homes provide to learning how to pay for care. Studies show that those who do their due diligence will have an overall better nursing home experience than those who do not. There is a difference in the quality of care and the services provided among nursing facilities. Some are better than others. What Care Services Do You Need? The medical needs of nursing home residents vary greatly between individuals. Likewise, the nursing care services available vary greatly between facilities. Although every nursing home provides basic health care services, some facilities serve special needs like wound care, Alzheimer’s or the care of tracheotomies. Some even have specialized medical equipment to take care of patients on dialysis or ventilators. If you are being discharged from a hospital, your physician or discharge planner can provide you with a list of nursing homes that can cover your specific health care needs. (See page 32) Telephone, Tour & Decide Start by telephoning the facilities on your initial list. Ask to set up a time that you can come by for a visit and tour the facility. It is a good idea to find homes close to your loved ones so they are able to visit more frequently. Ask family and friends for recommendations and whether they have had any personal experience with any of the homes on your list. From your initial list, you will be able to narrow the field of choices down to two or three that you would like to visit. Touring the nursing home is perhaps the most important determining factor when evaluating a facility. Make sure you take along our Nursing Home “Questions to Ask” Comparison Worksheet (See page 34) or use our Nursing Home Quick Tips List if time is short when touring the home you are considering. Do more than just talk to the administrator and the admissions director. Talk to the care staff if possible while touring. Keep your eyes open to both what you see and what you don’t see happening during the tour. Even though time is sometimes critically short for selecting a nursing home, be selective. 30


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