The simple truth is that no one wants to move to a nursing home. If you are married, you may have spent the majority of your life looking forward to sitting on the front porch of your home with your spouse growing old together. If you are an adult child, you may find yourself stretched thin trying to care for a parent who really should have around the clock skilled care. The desire to remain in the home causes many families to delay the decision to move a family member to nursing home care long past the point at which it should have been made. If you are now at the point where the need for skilled nursing care can no longer be avoided, one of the most important considerations when choosing a facility should be the facility’s location.
Choosing a facility that is close will help ease the transition to skilled care, both for the patient and for family and friends. If it is your spouse who needs care, and you plan to remain in the community, a facility that is within a 15-20 minute drive is preferable. Even better, look for one that can be easily accessed using public transportation if possible. If it is a parent who needs skilled nursing care, consideration should be given to other family members and close friends as well. When possible, look for a facility that is centrally located and within an hour drive for those people who are likely to visit on a regular basis.
Another important consideration is the type of facility. Skilled nursing care can be found at several different types of long-term care facilities. A traditional nursing home is at one end of the care spectrum, offering around the clock medical care. The atmosphere in a nursing home is more akin to a hospital, as a general rule, than to a retirement community. As such, you may have a roommate in a nursing home, but it won’t be your spouse.
If you do want the option to remain with your spouse, a continuing care community might be a better option. Also referred to as “multi-level care facilities,” these communities offer independent living for as long as residents are capable of living without assistance; however, they also offer skilled nursing care in the event you or your spouse (or both) reach a point where it is needed. These communities tend to be very self-contained, offering social activities, banks, gyms, transportation services, and routine medical care all within the confines of the community. Not surprisingly, these communities often have long waiting lists and can be rather pricey.
Most people are shocked at the cost of long-term care in the United States. For 2017, the average nationwide cost of a year in long-term care was over $80,000. Of course, that figure can fluctuate considerably depending on the type of care you choose and where the facility is located. The cost of care, however, is something that should be considered in any case. There are several options for covering the cost of skilled nursing care, including:
We understand that choosing and paying for a skilled nursing care facility can be challenging. Our team is dedicated to providing you with legal and financial counseling that can help you navigate the numerous options available and find solutions that work for you and your family. Our firm includes not only the legal expertise needed in these situations but also a Senior Liaison with over 30 years nursing home management experience who is able to assist families facing this decision process.
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