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After a stay in the hospital, you or your loved one may require more medical care, rehabilitation, or supervision.

As a result, you’ll have to find a nursing home or skilled nursing facility before your loved one is discharged.

Kiplinger’s recent article entitled “Crucial Steps in the Search for the Right Nursing Home” notes that families are frequently given little time and guidance to make an informed choice.

Look at the Quality of Care. Nursing homes often specialize in areas of care, so ask the physician assigned to your case about the kind of care your loved one will need. A geriatric care manager can often recommend facilities and coordinate the transition from hospital to nursing home.

Ask Questions. When you call or visit a prospective nursing home, staff should be forthcoming and transparent when answering your questions. How they communicate with you during your visit could indicate how they will do so later, when your loved one lives there. Taking notes can be useful for future reference or evidentiary support if needed later.

Tour the Facility in Person. Many facilities provide virtual tours, but nothing is better than an in-person visit where you can use all your senses. If something doesn’t look, sound, or smell right, ask. If facilities know you’re coming, they may put on a show. So, after an initial visit, drop by again at an unpredictable time—a practice you should continue throughout your loved one’s stay. You should also see how staff members interact with each other and the residents.

Get Help with Your Search. A geriatric care manager who is a member of the Aging Life Care Association can find and coordinate post-hospital care for patients. These care managers know the reputations of facilities in their communities and understand the financial side. Once your loved one is in residence, they can be your eyes and ears as well as advocates.

For more help with finding the right care facility, speak with an experienced elder law attorney. They have significant experience with the facilities in the area and can help direct you to the best one for your loved one.

Reference: Kiplinger (Aug. 18, 2021) “Crucial Steps in the Search for the Right Nursing Home”

Suggested Key Terms: Elder Law Attorney, Long-Term Care Planning, Assisted Living, Nursing Home Care, Senior Health