Important Information for Your Nursing Home Search
Nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities, offer 24-hour supervised care and medical assistance with meals, activities, health management, and support for residents. Communities usually have a licensed physician or nurse on the premises and often have physical and occupational therapists to cater to their residents’ needs.
Whether it’s a short rehabilitative stay or a more permanent, skilled nursing situation for your aging loved one, you’ll need to take the time to review the nursing homes in your area to find the best option.
As you start your search for a “nursing home near me,” keep these tips in mind:
1. Consider the Cost
When considering nursing home care for yourself or a loved one, understanding the cost is crucial. The cost of nursing home care can significantly vary, influenced by factors such as the length of stay, type of room, and the facility’s location. Here’s a more detailed look into these aspects, including a table to illustrate average costs.
Factors Affecting Cost:
- Length of Stay
- Short-term: Typically for recovery from surgery, injury, or acute illness. Covered by Medicare in many cases, especially if followed by a hospital stay and deemed medically necessary.
- Long-term: For individuals needing ongoing physical or medical care. Costs are usually not covered by Medicare and must be paid out-of-pocket or through long-term care insurance.
- Room Type
- Private Rooms: Offer more privacy and comfort, leading to higher costs.
- Semi-private Rooms: Shared with another resident, making it a more cost-effective option.
Private rooms are significantly more expensive than semi-private rooms. The national median cost for a private room in 2024 is $325 per day ($9,872 per month), while a semi-private room costs $284 per day ($8,641 per month).
- Location: Costs vary greatly by state, with some areas significantly more expensive than others. For example, in Alaska, the median cost for a semi-private room can reach $34,434 per month, while in Texas it’s around $5,600 per month.
- Level of Care: Additional specialized care, like memory care for dementia patients, can significantly increase costs.
- Additional Services: Some facilities charge extra for services like medication management, transportation, or laundry. Be sure to understand what’s included in the base rate.
|Type of Room
|Average Monthly Cost
|New York City
|High cost due to urban location.
|Lower cost due to rural setting.
2. Do Your Research
Choosing the right nursing home is important. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires each state to inspect any nursing home that gets money from the government. Homes that don’t pass inspection are not certified. If the facility has received a citation in a particular service area, be sure to ask questions about this area. Beware of choosing a facility with a very high number of deficiencies compared to other facilities in the area and the state average.
3. Take a Personal Tour
Touring skilled nursing homes in person is an essential part of finding the right care for your loved one. Make it a priority to see your top three picks in person. Late morning and mid-day hours are usually the best times to get a feeling for the day-to-day operations of a home. Make a second visit without calling ahead and try another day to meet different staff members. One of the most important things you can do is to talk to the residents and ask how they’re doing. Above all, trust your instincts; first impressions matter.
4. Understand the medical needs
Each nursing home has different areas of expertise. Know the medical condition of your loved one well enough to understand if the services provided are a good fit. For example, some nursing home facilities are better at caring for people after a stroke while another excels in caring for people living with cancer or Alzheimer’s. There are also cardiac rehab programs, wound care, and diabetes management programs available. Other nursing care homes cater to short-term rehabilitation. Knowing the medical conditions, gives you an advantage that speeds up recovery.
To further assist you in making an informed decision about your loved one’s care, consider using our complimentary Senior Care Needs Assessment Tool. This personalized tool is designed to address your concerns regarding your loved one’s safety and determine the right time to consider senior living options. Starting is simple: fill out the form provided, and then proceed to answer the questions on the subsequent screens. This assessment will offer you a tailored recommendation, helping you navigate the choices available for your loved one’s care with confidence.
Finding the best nursing home can be a difficult process, but the more prepared you are, the better decision you’ll make. Each nursing home has its own specialization and the type of care it’s known for. It’s important to make sure that its focus aligns with what your loved one needs.