10 Essential Things to Know About Nursing Homes

Are you looking to move into a nursing home soon? This huge change is intimidating, and many people fail to understand how many legal and personal issues need to be addressed as you look for the perfect facility. For elderly patients, this task can be daunting. However, with the right guidance, you can make the transition in a smooth, safe fashion. Before you choose a facility, be sure to look over these ten essential things to know about nursing homes:


1. Nursing Homes are Not Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities are meant for a much wider variety of people who need day-to-day assistance to lead comfortable, healthy lives. Nursing homes, on the other hand, are meant specifically for the elderly and are packed with many more services and communal features. When you’re looking for a nursing home, be sure to skip over any choices that are labeled as “assisted living facilities.”


10 Essential Things to Know About Nursing Homes


2. Not Every Nursing Home is the Same

Nursing homes are some of the most diverse living facilities there are. Depending on your needs, the style and staff of a nursing home will differ drastically. Additionally, some homes are simply more well-regarded than others. Before choosing a home, it’s important to do a ton of research, to ensure your choice is perfect for you.

3. Nursing Home Residents Have Rights

Due to the Nursing Home Reform Law, residents in nursing homes have an extensive amount of rights. The choice of doctor, choice of a care plan, ability to accept or refuse treatment, and accommodations for their preferred food and activity choices are all covered in the Nursing Home Reform Law. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these important, inalienable rights before moving into a nursing home.

4. Medicaid Can Pay for Long-term Care

While Medicaid is not 100% guaranteed to pay for your nursing home, many Medicaid recipients will have their care paid for. However, to qualify for this payout, the recipient must not have more than $2000 of income a month. Owning a car and a vehicle will also not disqualify you from having Medicaid pay for your nursing home care.


10 Essential Things to Know About Nursing Homes


5. There Will be a Transitionary Period

The shift that you’ll undergo when moving into a nursing home should not be overlooked. The communal nature of it, the frequent visits from staff, and the new sleeping environment will all take getting used to. Do not fret if the first few weeks feel rough, and instead seek out ways you can feel more at home, and try to mingle with staff and other residents so that you’ll feel more at home.

6. Nursing Homes are Regulated Medical Facilities

Nursing homes are not simply a place where you live and have basic medical services available. Every single part of the nursing home model is run through highly-regulated medical laws and tactics. Due to this, the patients have a high quality of care and maintain the same rights that anyone else within a regulated medical facility would have.

7. Nursing Homes Have Their Own Communal Spirit

Each nursing home comes with its own community of patients, staff, and patients’ loved ones. This communal nature helps people transition into the facility, and gives them activities to do every day to keep their mental health strong. Before you choose a nursing home, it can be a great idea to visit the facility, so you can see if the environment and personality of the nursing home facility are a good fit for you.


10 Essential Things to Know About Nursing Homes


8. Avoid Compulsory Arbitration Agreements

Compulsory arbitration agreements are not lawfully required when you move into a nursing home. Those that say otherwise should be avoided, as this is a big flag. Simply avoid asking about this, and if it’s brought up, you may want to continue your search for a quality nursing home.

9. Residents Must Have a Patient Advocate

Patient advocates ensure residents are treated lawfully and humanely. You are required to have a patient advocate, and your nursing home’s staff can help you through this process. Be sure to take extra care with this step, as a patient advocate has to be authorized in writing, or approved by someone who has power of attorney over your medical care.

10. Sign Documents with Care

Every step of signing up for a nursing home comes with legal documents to sign. Having an attorney present to help guide you through these documents will keep you safe, and help you enter your new living facility with a strong peace of mind.


Your New Nursing Home Awaits

Many residents find a new spice to life after getting involved in their new nursing home’s community. This is a big transition, but one that will help keep you happy, healthy, and properly cared for in your advanced age. As you seek out the right home, however, be sure to carefully consider all ten points that we’ve discussed above.


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