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Is a Move to a Nursing Home in Your or a Loved One's Future?

Between 1946 and 1964, an estimated 78 million babies were born in the United States. Since that time, baby boomers have gone on to run corporations, cure diseases and serve as U.S. presidents. Today the oldest boomers are in their early 70s and increasingly struggle with physical ailments and chronic medical conditions. In the coming years, a significant percentage of boomers and their loved ones will likely be forced to make decisions about nursing home care.

Making decisions related to nursing home care is often an emotional and difficult process for the whole family. While every individual's and family's circumstances are different, the following advice can make the selection process easier.

5 Tips For Selecting A Nursing Home

  1. Visit the facility - While promotional marketing copy and glossy brochures can give you some sense of whether or not a specific facility may be a good match for you or your loved one, there is no substitute for seeing a place with your own eyes. It's incredibly important to visit and tour a nursing home potentially multiple times and at varied times of the day to get a sense of what daily life is really like.
  2. Pay Attention To Sights, Sounds and Smells - When visiting a facility remain alert and note anything that seems odd or off. Is the facility clean? What do residents spend their days doing? Are their offensive odors? Can you picture yourself or your loved one living here?
  3. Take Note Of The Staff - It's important that you trust and have confidence in the staff members who will be responsible for your care or the care of your loved one. Do staff members seem friendly? How do they interact with residents? Does the facility seem understaffed? What types of training and background checks are involved?
  4. Do Some Investigative Work - In addition to talking to other people who have loved ones at a specific facility, you can also learn a lot by requesting information such as any investigations or complaints against the facility and survey results.
  5. Trust Your Instincts - Even if a facility seems fine, there may be something that just doesn't seem or feel quite right. When something as important as your own or your loved one's physical, emotional and mental well-being is at stake; any and every red flag or nagging feeling must be considered and taken into account.

If a move into a nursing home is in your or a loved one's future, you likely have many questions and concerns. An estate planning attorney can provide the information, advice and advocacy you need to make the right decisions for you and your family.

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