If and when the time comes to choose a nursing home—either for yourself or for a loved one—how will you know how to choose the right one? A person’s living situation often has a lot to do with how happy they are, so it is important to choose carefully and wisely. When you do begin the process of choosing a nursing home, you don’t have to go into it blind. Here are a few things to consider and questions to ask when you start your search:

A Matter of Money – Nursing care is an expensive prospect, so one of your first considerations when looking for a nursing home will be how much it will cost and how you (or your loved one) will pay for it. Fortunately, it is likely that the entire cost will not have to come out of your personal finances. The Medicare.gov website offers an overview of different strategies to pay for quality nursing care. Your elder law attorney can help you navigate these—and other—options. You may also wish to download our free guide, “Consumer’s Guide To Medi-Cal Planning”. Many middle income persons are often surprised to learn that they may be able to qualify, although often this may require planning and professional guidance from an Elder Law Attorney.

 Check out the following guide published by California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform:  “How to Choose a Nursing Home”.

Evaluate Staff and Policies – Taking the time you need to evaluate the staff and the policies of the homes on your list will quite possibly be the most important part of your decision-making process. This article from the “Our Parents” website provides a comprehensive list of questions to ask yourself, the nursing home staff, the residents, and more before you make your decision.

Visit the Nursing Home: Visit and Talk to Families of Residents.   You can get a real inside feel for the facility in this manner.

Location, Location, Location – Finally, we all know that location is everything, and this is true of nursing homes as well. Issues of location ranging from how close the home is to family and friends, to what kind of view can be seen from the windows can all be of the utmost importance.

 Check out the Guide on the website of California Advocates for nursinNursing Home Reform:

sing a nursing home may well be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make, so it’s best to go into it prepared. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with the professionals who can help you make the best possible decision for yourself and your loved ones.