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What should I look for when visiting prospective nursing homes?

Even though it is a very common situation that many people face, there is no formula for deciding when it is the right time to place a parent in a nursing home. While you may be able to find guidance from friends or online sources, ultimately, the decision will rest on the specific circumstances of the parent and the rest of the family.

But if you have reached the conclusion that your parent can no longer safely look after himself or herself, you may be wondering how to choose the right elder care facility. This is an extremely important decision because those of advanced age can be so physically and mentally vulnerable. Thus, you are depending on the nursing home you choose to provide your parent with proper care and respect.

One proactive step you can take is to visit the facilities you believe offer the services your parent needs. During your visit, inquire about how the staff handles medical emergencies and if there are nurses available around the clock. Also, take careful note of how the staff interacts with the residents. Look to make sure that the residents are not left alone for prolonged periods and that the nurses and nurse's aids respond promptly to call lights.

The aforementioned is only one part of the process of transitioning you parent into a nursing home. Another important aspect is finding the best way to pay the costs of elder care. To this end, you may find the services of an experienced elder law attorney very useful. The attorney could help you craft an elder care plan that includes locating financial resources, such as VA benefits and Medicaid that could help pay for your parent's stay at the nursing home.

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