The end-of-life care we receive greatly affects our quality of life and the legacy we leave behind. In many cases, this care happens in a nursing home facility.
Unfortunately, too often, the decision on where someone receives care has more to do with financial resources rather than what the person actually wants. To avoid this line of thinking and to feel confident in the long-term care you may need in the future, think about what you want and take steps now to plan for it.
What can you afford?
Before you decide what you want in a nursing home, consider what you can afford. Think about whether you will personally fund your care, or you will utilize funds through Medicaid. You can consult an estate planning or elder law attorney to understand what you have and what you want to preserve in terms of your assets.
When you have a sense of what you can afford, you can begin looking at specific facilities.
What do you want?
Deciding on the type of facility you’d like to live in and receive care can be challenging, as there are several aspects to consider, including:
- Is the facility close to family?
- How many people are on staff?
- What do the ratings and reviews say online?
- What types of recreational or socialization opportunities are there?
- What do their approaches look like in terms of traditional versus alternative methods of medical care?
- Does the facility utilize technology to keep residents connected and informed?
- Is it clean and well-maintained?
- Are there specific programs in place for people with conditions like dementia?
- How much freedom do residents have?
- Do your religious and cultural beliefs align with those supported by the facility?
It can also be helpful to look at how a facility is handling the current pandemic. As this Forbes article discusses, it can be very telling to review how a facility responded and how they have adjusted care in light of these difficult times.
If you realize that what you want may be a stretch financially, you can take action now to make it more likely that you will receive care at the desired facility. You might set up trusts, increase retirement savings, secure life insurance or pursue other options involving Medicaid planning that enable you to save the money you need to secure the care you want.