The time has come. Mom can no longer manage at home and is too ill for an assisted living alone . Her doctor has been urging you to place your mother in a nursing home. You feel guilty, but you know you have to do this. What resources can help you make your decision about where to put your parent who needs nursing home care?
There is no easy answer for anyone. Fortunately, there are many resources available to give you objective elder care information to guide you. Do your research. There is data available from agencies, such as your area Agency on Aging, and on the internet. Here are some sites which can give you a good idea of how to conduct your search for information about which nursing homes are good and which are not so good.
1. American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Website: http://www.aarp.org
Click on the section, “Long Term Care”, which is under the homepage of the AARP website, and go to “Guide to Long-Term Care”. There is a brief section entitled “Starting the Nursing Home Search”, which is also helpful.
2. Consumer Reports Website: http://www.consumerreports.org/nursinghomes.
This site provides state-by-state information on quality, well run nursing homes, as well as nursing facilities you may want to avoid. The information is on the website via the Nursing Home Quality Monitor. You may need to enroll online as a subscriber, but it is free.
This site also lists an Eldercare Locator number (1-800-677-1116) that can be used to reach your local Agency on Aging, a helpful source of local information.
3.Long Term Care Living Website: http://LongTermCareLiving.com
The American Health Care Association at www.ahca.org, together with the National Center for Assisted Living at www.ahcancal.org sponsors a free nursing facility finder service at their website, www.LongTermCareLiving.com. The site is comprehensive, in that it focuses on nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and gives useful tips for making the transition.
There are numerous other sites to visit on long term care, and several others will be addressed in the next article on this subject. Once you have conducted the research, and narrowed the field down to one or more you think would work for your aging parent or loved one, you will need to do your field research: visiting in person. If you are not able to do so because you live a distance away, you can get a professional care manager to help you. You are not alone. Many qualified care managers, who are mostly licensed nurses and social workers, are skilled in helping families find the right place for an aging parent. We have put together a quick and easy to read mini book entitled, “How To Choose A Nuring Home, ” click here to find out more.
©2008, Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, R. N., Attorney at Law
References on next page
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 601 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20049, http://www.aarp.org, accessed January, 2008.
The American Geriatric Society (AGS) Foundation for Health in Aging, The Empire State Building, 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 801, New York, New York 10118, http://healthinaging.org, accessed January, 2008.
American Health Care Association, 1201 L Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005, http://www.ahca.org, accessed January, 2008.
Consumer Reports, 101 Truman Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10703-1057, http://www.consumerreports.org/nursinghomes, accessed January, 2008.
Long-Term Care Living, 1201 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005, http:// www.LongTermCareLiving.com, accessed January, 2008.
Medicare (Nursing Home Compare) Website: http://www.medicare.gov
National Center for Assisted Living, 1201 L Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005, http://www.ahcancal.org, accessed January, 2008.
National Citizen’s Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, 1828 L Street, NW, Suite 801, Washington, D.C. 20036, http://www.nccnhr.org, accessed January, 2008.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201, http://www.hhs.gov, accessed January, 2008.
©2008 Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, R. N., Attorney at Law