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What Florida families should weigh when picking a nursing home

The decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home can be tough. Ideally, families in Broward County would have the opportunity to have more than sufficient time to make the decision of which nursing home a relative should be placed in. Life doesn't always work out this way, however, and family members sometimes must make the big decision in a bit of a time crunch. What factors should loved ones take into account when choosing a nursing home?

First, is a nursing home even necessary? There may be alternatives such as home health care or assisted living. The best option will depend on the specific circumstances. Next, what are you looking for in a nursing home? This will again depend on the specific circumstances, as well as any preferences the prospective resident may have. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration operates a Nursing Home Guide website that may be helpful.

Once some promising nursing homes have been selected, it is time to see how the prospective resident can get in. Provide the nursing home operator with information regarding finances and be prepared to negotiate. Also be aware of whether Medicare or Medicaid will pay all or part of nursing home costs.

Even if an ideal nursing home is selected and the resident moves in, some residents may suffer injury from negligence or even nursing home abuse. Rapid weight loss and unexplained nursing home bruising are only some of the signs that neglect may be happening. Nursing home residents and their loved ones have rights, and attorneys can help residents and loved ones pursue legal claims against negligent or abusive nursing homes.

Source: The Bristol Press, "Senior Signals: Nine questions to ask when considering a nursing home," Daniel O. Tully, Aug. 28, 2016

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