Finding a nursing home can be a difficult experience for a variety of reasons. For many people this may be the first time they have been introduced to health, financial and life planning activities. Fortunately there are a number of excellent resources available to help you screen nursing homes and address any concerns you may have about the quality of a facility and the care that will potentially be provided to your loved ones.

In the United States, Medicare (the federal health insurance program for the elderly) rates nursing homes by a number of factors including the results of health inspections, the quality of the staff, the level of services provided and others. These factors are used to determine the quality of care and the home which are then rated on a scale of one to five with five being the highest rating a facility can receive.

Regulations governing nursing homes and the inspection process vary from state to state. This means different results for different states. The best way to compare nursing homes is to compare the facilities in one particular state or region to ensure that the facilities are being evaluated using the same criteria.

To learn more about Medicare programs, visit their website at: In addition to the information provided about nursing homes, they also have a great deal of general information about nursing care costs and other programs which can also be very helpful.

Although the Medicare rating system can assist with narrowing down the list of options, here are some other things you may want to consider in the decision making process:

• Check on the Internet for a website for the facility.

• Check for customer feedback or testimonials from current residents or families of residents.

• Look for the type of activities and services provided to residents.

• Look for pictures of the facility inside and out.

• Make an appointment to tour the facility and meet the staff.

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home environment is not one that is lighthearted for anyone. Carefully examining your options is the first step to ensuring a quality experience for all involved.

The quality of life of our residents is directly proportional to the quality of the effort given by our staff. Quality of life cannot be fully spelled out in policy statements. Indeed, our staff and facility are fully accredited, licensed, and inspected, and are continually updating their training and education in order to be in full compliance with all regulatory requirements for the safety and well being of our residents.

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