What To Look for When Choosing a Nursing Home in Pennsylvania

Whether you are looking for a nursing home or you have a loved one who will need skilled care, finding the right care facility is important to ensure the best quality of life will be experienced there. Finding a long-term care community has become even more difficult in recent years, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused staffing issues, forcing many facilities to close or change the type of care they provide. If you are currently looking for a nursing home in your area, here are some tips from the team at Slutsky Elder Law to help you choose one that will meet your needs:

How Much Do They Spend on Resident Care?

A recent law change will require nursing homes to spend at least 70% of their budget on resident care, including increased staffing ratios. The demand for increased spending is being matched by a significant increase in the state budget package, making high-quality care more accessible. If possible, try to find a facility that was already operating at this high level of care prior to the law change. That will be a good sign that they are a patient-focused facility, rather than one run primarily for profit.

How Much Individual Care Do They Provide?

The new law also mandates a higher level of individual care in PA nursing homes. Facilities will be required to provide at least 3.2 hours per day of direct care, and nurse aides will not be allowed to care for more than 12 residents per day. If you can find a facility where that standard is already being met, it will be a good indicator that they focus on providing excellent one-on-one care for their residents.

What to Look for During a Nursing Home Visit

You can learn a lot when visiting a nursing facility. Keep your eyes and ears open, ask lots of questions, and make note of the following:

  • Do the residents seem to be enjoying themselves? Do the staff members look happy or overworked?
  • Does the facility create an inviting, cozy atmosphere, or does it feel more like a hospital?
  • Does it appear to be well-maintained and clean? Do you notice any bad smells?
  • What is the quality of the food they serve? Ask to try some samples.
  • Are there a range of activities available? Ask if you can sit in on one.
  • Do they accept Medicare or Medicaid?

You should also ask to speak with some select staff members, as well as a representative from the home’s resident and family councils. If this is a problem, you may want to consider a facility that is more welcoming to family and guests.

You may also want to do some research online. The Long Term Care Community Coalition and the Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging have resources to help you research nursing homes in your area.

Elder Law Lawyer in Pennsylvania

If you are currently searching for a nursing home in PA, it’s a good idea to speak with an elder law attorney before you start. A Medicaid lawyer in Montgomery County, PA and surrounding areas like Robert Slutsky can give you advice about how to protect your assets while qualifying for Medicaid and provide counsel about a range of other legal matters like estate planning, probate, and guardianship. Call (610) 940-0650 or fill out the online form on our contact page to request a consultation with one of Pennsylvania’s most experienced elder law attorneys.

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