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Choosing the Right Long-Term Care Facility

Jul 7

New York residents who require long-term care have plenty of options to choose from. But selecting the facility that best suits an individual's medical needs and personal preferences can take some legwork and research. Once families understand how different types of facilities are regulated in New York, they can begin the search for the best possible option. The key is to know what each type of facility provides and how much it costs. Families can finance assisted living community expenses through private funds and long-term care insurance policies. In addition, New York's Medicaid program directly helps with some of the costs based on income and assets.

An important distinction is the level of medical and custodial care offered by each type of facility. Generally, people in an assisted living community require help with things like meal preparation and bathing but don't need round-the-clock nursing care. In contrast, those in a nursing home have more advanced health care needs, such as severe mobility impairments or serious chronic illnesses that require constant monitoring and medication management.

Care Homes offer more individualized, around-the-clock medical and custodial care, and they are often licensed to provide both residential care and skilled nursing services. Depending on the severity of an individual's health issues, they may need physical or occupational therapy, speech or language services or respiratory assistance. Skilled nursing facilities are able to offer these additional services on-site or through external companies contracted with the facility.

Many people choose to move into a nursing home because they are no longer able to live alone and want to eliminate the burden of maintaining a residence and making daily trips to a grocery store or a doctor's office. However, some people also find that they are lonely and disconnected from friends and family when they move into a nursing home. This can lead to depression.

Besides loneliness, common complaints of nursing home patients include problems with food and interrupted sleep due to the need for continuous care and frequent interruptions by staff members. Forward-thinking nursing homes recognize these concerns and implement unique approaches to reduce complaints.

For example, some facilities create long-term food rotation schedules to eliminate boredom and enhance nutritional value. Others provide better presentation and quality of food to appeal to taste buds. Some facilities enlist high-quality vendors and hire experienced food managers to ensure the quality of meals is consistently excellent.

It's essential for potential nursing home or assisted living community residents to do their homework and visit several locations in their region to get an idea of what is available, how it compares with the cost of care and the personality of the staff members. It's also a good idea to talk to current residents, their families and their doctors. A well-informed decision about where to receive care can be a life-changing choice. Choosing the right place will mean peace of mind for family members and a positive experience for the senior in need of care.