Finding a nursing home

by Cate Kortzeborn

Are you looking for a nursing home for yourself or a loved one?

People go to nursing homes for different reasons. They may be sick or hurt and require ongoing nursing care. They may have had surgery and need time to recuperate. Or they may have chronic care needs or disabilities that make long-term nursing care a necessity.

Many communities have nursing homes. But how do you pick one that’s best for you or your family member in need?

The first step is to learn about the available facilities in your area. You can do that in a number of ways.

■ Ask people you trust, like your family, friends, or neighbors if they’ve had personal experience with nursing homes. They may be able to recommend one to you.

■ Ask your doctor if he or she provides care at any local nursing homes. If so, ask your doctor which nursing homes he or she visits so you may continue to see him or her while you’re in the nursing home.

■ If you’re in the hospital, ask your social worker about discharge planning as early in your hospital stay as possible. The hospital’s staff should be able to help you find a nursing home that meets your needs and help with your transfer when you’re ready to be discharged.

Medicare provides a handy way to check out local nursing homes, using our Nursing Home Compare website: www.Medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare.

Cate Kortzeborn is Medicare’s acting regional administrator for Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Territories. You can always get answers to your Medicare questions by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

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