Finding the right Assisted Living or Nursing home can be a daunting task, especially in South Florida where we have hundreds of facilities from which to choose. Most families and seniors assume that care communities are comparable and equal. The reality is each facility has a unique atmosphere, care philosophy, culture and price structure.
Some Assisted Living facilities offer very little medical care and do not even have a nurse on the premises 24 hours per day. Other Assisted Living facilities have a special extended license to allow them to deliver more care. There is also a variety of price structures which range from flat fee predictable pricing while others charge a base rate PLUS cost of care services which may increase with the amount of care needed. Some Assisted Living facilities may insist that residents who require more attention hire private aides in addition to paying for the community. Most provide transportation within a small radius.
Almost all Nursing Homes in South Florida offer rehabilitation departments. While they are happy to accept residents who are eligible for Medicare and insurance funded rehabilitation, not all of them are amenable to allowing the resident to remain in the nursing home long term, after the rehabilitation is completed.
Many seniors need the financial assistance programs offered by Medicaid in order to afford the cost of their care facility, long term. Some Care facilities are “Medicaid friendly” and others are not.
V.I.P. Care Management, Inc. has toured and interviewed every large care community in Palm Beach County, Florida and has developed a facility selection Matrix which can easily identify the best fit for your loved one. Our proprietary process is called the Four “C”s of Facility Selection. The first two of the four “C” s are not negotiable:
- Care – one cannot negotiate how much care they need.
- Cost – a family can only afford, what they can afford
- Community – Choose the locale of the care community closest to friends and family who visit or close to medical providers such as doctors and dialysis centers.
- Culture – There is no substitute for touring a facility to see how it looks, “feels”, smells, and sounds. The culture of a living environment could include the religious activities, languages spoken, socio-economic factors, dress code, level of activities, music, etc..
The third and fourth “C”s require the family to make a real choice:
A care manager can help you quickly identify an Assisted Living or Nursing Home to meet all needs in the price you can afford.
Facility Move-In Checklist
- Before selecting an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home, consult with a V.I.P. Care Manager to determine which facility can best meet your medical needs, offer quality of life and work within your budget now and for the long term. Determine potential for financial aid.
- Change mailing address to facility or responsible party.
- Update Power of Attorney, Living Will, Healthcare Surrogate and other legal documents. Provide copies to doctors, facility, banks, income sources and others.
- Secure valuables.
- Make arrangement for pets.
- Disconnect utilities and phone. Establish phone service at facility if needed.
- Return rented equipment; medical, cable TV, etc.
- Determine if insurance/HMO changes must be made.
- Select physicians who can visit the facility and arrange transport to outside doctors.
- Notify Social Security, pensions and other income sources of your new location.
- Notify banks of where to mail statements.
- Arrange auto-bill pay for all applicable bills.
- Arrange for sale of home, car, boat and other un-needed personal effects.
- Coordinate the first day’s medication needs with facility. You may need to bring a one- day supply.
- Verify your prescription plan can be used at the new facility.
- Pack 7-10 days’ worth of appropriate clothing and label everything in a discrete location such as on a tag. Label shoes, electric razors, toiletries, etc. Bring no expensive items or clothes.
- Hire V.I.P. Care Management, Inc. to monitor your loved one and to be there when needed.