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Health and Care

Guide to Searching for and Selecting a Nursing Home

June 8, 1998 [Updated July 31, 2012]

The following is a Guide on Searching for and Selecting a Nursing Home. As there are many people and caregivers facing the problem of searching for and selecting a nursing home, we are including this guide in the hope it will benefit our readers.

The purpose of this guide is to provide information for people with disabilities who are 18 to 59 years of age, and does not necessarily offer information for the elderly.

New Horizons Un-limited assumes no responsibility in guaranteeing the services, programs or conditions as described. If you are interested in a resource listed below, call or contact the resource to verify the current situation. Evaluate information and make your own decisions when using the guide and in choosing your Long Term Care.

One usually doesnít begin to look for something until one is at need. It is important however, to consider and investigate your options for any type of long term care before you need this type of care. Many wish they had started planning years in advance, or at least, began to consider their options well in advance. Being informed may assist you in taking an active role in selecting your long term care.

Have you considered all the options for long term care that may be available to you or better meet your needs? Is a nursing home what you need, or would a group home, day care, assisted living, or home care be better for you?

Doing research, evaluating all your options will help you make your own decision concerning your long term care.

Begin by assessing your situation:

Identify your needs:

Identify your resources:

Identify your resources and begin to gather information from these resources.

Contact friends, neighbors, family:

Or people you know who have dealt with selecting a nursing home. You may be able to get the most reliable information on a nursing home from people you know.

Consult your doctor:

Only a doctor can admit a person to a nursing home

The hospital from which you will be or you have been released:

Guides to choosing a nursing home:

There are some resource guides to help you with the selection of a nursing home. Consult Medicare and local agencies on aging.

Insurance or financial assistance:

You will need to assess how you will pay for your nursing home care. Personal resources, long-term care insurance, Medicaid, Medicare or Medicare Supplemental Insurance, may be ways in which nursing home costs will be covered.

Will you need to seek insurance coverage or government financial assistance for a nursing home?

Area agencies on aging:

Although these agencies will be specifically geared toward nursing homes that serve the elderly, they may be able to give information or guides on nursing homes that care for people with disabilities. If you are elderly, then you should contact your area agency on aging. If you are under 65, depending on your age be sure to inquire of the nursing home you will visit if they offer programs, rehabilitation or include services to non-elderly residents.

Non-profit organizations:

Contact disability organizations, or other non-profit organizations, religious organizations, etc.

Volunteer Organizations:

Contact area churches, community centers, volunteer services, disability organizations, etc. that work with people with disabilities that may know about nursing homes in your area.

Prepare a list of nursing homes you would like to visit:

If you have decided that a nursing home is the long term care option that will be right for you, begin preparing a list of nursing homes that you would like to visit.

For more information on nursing homes:

Some items to consider when making your initial list:

Call the nursing homes you wish to visit:

Asking the right questions regarding the nursing home, will get the answers you need.

The nursing home will ask you:

Visiting the nursing home, follow-up visits, admissions and after-admission rights:

Consult the Medicare/Medicaid publication Your Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home, and other resources for visiting the nursing home check lists, follow up visits, admissions and after admission rights. Being informed will help in taking an active role in choosing your nursing home care.

Nursing Homes in Wisconsin: View the Choosing Wisconsin Residential Options for a county by county possibilities for health or residential care in Wisconsin.

Visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Wisconsin Nursing Homes Nursing homes are listed by county, city, facility name or see the download the spreadsheet. Call the nursing homes listed in which you are interested to check the current situation for people with disabilities.

If you have questions or ideas, information and solutions that you would like to share with us, contact us by e-mail at: horizons@new-horizons.org or to use our NHU E-Mail Form or NHU Community Forum, click the links below.

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[Updated July 31, 2012]
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