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Suggestions for selecting a long-term care facility

Our Detroit-area readers have probably seen previous posts that discuss the importance of considering future medical expenses and long-term care when forming a comprehensive estate plan. While it is obvious that no one can predict every aspect of the future, making certain financial preparations can help prevent some of the stress that many people experience in the absence of a clear plan.

One estate planners may want to consider is exactly what type of long-term nursing home care would be best for them should such care be necessary. A recent article in USA Today dished out some solid advice for those Michigan residents considering the pros and cons of individual nursing homes.

The top nuggets of advice in picking the right location are to find a facility close to family and friends, and to get references. Visits from family and friends can improve one's long-term care situation immensely, making the chosen facility seem more like home. And reliable references can add a level of security when choosing a location. It is also recommended to select a facility that has been certified by Medicare.

Another suggestion is to make a thoughtful visit to each facility under consideration to observe staff, residents and accommodations. Also, consider the staff-to-patient ratio. You don't want an overburdened staff that doesn't have time to provide the proper care.

Lastly, consider the cost of the services offered. Anticipating medical expenses can be an important part of protecting estate assets. Most people would like to receive the best care they can if and when they do need long-term care, but they also would like to be able to pass on assets to their designated beneficiaries when the time comes.

Choosing the appropriate facility can be a highly selective process, but following these basic pointers can help in whittling down the options.

Source: USA Today, "Tips to pick the best nursing home for a loved one," Linda A. Johnson, May 23, 2012

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