Apr 18, 2023

How to find a Florida nursing home

Manny Cominsky

If you or your loved one are a Florida senior and are searching for a Florida nursing home, follow our guide to find the perfect nursing home. With proper research and preparation, you can ensure that you or your loved one receives the best possible care and support. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the various steps involved in selecting a nursing home, from identifying your or your loved one's needs to evaluating the quality of care provided. We'll also explore alternatives to nursing home care and the financial resources that are available in Florida to help pay for nursing home care. To learn more about finding a Florida nursing home, read the rest of our guide below or reach out to the Sunbound team for more information.

Start your search early

When looking for a nursing home, it's important to start your search early. You should ideally begin looking for a nursing home six months before your loved one needs to move in. This will give you enough time to research different facilities, make a decision, and ensure that there is availability at the facility you choose.

Another important preliminary step before you start looking at particular nursing homes is to determine your or your loved one's care needs. Consider what type of care they need, whether it's skilled nursing care, assisted living, or memory care. Also, consider any specific needs or preferences your loved one may have, such as a specialized diet or a private room. Once you’ve done this, make a list of all the “wants” and “needs” in a nursing home to help guide your search.

Research nursing homes

Once you have a clear understanding of your loved one's needs, you can start researching nursing homes in Florida. The Florida Health Finder website provides a list of licensed nursing homes in Florida. You can also use the Florida government’s Nursing Home Guide to find a Florida nursing home. This website allows you to compare nursing homes based on factors such as staffing levels, quality of care, and overall rating.

Another great resource for finding nursing homes in Florida is to ask for recommendations from friends, family members, or healthcare providers. They may be able to provide valuable insight and recommendations based on their personal experiences. As we’ve covered with nursing home experts before, the best resource will often be individuals you know best (and who know you the best!). 

Evaluate the quality of care

The quality of care provided by a nursing home is a critical factor in your decision. You can evaluate the quality of care by reviewing the nursing home's inspection reports and ratings. Once again, The Florida Health Finder can be an incredibly useful tool because it provides information on nursing home inspections, including any deficiencies or violations found during the inspection. You should also ask about the nursing home's policies and procedures for medication management, wound care, and other medical needs. Make sure that the nursing home has protocols in place to prevent falls, infections, and other common issues that can affect seniors.

Another very important factor to consider that will have a huge impact on your loved one’s care is the quality of the nursing home’s dining services. Good nutrition is essential for senior health. Review the nursing home's menu and dining options to ensure that your loved one will receive nutritious meals that meet their dietary needs. Look for a nursing home that offers a variety of menu options and takes into account any food allergies or sensitivities.

You should also make sure to check to see that the nursing home provides a wide variety of activities for its residents. While we often think of activities as just providing fun, social activities in nursing homes can have huge positive effects on their residents’ health as seniors who are engaged in activities tend to have a better quality of life. Look for a nursing home that offers a variety of activities and programs to keep residents active and engaged. Activities may include exercise classes, games, arts and crafts, and community events.

Visit the Florida nursing homes

Once you have identified some nursing homes that meet your loved one's needs, it's important to visit each one in person. This will give you a better idea of the care provided, the staff, and the overall environment. During your visit, pay attention to things like how the facility looks and smells, and take note of the overall atmosphere. It's also important to ask about the facility's policies on things like visiting hours, meals, and activities.

One very important thing to do during your visit is to watch how the staff and the community’s residents interact. The staff at a nursing home is crucial to the quality of care provided. During your visits, pay attention to how the staff and residents talk to one another. Does the staff seem caring and attentive? Are they respectful of residents' privacy and dignity? It's important to choose a nursing home with a well-trained and caring staff who will provide your loved one with the support they need.

Check the Florida nursing home's credentials

Before making a final decision, it's important to check the nursing home's credentials. Make sure the nursing home you are considering is licensed by the state of Florida and meets all state and federal regulations. Once again, you can check the nursing home's credentials on the Florida Health Finder website. In addition, make sure to ask the nursing home for their most recent inspection report, which outlines any deficiencies or violations found during the inspection. This report can give you insight into the quality of care provided by the nursing home. 

Consider the cost and financial assistance options

The cost of nursing home care can vary widely depending on the location within Florida and level of care needed. Make sure you understand the costs associated with each nursing home you are considering, including any additional fees or charges. Because paying for nursing home care can be expensive, and many families may need financial assistance. Some nursing homes offer financial assistance programs, and there are also government programs available to help cover the costs of nursing home care.

The two main government programs that can help provide financial assistance for Florida seniors looking for nursing home care are Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare, for example, can cover up to 100 days of skilled nursing care if your loved one meets certain criteria. In addition, Florida’s statewide Medicaid system, called the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Care Program (or SMMC LTC for short) can also help cover the costs of nursing home care for those who meet certain income and asset requirements.

Consider alternatives to nursing home care

While this may seem like a counterintuitive point in an article about finding a Florida nursing home, nursing homes are not the only option for senior care and so it is important to make sure that a nursing home truly is the best option for yourself or your senior loved one before moving in. Depending on your loved one's needs, there may be alternatives to nursing home care that can provide a better quality of life. 

For example, home care services allow seniors to remain in their own homes while receiving assistance with daily tasks. Assisted living facilities provide a more independent living environment with access to assistance when needed. It's important to consider all the options available before making a decision. Some nursing homes may offer alternative care options, so it's worth exploring these options before making a decision.

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make paying for senior living and senior care more affordable for you or your senior loved one, send us an email at info@sunboundhomes.com or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and senior care, and we’re on a mission to make senior living and senior care more affordable for everyone.

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