TABLE OF CONTENTS

1: An Overview: Planning for Your Future
Kinds of long term care, advance directives

2: Nursing Home Services
Nursing services, medications, physician services, therapy, social services, religious services

3: Touring a Nursing Home
Includes a comprehensive checklist to use on a nursing home tour

4: Judging the Quality of a Nursing Home
State inspections, deficiency lists, the ombudsman program

5: How to Pay for Nursing Home Care
Medicare, nursing home insurance, private pay, Medical Assistance, income and assets limits and rules, spouse's assets, how to appeal a Medical Assistance decision

6: Before You Sign a Contract, Read This
What to check for in a nursing home contract, financial agents

7: Your Rights Under the Law
Nursing home residents' legal rights

8: How to Complain When Quality Care is Lacking
Who to contact, nursing home ombudsmen, reporting abuse

9: Alternatives to a Nursing Home
In-home aide services, home health care, shared housing, group homes, assisted living, continuing care retirement communities, hospice care

10: Where to Get Help
Statewide and county resources


Click here to download the 2012 Revised Nursing Homes: What You Need to Know in PDF format. Or if you prefer, you may order a free printed copy of Nursing Homes: What You Need to Know by calling the Maryland Attorney General's Office at (410) 576-6500.

Nursing Homes:
What You Need to Know

Hursing Home Guide cover imageToday, we live longer than our grandparents did, and our lives and health care systems are more complex. We have good reason to wonder how we will get the care we need if disability or illness strikes, and how we will pay for it. You can make better decisions by knowing ahead of time what your choices are, by learning what to expect and by carefully planning your finances. Far too often, decisions about our health care, especially about long-term and rehabilitative care, are made during a crisis. Regardless of the timing, you can and should evaluate various nursing homes and other long-term care providers to make the best decision. You don't have to be a professional or an expert. You just need reliable information.

This book is meant for anyone thinking about the possibility of needing nursing home care or long-term care in his or her own home. It should also prove helpful for friends and family members of individuals who may need long-term care.

Nursing homes are not your only option for rehabilitation, and long-term services and support. Chapter 9 discusses in-home alternatives to nursing home care.

Chapter 10 lists agencies and organizations that can help you make the right choice and get needed care.

When you finish this book, discuss it with your family. Talk about the financial implications of choosing a nursing home. Share with them your hopes - and worries - about the prospect of long-term care. But most importantly, let them know your wishes. You are the best person to decide your future. This book can help you take the first step toward peace of mind.

Click here to download the 2012 Revised Nursing Homes: What You Need to Know in PDF format. Or if you prefer, you may order a free printed copy of Nursing Homes: What You Need to Know by calling the Maryland Attorney General's Office at (410) 576-6500.

In addition to the advice found here, visit the Maryland Health Care Commission's Web site at www.mhcc.state.md.us for further advice and comparative data about each nursing home operating in Maryland.

The federal government also provides data on patient care at every nursing home in the U.S. at www.medicare.gov

NEED INFO ON ASSISTED LIVING? See Assisted Living: What You Need to Know at the Maryland Department of Aging's website at http://www.mdoa.state.md.us/documents/ALGuide_002.pdf.

This information is brought to you by a cooperative effort of:

Maryland Attorney General home page
Consumer Protection Division Publications