APDA American Parkinson Disease Association
Information & Referral Center

Moving to a Facility

The day may come when you can no longer provide the type of care at home that your loved one requires. These resources can help you recognize when that time may be and find the right type of long term care facility to best meet your needs. None of these resources are specific to Parkinson's disease.

Relevant Publications - Downloadable

“Evaluating Assisted Living Facilities”
Published by the National Parkinson Foundation (Now the Parkinson’s Foundation)
A 2-page PDF outlining things to consider when evaluating an assisted living facility for yourself or a family member.  Areas to consider are the environment, comfort level with staff availability and communication, residents’ service (and meal) satisfaction, charges and fees, transportation options and availability, and medical & financial emergency policies.

“Nursing Home Checklist”
Published by Medicare.gov
9-page printable checklist to help evaluate and compare nursing homes.  The last page recommends attending a resident council or family council meeting, with several questions to ask during the meeting and the suggestion that you visit a nursing home you are considering a second time on a different day of the week and time of day from your initial visit.

“Your Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home or Other Long-Term Services & Supports”
Published by Medicare.gov
This 48-page booklet explains how to find and compare nursing homes and other long-term services and supports, how to pay for nursing home care, your rights as a nursing home resident and alternatives to nursing home care.


Relevant Online Information

“7 Red Flags to Watch for When Choosing a Nursing Home,” by Anna Medaris Miller
Published by USNews, March 5, 2015
Always choose a nursing home in person after several conversations and more than one visit.  Avoid facilities that are loud or chaotic, show disrespect to the residents, have absent administrators, few opportunities for residents to make choices, restricted visiting hours, unsafe neighborhood and misaligned values with your family, especially with respect to end of life care.

“9 Tips for Researching and Choosing a Nursing Home,” by Esther Heerema, MSW
Published by Verywell Health, July 12, 2017
Research nursing home options ahead of time.  Ask others for recommendations.  Consider licensed vs. non-licensed and whether the facility accepts Medicaid.  Find out if the facility you’re looking at offers sub-acute, long-term care or a memory unit.  Visit by appointment and again by just dropping in, and put your name on more than one wait list.

“Assisted Living or a Nursing Home?,” by Paula Span
Published by the New York Times, June 10, 2011
The immense popularity of assisted living facilities has arisen, partly, out of the promise to never to put a loved one in a nursing home.  But assisted living won’t work for everyone.  Some need the greater supervision and higher staff ratios of a good nursing home.  This article, from The New Old Age blog, explains the differences between the two and why assisted living may only be a temporary solution.

“Assisted Living: Weighing the Options”
Published by AARP
A description of assisted living facilities (ALF) commonly provided services, followed by suggestions to help find an ALF, things to keep in mind when considering an ALF and tips for signing the contract.  Included is a link to a printer-friendly checklist:  Assisted Living: What to Ask

“Care Facilities”
Published by the National Caregivers Library
An index of topics related to choosing, paying for and adjusting to relocation to a long term care facility.  Includes links with information and considerations related to assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, independent living facilities and nursing homes.

“Finding Long-Term Care for a Person with Alzheimer’s”
Published by the National Institute on Aging
Information that applies to long-term care for any type of dementia.  It outlines four types of residential care options, along with questions to ask, tips for making moving day easier and provides a list of government and private organizations who can help you find and pay for long-term care.

“How to Decide if It’s Time for a Nursing Home of Assisted Living Care,” by Esther Heerema, MSW
Published by Verywell Health, March 30, 2018
Thirteen signs that it is time to consider nursing home care.  Includes a brief discussion of the benefit of doing some research before a medical crisis, hospitalization, and discharge to a nursing home of the hospital’s choosing.

“Is a Care Facility Needed?”
Published by the Parkinson's Foundation
This webpage helps you think through whether in-home care or a facility is right for your situation, with links to what you need to know before touring a facility, senior living options, a consumer’s guide to choosing a nursing home, and a link to the National Association of Senior Move Managers.

“Long Term Care Pathfinder”
Published by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging
This website has five sections with information to help users plan for long term care.  The Basics: for those just beginning to investigate; Medicare, Medicaid & More (including VA benefits); Where You Live Matters: with steps to take to stay in your own home and senior living options; How to Decide: includes advance care planning essentials; and Costs & How to Pay: which explains insurance options vs. private pay.

“Nursing Home Compare”
Published by Medicare.gov
A online finder tool providing detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the U.S.  Enter your zip code or city, state or just your state.  Filter the resulting list in four rated performance areas.  Alternately, enter the name of a home health agency to see how it compares on a 5-star rating scale.

“Parkinson’s Disease and Assisted Living”
Published by WebMD
This series of 14 webpages explains what assisted living communities provide and ask those with Parkinson’s to consider what services they need in order to determine if assisted living is right for them.  If so, there are a series of questions to ask and things to consider before deciding on the right community for you.

“When It’s Time For a Nursing Home,” by Ellen Crean
Published by CBS News, March 21, 2002
Tips on how to choose a nursing home by Claire Berman, author of “Caring For Yourself While Caring For Your Aging Parents” from an interview with The Saturday Early Show.  Interview questions include when is someone ready, what to do if the person says no, what to do if a sibling says no and what is your role after you place someone in a nursing home.


Helpful Organizations

“CAHNR (California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform”
A California nonprofit website with database information to find details on services, staffing and violations for nursing homes, find and evaluate residential care and assisted living facilities (RCFEs) or continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).  How to find or lodge a complaint against a facility or CCRC, how to find an elder law attorney, information on MediCal and estate planning for long-term care, and more.


This list compiled by Denise Dagan for Stanford's Parkinson's Community Outreach Program, 2018.

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