Good article about picking a nursing home

I saw a great article discussing the process of choosing and entering a nursing home.  The article tells the story of a woman who scouted nursing homes with a home-like setting where the staff-to-resident ratio was low.

More than 5 million people in the United States receive some form of daily care, according to Joseph L. Matthews, a California attorney who specializes in elder law and is the author of “Long-Term Care: How to Plan and Pay for It.”

More than 2 million people older than 65 are in some type of nursing facility or other residential care facility at a cost of between $30,000 and $150,000 each per year, according to Matthews.

One out of four of those nursing-home residents stay in a facility for longer than a year, and 10 percent stay for more than three years.

Medicare covers the first 20 days of care at 100 percent. After that, a 20 percent co-pay is required for the next 80 days.  Some supplemental Medicare insurance will pick up the co-pay, but patients without that coverage could find themselves paying $130 or more per night for the remaining 80 days, Honig said.

While Medicaid will cover the cost of nursing home, residents have to spend down their assets to qualify, she said. But the spouse still living at home can keep residential property, a car and a limited number of other assets.