OK, there may not be a free lunch. However, there are some great websites that can give you
eldercare help, for FREE. I promise.
Nursing Home Compare–this website is terrific if you or a loved one is looking for a skilled nursing facility, either for rehab or for long term care. The site ranks nursing homes in several different areas, giving a 1 to 5 rating for each category. Each nursing home also receives an overall rating of 1 to 5. In addition, you can input the names of up to three facilities, and the site will give you a comparison table instantly. Another feature: if you don’t know what facilities are available in a certain area, the you can input a city, and the site will give you a list of nearby facilities, along with quality scores for each. This website is helpful in choosing a nursing home if used with other sources including professional referrals, friends’ references, etc.
State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPS)–When questions about Medicare arise, and they inevitably will, you can contact a nationwide program that uses trained volunteers to offer free help, either by email or by phone. They could come in handy soon, when the Medicare open enrollment period begins on October 15. It runs through December 7. During that period you can make some changes to your parents’ or your Medicare plans. You can switch from original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Program and vice versa. You can switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another. For help in understanding the plans and their costs, a trained volunteer can give you information without trying to sell a product.
My next post will discuss two more sources of free eldercare help.