What’s the best nursing home or assisted living facility in Wake County?

What’s the best nursing home or assisted living facility in Wake County? It’s a question I’m often asked by family members faced with admitting a loved one to long-term care or rehab after a hospitalization.

I’ve practiced Elder Law in Raleigh for twenty-eight years, and during that time I’ve visited clients in skilled nursing care facilities all over Wake County as well as listened to firsthand accounts from family members of residents in those nursing homes and assisted living homes. Certainly, some facilities tend to get better marks from clients than others, and I’m always happy to share with clients the names of facilities that get the best and worst reviews from other clients and the ones that have impressed me on my visits.

The list of “top facilities” is always changing as the staff and ownership of these long-term care homes frequently changes, and the nursing home that was considered the best in the area for years when I first started practicing in North Carolina no longer tops the list.

If you’re faced with finding long-term care for yourself or a loved one, here are some tips to help determine which rehab or skilled nursing facility is the best:

  • Resources for Seniors maintains a list of the long-term care facilities in Wake County. Use this list as a starting point to determine the names and locations of the type of facility for which you’re searching. The list includes telephone numbers for the facilities so you can call to find out the pricing and whether they have available beds.
  • Review the ratings and inspection reports of rehab and skilled nursing facilities on the Medicare website. Click on “nursing homes” on the left of the page and then enter your zip code to see the star ratings for the facilities in your area.
  • Look at North Carolina’s inspection reports and ratings of the assisted living facilities and adult care homes. You can search by county to view star ratings for each facility as well as read the detailed inspection reports.
  • Do an internet search for the name of each facility that you’re considering to pull up reviews of other consumers on Google, Yelp, and other websites. Pay attention to the dates of the reviews more than the overall rating. Recent good reviews can be more important than an overall star rating that is low because of past reviews that are several years old.
  • If you may need Medicaid or Special Assistance to help pay for your stay in the facility, make sure the facility you’re entering accepts those programs. Consult an elder law attorney who may be able to help you protect your home or other assets while qualifying for Medicaid or other benefits to help cover the cost of your stay.
  • Most importantly, visit the facility in person, if possible, so you can make sure it appears clean and well-staffed and the residents appear content and well cared for.

Families are often faced with making a quick decision on a rehab or skilled nursing facility after a hospitalization, and because the number of beds is limited, sometimes your choices may also be limited. If you or a loved one ends up in a poorly rated facility, don’t despair. Often the most important factor in guaranteeing good quality of care is having family members or friends who visit the facility frequently and/or stay in contact with the staff to ensure that their loved ones’ needs are being met.

If you need help navigating admission to a long-term care facility in North Carolina or assistance applying for Medicaid to help pay for the cost of care in a nursing home, give Amanda Spence a call at 919-863-4183 or email aspence@allenspence.com.