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California is a vast state of many climate zones and even more options when comparing nursing homes or skilled nursing services. Based on the specific needs of your elderly loved one, finding a long-term senior care option near you doesn’t need to involve a state-wide expedition. With over 1,200 nursing homes in California, the decision all comes down to your loved one’s individual needs, preferences, and eligibility for federal programs like Medicare and Medi-Cal.
Nursing homes and skilled nursing communities, also called rehabilitation centers or convalescent hospitals all qualify for varying levels of federal assistance. Additionally, there are other categories and subcategories including Distinct Part / Skilled Nursing Facilities and Intermediate Care Facilities which break down further still. Identifying the right care option for your loved one is the first step in locating and investigating a prospective nursing home in California.
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Compared to the national median annual rate, skilled nursing homes in California are relatively standard with private rooms costing $104,025, and semi-private rooms at around $89,396. Given the geographical size of the state, nursing homes in San Francisco and those in the southern regions and in between vary quite a bit.
For more information on nursing home care costs in California, check out: Genworth's 2015 Cost of Care Survey - California.
There are tons of things to do in The Golden State, and that includes more than just (celebrity) star-sighting in Los Angeles. There are always things to do in California, and with large cities, redwood forests, farmland, cliff-lined beaches, and the Mojave Desert, there is something for everyone. The Yosemite National Park, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is nearly 1,200 miles of waterfalls, deep valleys, meadows, ancient giant sequoias, and more! They offer a multitude of activities and events as well as lodging if you are planning a long stay.
If you're planning to stay or visit San Francisco, don't you dare leave without visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco and is possibly the most beautiful and most photographed bridge in the world. Alcatraz Island is the former home of the infamous federal penitentiary that was shut down in the 60s. It is also the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast.
California has long been described as a near paradise. With sunny weather year round, you find that all sorts of people from all over the country and the world end up in California. Californians are typically more liberal than other Americans, especially the southern and mid-west states. The state is home to many prestigious universities and successful athletic teams at both the collegiate and professional levels. Ever since the Gold Rush of the 1850s, California has seemed to keep that pioneering spirit leading to the state being known for its technology hub (Silicon Valley), entertainment, and economic fads and booms that the rest of the world seem to follow.
With such a large state, it should be expected that California's climate varies widely depending on where you are in the state. There are hot desert regions and also subarctic areas of the state. In general, the southern part of the state is much warmer than the north. In regions near water such as San Francisco or Eureka California, you can expect summer high temperature in the 60 to 70-degree Fahrenheit range, while winters aren't much cooler with temperatures in the 50 to 60-degree range. In southern regions of the state like in San Diego or Los Angeles, summers are warm, with temperatures in the 70 to 80-degree range and winter highs in the 60-degree range. Areas like Death Valley are scorching during the summer with average highs in the 100-degree range! In these much drier and warmer inland regions, they are prone to wildfires, which can be life-threatening and cause evacuation.
Nursing homes in California are licensed, regulated, inspected, and certified by various public and private agencies at the state and federal level. Facilities accepting Medicare and Medicaid Services are required to adhere to all federal requirements. Strict rules make sure that every nursing home has at least one nurse on duty at all times. Nursing home communities with more than 67 beds are required to also keep a nursing director. California changed their laws in 2009 to require residents to 3.2 hours of nursing, up from 3.0.
All natural beauty and disasters aside, finding a safe surrounding area to your desired skilled nursing home only helps to ease the minds of all parties involved. Based on recent FBI crime reports and analysis, some of the safest cities in the country reside in California, ranking lower than the national average in terms of both violent and property crimes. However, annual crime rates overall are slightly higher than the national average given the size of the state.
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Due to the amount of different classifications of nursing homes and skilled nursing communities in California, there are specific guidelines for receiving coverage through Medicare or Medi-Cal. Most, but not all Medi-Cal nursing homes participate in federal assistance programs and prices may vary depending on whether or not the home is based in a hospital. Distinct Part / Skilled Nursing Facilities will usually receive higher Medi-Cal rates than freestanding nursing homes.
For residents needing subacute or specialized care such as ventilators or complex medical procedures, Medi-Cal will often contract with skilled nursing homes to provide these services. Additionally, Intermediate Care Facilities are outlined by the California Association of Health Facilities as providing inpatient care to individuals who do not require continuous nursing care but do need supervision and support.
California nursing home residents have rights. These rights include the right to be treated with dignity and respect, the right to quality care and treatment free from discrimination, and the right to have a relative or legal representative act on your behalf to exercise these rights if you are not able to do so. Residents have the right to visits from friends and family, and also have the right to refuse those visits. Residents have the right to information regarding their plan of care, treatment, and health condition. This includes the right to participating in the plan of care or refusing medical treatment, procedures, or experimental research.
Residents receiving nursing home care or any other type of medical attention in California are entitled to a comprehensive and accurate record of their diagnosis and treatment. State and federal laws provide that residents have access to their records and health information, as well as the right to know when disclosures have been made. Otherwise, these records are to remain confidential and can be accessed by submitting a request and providing a small fee.