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Skilled nursing facilities in different states?


Junior Member
My mom (in CA) had a stroke about a week ago. She was discharged to a local skilled nursing facility. She’s on Medicare and Medical.

I live in AZ, and I’m working on moving her to a skilled nursing facility near my home.

Does anyone have experience with a similar situation? Any words of advice or things to be aware of?

Any guidance is appreciated.


Senior Member
My situation is not exactly like yours. I moved my mom from her home in MO to assisted living near me when my dad died suddenly. It was not covered by Medicare, so she pays for it.

I would recommend talking to the social worker at the facility she is in now. They may at least be able to guide you on people to talk to in AZ.

I talked to a clergy person in my area who gave some recommendations for places. I also asked friends and neighbors for recommendations.

Do you have POA? You will need it. Make sure your mom’s bank accounts are accessible. My mom used several local banks, so we had to transfer some accounts to a national bank.

I called movers and also got a storage unit here as soon as we had a move-in date.

Good luck. It was a long and hard process but it has now been a year and things do settle down. I will be thinking of you.


Senior Member
I'm sorry to hear about your mom. I hope she makes a good recovery. We've had a experience with skilled nursing. In our case, it was a large bedroom with medical grade bathroom and the people could bring all their own furniture in to make it their home. It had staffed nursing 24/7 and they would administer medication, take vitals, and offer support in all sorts of ways. My family member loved it there and they were so helpful to family.

I'd look for reviews (in our state they are graded by various medical grades in terms of the services they offer and cleanliness, etc.). They can vary quite a bit. I'd also make visits and see how the clients look. I'm sure others would have better advice.

Good luck, this is a tough journey to navigate, but the right skilled nursing facility can be a wonderful (albeit pricey) support. In our case, most places won't take insurance for the actual facility, only for the nursing pieces. It was like paying rent.


Senior Member
I’m sorry to hear about your mom. It’s so hard when we don’t live close by.

You said that your mom is on “ Medicare and Medical”. Medical is not a term I’m familiar with. Her options for a skilled nursing facility depend on what “Medical” is. Most people on Medicare either have a private plan (supplement or Advantage) that picks up what Medicare does not cover or Medicaid. Plus you also have to consider if, and how long, she can self pay after rehab is done.

You may want to take her information, along with any POAs you have, to an elderly lawyer in your area for a consultation. This would be especially important if she has Medicaid as that coverage varies by state and does not (I believe) automatically transfer. It’s complicated.


Senior Member
We left mom and dad in their hometown and traveled back and forth. (If you can avoid that I would! I had to quit my job and commute routinely between two states for four years.) After dad passed, we moved mom and fortunately she was still well enough to do the drive in one of our cars with overnight breaks at my sibling's houses who lived along the route to my house. (We wanted her trip to be slow since DH and I were madly packing up her old room, moving it, and getting her new room near us all situated while she in route.)

I do know from experience growing up in that town where people are often medevacked to the trauma hospital that was almost a five hour drive that there was a medical transport van that transports non emergency patients who need medical supervision. That's how people often came home after going up by helicopter. It was PRICEY and I don't know if it would be covered for non emergency.

My best advice is to start figuring out her financial situation if you aren't already involved and ask(demand?) to speak with a social worker at her facility for help figuring out your options. Local social workers on both ends might be your key to figuring out the puzzle you have ahead of you. Try calling the phone lines for medicare and any supplemental insurance she has and see if there is advice/help available. Some larger areas have something called "senior advocates?" that might be able to help (for hire.)


Senior Member
Good idea about the social workers- they were instrumental in helping us as well. And with the POA for both medical and financial.


Senior Member

Going through the same process you are, but several days behind you. My sister had a stroke Thursday evening and is still being evaluated at the local hospital. She is alive and can move all four limbs, knows her name, but has aphasia and can't find the words to finish a sentence. She said today, "I want..." and that was it. It's hard because only one person can visit due to covid.

I did give her a notebook and a pen for when she can progress in her communication a bit more, so do give her one and several pens when she gets settled in. She may not be able to use it at first, but you will have it to write notes and questions to the doctor/nurse when you go up to get her if they allow that or for when she's moved in to the facility near you. You can prop that notebook up on her bedside table for them to see along with your phone number.

My son did say that one bit of advice that he learned when I was incommunicado in the hospital about eight years ago is that doctors all have their own opinions about longterm outcome. Listen, but don't get flustered by all the different opinions. There is no real timeline for each patient. One week and she's being moved into rehab sounds like real progress. John Hopkins stroke questions and timeline is a good reference online.

As far as finding a rehab center near you if you haven't found one, call the hospital resource person. They will be able to look for a center that deals with stroke patients that is near you. If there is no resource person, which is unlikely, then you'll have to call the nearest nursing facility and tell them that you are looking for one that has a stroke rehabilitation program. They should be able to tell you which places offer that kind of service. (But it kind of sounds like you have found one already.)

Keep in touch if you want and we can compare notes on their recoveries and our frustrations dealing with medical facilities.


Junior Member
Thanks, everyone!

I appreciate everyone sharing their experiences. It’s overwhelming, and there are so many terms, rules, and other pieces to learn.

One of the biggest helps so far is getting in touch with the local Area Agency for Aging. Seems like a good introduction to all things “elder care.”

I spoke to the ombudsman there (again, SO many new terms to learn….). The ombudsman listened to my concerns about her current skilled nursing facility. She already contacted them about a couple of my concerns. She also pointed me in the right direction for other services we may need, like how to get POA.

Thank you again for reminding me that I’m not alone in this. It helps to be reminded that others have navigated this situation. It won’t be easy, but it CAN be done.