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    What Should We Look For in a Nursing Home? continued...


    • Do the nurses, social workers, and administrators have experience working with older patients?
    • Are staff members available to meet scheduled and unscheduled needs?
    • Do staff members seem to enjoy working with the residents?
    • Do they treat residents like adults? Do they call them by their first names?
    • Are there people to help residents who have problems with memory, confusion, or judgment?

    Residents and Atmosphere

    • Do residents seem happy and comfortable? Are they clean and dressed well?
    • What do residents, other visitors, and volunteers say about the nursing home?
    • Are the rights of residents clearly posted?

    Facility Design and Features

    • Do you like the look of the building and its surroundings?
    • Do the living spaces feel homey?
    • Is the floor plan easy to follow?
    • Do wheelchairs and walkers fit in doorways, hallways, and rooms?
    • Are there elevators?
    • Are the rooms well-lit?
    • Is the facility clean, odor-free, and at a comfortable temperature?
    • Is there a 24-hour emergency response system in each room?
    • Are bathrooms private? Do wheelchairs and walkers fit?
    • Can residents bring their own furnishings? What may they bring?
    • Do all rooms have a phone?

    Medication and Health Care

    • What’s the policy on storing medication and helping residents take it? Can residents take their medicine themselves?
    • How often does a doctor or nurse visit to give medical checkups?
    • Who coordinates visits from physical, occupational, or speech therapists?

    Social and Recreational Activities

    • Is there an activities program? Is the schedule clearly posted?
    • Do most of the residents at an activity seem to join in?

    Food Service

    • How often does the center provide meals? What’s a typical menu? Are there set meal times?
    • Is the food hot and appetizing?
    • Are snacks available?
    • What if residents need special foods?
    • Is it easy to get drinking water anywhere in the facility?
    • Are there group dining areas, or do residents eat meals in their rooms?

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on September 20, 2014
    1 | 2 | 3
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