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Alzheimer's Disease and Nursing Home Care

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

Needs Assessment

  • Is there a written plan for the care of each resident?
  • What is the procedure for assessing a potential resident's need for services? Are those needs reassessed periodically?

Staff

  • Do the nurses, social workers, and administrators have experience and/or education regarding elderly patients?
  • Are staff members available to meet scheduled and unscheduled needs?
  • Do staff members seem to genuinely enjoy working with the residents?
  • Do staff members treat residents as individuals?
  • Are staff members available to assist residents who experience memory, orientation, or judgment losses?
  • Does a doctor or nurse visit the resident regularly to provide medical checkups?

Residents and Atmosphere

  • Do residents appear happy and comfortable?
  • Do residents, other visitors, and volunteers speak favorably about the nursing home?
  • Are residents clean and appropriately dressed?
  • Are the rights of residents clearly posted?

Facility Design

  • Do you like the appearance of the building and its surroundings?
  • Is the decor attractive and home-like?
  • Is the floor plan easy to follow?
  • Do doorways, hallways, and rooms accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
  • Are elevators available?
  • Are handrails available?
  • Are shelves easy to reach?
  • Are carpets secured and floors made of a non-skid material?
  • Is there good natural and artificial lighting?
  • Is the residence clean, odor free, and appropriately heated/cooled?

Medication and Health Care

  • What is the policy regarding storage of medication and assistance with medication?
  • Is self-administration of medication allowed?
  • Who coordinates visits from a physical, occupational, or speech therapist, if needed?

Services

  • Are staff members available to provide 24-hour assistance with activities of daily living, if needed? Daily activities include:
    • Dressing
    • Eating
    • Getting around
    • Hygiene and grooming
    • Bathing, toileting, and incontinence issues
    • Using the telephone

Room Features

  • Are rooms for single and double occupancy available?
  • Is a 24-hour emergency response system accessible from the room?
  • Are bathrooms private? Do they accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
  • Can residents bring their own furnishings? What may they bring?
  • Do all rooms have a telephone? How is billing handled for long-distance calls?

Social and Recreational Activities

  • Is there an activities program?
  • Are the activities posted for residents?
  • Do most of the residents at an activity seem to be participating?

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