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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...

Staff

  • 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
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