What Should I Look for in a Nursing Home? continued...
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?
Do the nurses, social workers, and administrators have geriatric experience and/or education?
Is the staff willing to work with all of your doctors in developing an appropriate plan of care? Often patients entering a nursing home will be assigned to a general doctor who is responsible for their general medical care. It is very important that this doctor work well with the other doctors and specialists involved in your care.
Are staff 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 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 adequately dressed?
Are the rights of residents clearly posted?
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?
Is staff available to provide 24-hour assistance with activities of daily living, if needed? Daily living activities include:
Hygiene and grooming
Bathing and toileting
Using the telephone
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?