Often times, people who are assisting a family member or other loved ones in transitioning to a nursing home are overwhelmed at the task at hand. I strongly encourage these individuals to visit the nursing home armed with this helpful list of questions written by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services:
Health Care and Services
• Can residents retain their personal physician if they wish?
• Will a resident be moved out of the facility if additional care is needed?
• Do residents have input in the development of care plans?
• Are rehabilitation programs and therapies offered, as appropriate?
• What are the policies on “do not resuscitate” and “advance directives”?
• If applicable, does the facility meet the Alzheimer’s Association criteria?
• Does the facility offer specialized programs or services?
• What is the staff to resident ratio?
• What are the facility’s hiring and staffing policies?
• How are prospective employees screened?
• What kind of training do new employees receive?
• Is there adequate privacy and space in resident rooms?
• What personal possessions are permitted in resident rooms?
• How are items protected from theft?
• If rooms are shared, how are roommates selected?
• What happens if roommates are not compatible?
• What are the policies on transfer and relocation of residents?
• Are there activity rooms and lounge areas for resident use?
• Are the bathing and food preparation areas clean and accessible?
Meals and Resident Activities
• Are meals served in an appealing manner and at proper temperature?
• Ask to sample a meal.
• Are there food choices?
• Are there accommodations for special diets?
• Are snacks and drinks available between meals?
• Is there an active residents’ council?
• Are special events held at or outside the facility and what is scheduled?
• Are there religious or cultural activities offered?
• What are the facility’s policies concerning family visits?
• Are there designated visiting hours?
• What space is available for visits?
• Are there limitations on the number of visitors or frequency of visits?
• Are family members permitted to join relatives for occasional meals?
• Is the facility approved to accept Medicare or Medicaid patients?
• What is the billing and payment policy?
• What is included in the daily/monthly rate?
• Are there any additional charges?
• How long will the bed be held if the resident is hospitalized?
• Do the residents appear to be well cared for, properly groomed, and dressed appropriately for the season and time of day?
• Do staff seem to be friendly, caring and accommodating to residents, visitors and others?
• Do staff members respond promptly to resident’s requests?
• Is the facility clean?
• Are there strong odors in the facility?
• Is the facility well maintained, pleasing and cheerful?
• Are the exits clearly marked and accessible?
• When was the facility’s last survey conducted?
• Is the most recent survey report available in the facility? If so, where?
• Have cited deficiencies been corrected?
• If corrected, when and how were they corrected?
• How will the facility prevent them from recurring?
• If deficiencies are not yet corrected, what is the facility’s plan for correcting?