CHOOSING A CARE FACILITY
Below is a list of some important things to look out for, both prior to having your loved one admitted to a care facility, as well as once they have entered a facility. There are more detailed lists, some of which we have recommended in the column to the left that come from some of the most reputable sources in elder care. We hope you find this information useful in trying to ensure your loved ones receive the quality care they deserve.
BEFORE YOUR LOVED ONE IS ADMITTED
- Make a list of facilities close enough for family and friends to visit. Ask about their visiting policies.
- Review state surveys and reports. The facility should have the most recent copies available.
- What physician(s) will be caring for your loved one? When can you meet them?
- Is transportation available for trips?
- Ask for a complete tour of the facility including each wing or residence hall.
- Find out how many licensed nurses are on duty each shift as well as resident-to-nurse, resident-to-aide, and resident-to-staff ratios.
- Does the facility pass the smell test? You can tell the difference between masked odors and actual cleanliness.
- Does the facility pass the taste test? Taste a sample of the food.
- Does the facility have active family and resident councils?
- NEVER sign an Arbitration Agreement without seeking legal counsel.
AFTER YOUR LOVED ONE IS ADMITTED
Visit often, at different times, and on different days.
Talk to your loved one about the care provided.
Is your loved one and their room neat and clean?
Is a staff member frequently monitoring your loved one?
Do a skin check for signs of cuts, bruises, and skin breakdown.
Occasionally review your loved one’s chart.
Become acquainted with the staff who are caring for your loved one.
Observe other patients and the attention they receive.
Attend care conferences and meetings. If you’re not invited, find out why.
CARE FACILITY EVALUATION CHECKLIST
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) has a great evaluation checklist to use in evaluating care facilities. Click here to go directly to their page and print the checklist for reference.
NURSING HOME COMPARISONS
The Medicare site provides detailed information about every Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country. Narrow your search by zip code and compare homes to find the best fit for you. They also have a valuable checklist. Click here