Admission to a nursing home or residential care facility is difficult and stressful, both for the person being admitted and for families. Before you or your loved one is admitted, it is important to learn as much as possible about the nursing home or residential care facility. Here’s a checklist to help you through the process.
- Make a list of facilities close enough for family and friends to visit.
- It is vitally important to visit the nursing home or residential care facility as part of the decision-making process. Ask for a complete tour of the facility including each wing or residence hall. Do not limit your visit to the lobby or other public areas. Observe how residents are treated by staff, whether the residents appear happy and comfortable and whether the facility is clean and passes the smell test.
- Is the facility’s food nutritious, tasty, and attractively presented? Ask for a sample.
- Ask about the facility’s activity program and schedules.
- Ask about visiting policies. Avoid nursing homes and residential care facilities with restrictive visiting rules.
- Review state surveys and reports. The facility should have the most recent copies available. Ask for them.
- What physician(s) will be caring for you or your loved one? When can you meet them?
- Is transportation available for trips and other out of facility activities?
- 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. Ask about their qualifications and experience.
- Does the facility have active family and resident councils?
- Take the time to read and understand all documents presented by the facility before you or your loved one signs them. Do not be hurried. If the documents presented by the facility include an arbitration agreement, do not sign it. You or your loved one may lose important legal and constitutional rights, including the right to jury trial, if you do. In California, signing an arbitration agreement cannot be made a precondition to admission.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a nursing home or assisted living facility or you suspect neglect/abuse in a facility, give us a call 209-521-1269. Consultations are always free.