If you're considering long term care for a friend or loved one, proper planning can make a difference. By evaluating the needs of your loved one and the services provided by the Center, you can make an informed decision that will please you and the new resident. You should schedule a visit to various Centers to meet with the Director of Admissions and tour the building and grounds. If a meal or activity is in progress, ask if you can join on. Observe the quality and presentation of the food and the interaction with the residents.
Other things to observe during your visit....Location/Services:
- Is the Center conveniently located to family and friends?
- How close are the nearest emergency facilities?
- Does the Center provide the needed services: respite, skilled nursing facility (SNF), long term care, hospice?
Appearance and Atmosphere-
- Does it have a home like atmosphere?
- Are the rooms and lounges comfortable?
- Are furnishings and decor up to date?
- Are the grounds well maintained and accessible?
- Are the corridors and rooms well lit and clean?
- Are the nurses and nursing aides friendly and helpful?
- Do they seem to enjoy interacting with the residents?
- Do they show a caring, positive attitude?
- Do they offer physical, occupational, and speech therapies?
- If respiratory therapy is needed, is it available?
- Are therapy services provided on the weekend if necessary?
- Where are therapy services offered?
- Ask what equipment and treatment modalities are provided.
- Ask to see the "Calendar of Events" for the month.
- Does the "Calendar of Events" include a variety of individual and group activities?
- Are some of the activities off campus?
- How are special holiday/religious celebrations handled?
- Do the meals look nutritious?
- Is a registered dietician part of the care team?
- Where are meals served?
- Can family members have meals at the Center?
- Are regular religious services offered?
- Bible study?
- Is there an odor problem?
- Should you detect an odor, it should be quickly eliminated through adequate ventilation.
- Does the Center look like it is well maintained?
- Are linens and towels clean and fresh?
- Do they seem friendly and cheerful?
- Do they look like they truly enjoy their work?
Finally, ask to see the Center's latest state inspection. Staff should be knowledgeable about the report and happy to answer any questions you may have.
The above is just a partial listing of things to look for during a tour. Our Director of Admissions will be happy to provide you with a copy of "How to select a Nursing Center" when you visit.