Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Where To Find Care's Tips for conducting a nursing home tour

Ready to personally tour your narrow list of nursing homes? Nothing can substitute for an "in-person" experience. You can use all of your senses to gather more information firsthand helping you make the right decision for your family member. Contact the nursing home and set up an appointment. Now it's time to gather your questions. To get you started, use the list below:

1.How accessible is the nursing home?   Does it have plenty of parking for visitors?   What are the visiting hours?   Is there a common phone for the residents to use?  Or do residents need their own personal phone?

2.Examine the nursing home with all your senses. How do the residents appear, what condition is the furniture in, what types of safety equipment do they have, how noisy is the nursing home, are there any odors?

3.Inquire about dietary. What types of meals are served? Snacks? Specialty diets?

4.Inquire about fees they charge. What are the basic fees? Are there any special fees? What insurances do they accepted?

5.Inquire about the activities program. Ask to see the activity schedule for the past 6 months. Do they support outings?

6.Ask to see the latest inspection report. If any corrections needed to be made, ask if they have been made and what was done to correct them.

7.Interview patients, family, and staff. Ask how satisfied they are with the nursing home. Inquire about staffing. How many doctors, nurses, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are on staff? Does staffing change on weekends? After hours? Holidays?

8.Inquire about languages. Communication with a patient is important. Ask what the primary spoken language is and if any other languages can be accommodated, for example sign language.

9. Inquire about religious support. Do area churches visit the nursing home?

10.Ask questions. If you see something unusual, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It may help to explain nursing home policies

11.If you have any questions after the tour is done, contact the nursing home.

12.Don’t be afraid to ask to tour the nursing home again. This is a very important decision. It’s always good to go back on another day or during a different time to see if anything has changed.

13.Inquire about the services they offer. Do they specialize in any illness? If yes, what makes their program different from other nursing homes?

If you have a good question to add to this list be sure to tell us.You can print this list and take you as well. We left plenty of room so you can write your notes. Remember, all questions are good questions so be sure to ask them.

Medicare also offer a nursing home checklist. You can check it out here.

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