Choosing a nursing facility for a loved one is never an easy process. This is something that should be done slowly if possible and with a great of thought and consideration. In preparation, make a list of items that are most important to you and your loved one! Think about what you value and what will make them the happiest! Also remember to seek guidance regarding contracts prior to signing! Know the facility and their terms well! A Care Advisor can provide guidance and resources as needed.
The following questions below can serve as a guide for your process. Do not be shy, ask questions, lots of questions, take time to gather and consider all information before moving forward!
If asking about memory care inquire about staff training and daily resident programming. Look for visual cueing throughout areas, frustration free ability to move throughout, access to outside, etc.
How are the levels of care defined? How often are they reassessed?
What will be done to help the resident adjust if having difficulties?
Continuity of care, do the CNA's / nursing assistants take care of the same group of residents each time they work, or do you rotate the assignments after a period of time? How is the schedule and resident assignments made?
What services can be provided on site? (Beauty, MD/ NP, podiatry, psychiatric, eye, dental?)
If so, what is the turnover rate for your direct care workers (CNAs, nurse assistants)? Shoot for any number under 40 percent. (The national average is 66 percent.) Licensed nursing staff? Aim for any number under 30 percent. (The national average is 41 percent for RNs and 50 percent for LPNs.)
Do you measure staff satisfaction, family, resident satisfaction?
Do you have general resident meetings, how often?
How often do you measure the satisfaction of these groups?
If yes, what do you do with the satisfaction survey results?
Look at the furnishings, condition of facility, colors, furniture, walls, floors, lighting, real or artificial plants, bird cages, fish tanks, pets, smells, lighting, signs, postings, elements of privacy, options for sitting alone, activity areas, transportation vehicles, conversation areas, private dining rooms, and resident facial expressions.
Check to see if Resident Council and Family Council materials, and ombudsman contact information, are posted in clear, obvious places and at a level where a person in a wheelchair could read them.
Finally, if it does not feel like the right fit, it probably is not!!!