April 14, 2006

Questions to ask a nursing or assisted living home operator before you place your loved one there

by Levin & Perconti

Questions to ask a nursing or assisted living home operator before you place your loved one there

The following questions serve as a helpful guide when choosing a nursing home for a loved one. It may be difficult for a particular facility to meet all of these expectations and therefore, it is important to consider the needs of the potential resident when choosing a home.

1. Privacy measures, such as visitor, mail, and phone communications
2. How are the nursing assistants and CNA’s involved in the resident’s care planning process?
3. What types of activities are available for the residents? (community activities, easy access to books, etc).
4. What occurs when someone has a complaint? Are family and staff conferences typically able to work these issues out?
5. How does the staff accommodate the family’s schedule to assure participation in care planning meetings?
6. What does the facility do for those residents who are depressed? Is counseling available?
7. What kinds of therapies are provided for residents on Medicaid? (occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, mental health, etc.)
8. Who participates in the selection of roommates? What do you consider in selecting roommates? Are the residents involved in the selection and if so, how?
9. Is there permanent assignment of staff to residents?
10. Ask about everyday issues such as air quality, noise, toilet schedules, food service and quality, cleanliness, freedom of choice, staff attitude, and responsiveness to concerns both from the family and resident.
11. Are there policies or procedures to safeguard a resident’s possessions?
12. Are residents able to make choices about their daily routine such as when they wake up, go to bed, eat, and bathe?
13. Does the home have special services units?
14. Does the home conduct background checks on all staff?
15. Does the home have abuse prevention training?
16. Is the current home and administrator licensed?
17. Ask the facility for a copy of a state inspection report.