Suggested Topics & Questions
The following is a partial listing of topics and questions you may want to consider in choosing a nursing facility. These are only suggestions. It is not an exhaustive list. There may be other topics or questions that are important to you or your loved one. You should explore your concerns with the facility.
Health Care and Services:
Are there certain types of care and services that the facility cannot provide?
Will a resident be moved out of the facility if additional care is needed?
Do residents and/or families have input in the development of care plans? If so how?
Are rehabilitation programs and therapies offered, as appropriate?
What are the policies on "do not resuscitate" and "advance directives"?
If applicable, does the facility follow the National Alzheimer's Association guidelines?
Does the facility offer specialized programs or services? How does a resident qualify for these programs or services? Are there extra fees for these programs or services:?
Are extra fees charged if a resident continues to use his/her own pharmacy?
What is the staff-to-resident ratio for each shift?
What are the facility's hiring and staffing policies?
How are prospective employees screened?
What kind of training do new and existing employees receive?
How many hours of training do staff receive each year for residents with dementia?
What is the normal use of pool/agency nurses?
How long have the administrator and director of nursing worked in this facility?
Are CNA's assigned to the same resident everyday?
Is there adequate privacy and space in resident rooms?
What personal possessions are permitted in resident rooms?
How are items protected from theft? Are items replaced by the facility if lost or stolen?
If rooms are shared, how are roommates selected?
What happens if roommates are not compatible?
What are the policies on transfer and relocation of residents? Does the facility ask residents to change rooms if he/she stops paying privately and enrolls in the Medicaid program?
Are there activity rooms and lounge areas for resident use?
Are the bathing and food preparation areas clean and accessible?
How are personal phone lines and/or cable service(s) accommodated?
Is smoking allowed in this facility? If so where is the smoking area?
Meals and Resident Activities:
Are meals served in an appealing manner and at proper temperature?
Ask to sample a meal.
Are there food choices?
Are there accommodations for special diets and food preferences?
Are snacks and drinks available between meals?
Is there an active residents' council?
Are special events held at or outside the facility and what is scheduled?
Are there religious or cultural activities offered?
Does the facility have a van for transporting residents into the community?
Confirm families may visit at any time?
Are there designated visiting hours for non family members?
What private space is available for visits?
Are there limitations on the number of visitors or frequency of visits?
Are family members permitted to join relatives for occasional meals?
Is there an active family council?
Is the facility approved to accept Medicare or Medicaid patients?
What is the billing and payment policy?
What is included in the daily/monthly rate?
Are there any additional charges?
How long will the bed be held if the resident is hospitalized?
Do the residents appear to be well cared for, properly groomed, and dressed appropriately for the season and time of day?
Do staff members seem to be friendly, caring, and accommodating to residents, visitors, and others?
Do staff members respond promptly to resident's requests?
Is the facility clean?
Are there strong odors in the facility?
Is the facility well maintained, pleasing, and cheerful?
Are the exits clearly marked and accessible?
When was the facility's last survey conducted?
Where, as required, is the most recent survey report for the facility?
Have cited deficiencies been corrected?
If corrected, when and how were they corrected?
How will the facility prevent them from recurring?
If deficiencies are not yet corrected, what is the facility's plan for correcting them?
Have there been any complaints within the last year that were substantiated? If so what were the survey findings?