In my book, Who Moved My Dentures? I have an entire chapter devoted to choosing facilties. And since I had to choose a rehabilitation center for my mom, you might be interested in a blog I wrote about that experience.
Here are some excerpts from my book when touring a facility:
- Visit a facility all hours of the day. Visit often.
- How diligent was security when you entered?
- See if the Director of Nursing is out in the halls. Is he/she walking by everyone not making eye contact, not saying anything?
- Same with the administrator. Is the administrator out there asking how you are doing, how are you feeling?
- Ask for a copy of any state inspections.
- Observe the residents. Do they look happy? Are their clothes clean and in good repair? Are they wearing footwear? Does any one look cold and not have a sweater? Do the wheel chairs look clean and cared for with no sharp edges or tatters?
- Ask to have a meal in the dining room. If residents are dining observe them for a few moments.
- If you are looking assisted living there may be a program that allows you to live there for a weekend to try it out.
- Ask a lot of questions. Go in and talk to the staff and find out what it is like there. How experienced are they in what they are doing? How do they like working there?
- Find out about staffing ratios. Facilities with staff that have been in place a long time are facilities that provide better care because they have experience.
- Often a resident will need some type of therapy such as physical or speech therapy. Go and observe a therapy session.
- Ask for references of families who have loved ones there.
- Ask to participate in an activity.
- Take a nurse with you when you go to visit a place that you are thinking about.
- Sit in on a family council meeting. Talk to family council members privately. How are families involved in their loved ones life?
- Sit in on a residents' council meeting and talk to residents privately as well.
- Look beyond the wallpaper. TYou are paying for a level of care. That is primary. Whether it is run like a fancy hotel is secondary.
- Request a copy of the contract that you would sign if you opted to stay there. Review it with an attorney.
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