If your loved one cannot live at home, you must decide which skilled nursing facility would provide the best care. This choice must be right both for you and your family member. You need a facility that offers safety, accurate medical care, and a compassionate, home-like atmosphere. To help you navigate the many available options, here are six questions all families should ask when looking at skilled nursing facilities.
1. What Is the Staff to Patient Ratio?
This answer to this question speaks volumes about overall patient safety and care. The higher the ratio of direct care personnel to resident, the more individualized attention your loved one will receive for:
- Oral care
- Medications, treatments, and therapies
- Social interaction
Even the tidiness and cleanliness of the facility as a whole and of individual rooms and gathering areas are impacted by staff to patient ratio. So, be sure to ask for clarification if needed.
2. Have There Been Reported Instances of Patient Abuse or Neglect at Your Facility in the Past Two to Three Years?
Also inquire about how the facility may handle possible reports of abuse and neglect. What training does staff receive in patient safety and avoidance of neglect or disrespect? How does the facility vet new employees?
3. How Does a Resident Receive Ongoing Acute and Preventive Medical Care?
Are there in-house physicians who take care of basic medical care, including infection and wound treatment, care for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, and preventive care, such as vaccines, routine blood draws, vision, and hearing tests and more? It is also important to ask if your loved one keep their primary care physician, and who is responsible for transport to outside providers–you or the facility?
4. What Special Services Do You Offer?
Find out if the facility has in-house aesthetic services, such as haircuts and styling, manicures, pedicures, and others your family member may like or is used to having. If they are offered, ask what the cost is for these services, if any.
Also, ask about the facility’s dietary services. Will your loved one get assistance at mealtime as needed? How are nutritional needs, such as low- sodium, or pureed meals available?
Finally, are occupational, speech and physical therapy services available onsite? Is each resident evaluated periodically and therapy care plans updated periodically?
5. How Will My Loved One Interact With Other Residents, and What Activities Are Available?
Most high-quality nursing homes offer home-like gathering places where residents take their meals, watch TV, do arts and crafts, listen to music, and visit with friends and family. Be sure to see these areas when you tour the facility.
Ask, too, about pastoral care. Is your loved one’s worship tradition and denomination represented? Is there a chapel for services and prayer? Is there clergy onsite?
6. Are The Resident’s Rooms Safe, Spacious and Clean?
Just looking around a typical room as you tour the facility will give you a feel for overall cleanliness and safety. But, specifically, inquire how often patient rooms and bathrooms are cleaned and trash emptied. Ask if there are safety rails, shower seats and other safety measures in place for each resident.
Does every room have space for personal belongings, decorations, and apparel? Is there a window? Are rooms private or semi-private?
Nursing Home Services In The State of Pennsylvania
At AdvantageCare Rehabilitation, our caring team delivers home health services and therapies to nursing home residents. We also offer home health services and care coordination management for skilled nursing facilities. Five-star rated and Medicare-certified, we address the medical, social, emotional, and mental health needs of numerous people across 52 counties in Pennsylvania.