Questions To Ask When Selecting A Nursing Home

The decision to put a loved one in a nursing home is a challenging one to make. There are many considerations to take into account. You may find yourself questioning if skilled care is the right level of service for your loved one.

You likely will have many unanswered questions as you begin your search to find the right facility.

St. John’s professionals are always available to help you navigate this challenging process. To connect with one of our representatives, send us an email or contact us by phone at 585-760-1300.

In the mean time, as you begin your search, below are a list of questions to ask when touring skilled nursing facilities for long-term care or rehabilitation services.

You can also watch our video about the long-term care admissions process.

General

• Does the home have a license from the New York State
Department of Health?
• Is the administrator licensed by the New York State Department
of Health?
• Is a written statement of Resident’s Rights
clearly posted?
• Are visiting hours convenient for residents
and visitors?
• Has the home corrected all deficiencies on latest
New York State survey?

General Physical Characteristics

• Is the nursing home clean, orderly,
and well-maintained?

Attitudes and Atmosphere

• Is the general atmosphere of the nursing home warm,
pleasant, and cheerful?
• Are staff members cheerful, courteous, respectful,
and enthusiastic?
• Do residents look well groomed and cared for and
generally content?
• Can residents choose their own clothes to wear,
decorate their rooms, and keep a few prized
possessions in their rooms?
• Do residents, other visitors, and volunteers speak
favorably about the home?
• Does the home perform background checks on
all new staff?

Nursing, Medical, & Other Services

• Is nursing staff adequate to meet residents’ needs?
• Is there a physician on staff?
• Does the home have an arrangement
for dental services?
• If a resident requires special services, such as
rehabilitation therapy or a therapeutic diet, does the
home provide them?
• Are resident and/or families involved in
care planning?
Pharmaceutical Services
• Does a qualified pharmacist maintain and monitor a
record of each resident’s drug therapy?
• Do residents receive preventive care, such as flu shots?

Dining Services

•Do residents have a choice of food at each meal?
• Does the food look and smell appetizing?
• Are snacks available on request?
• Are there special meals for people on therapeutic diets?
• Is the dining room attractive and comfortable?
• Do residents who need it get help in eating?

Social Work & Resident Activities

• Are social work services available to residents
and their families?
• Does the nursing home offer a varied program of
recreational, cultural, and intellectual activities
for residents?
• Do residents have an opportunity to attend religious
services and talk with clergy both in and
outside the home?
• Does the home have an active volunteer program?

Residents’ Rooms

• Are there curtains in semi-private rooms to provide
privacy for each resident?
• Do bathrooms have adequate privacy?
• Are nurse and emergency call buttons located at each resident’s bed and bathroom?
• Is there a comfortable lounge where residents can chat, read, play games, watch television, or just relax?
• Does the nursing home have an outdoor area where
residents can get fresh air and sunshine?

Financial Considerations

• Is the home certified to participate in Medicare and/or
Medicaid programs?
• What services are included in the basic charge?
• Does the contract between the resident and the home
clearly state costs, date of admission, services to be
provided, discharge, and transfer conditions?

Information provided in part by the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

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