Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Nursing Home?
A nursing home provides care for post-surgical patients, those needing skilled rehabilitation for other medical complications, residential living for those unable to be cared for at home, and if the facility has a Memory Care service, residency and respite care for those individuals who have complications related to living with dementia.
How Do I Select the Right Nursing Home for my Loved One?
Tour the facility and notice these characteristics:
Is the staff friendly when you enter and do they seem attentive to patient care?
Does the facility look clean and does it pass the SNIFF test (no odors)? Unpleasant odors, other than temporary and isolated instances, are a sure sign of a fundamental issue related to care and should be taken seriously.
Ask to speak with the Administrator – that individual should meet with you as soon as they can. You might want to ask how the facility will handle the special concerns you may have about the care of patients and residents. After admission, talk frequently with the Director of Nursing, Social Service Director or Administrator and keep the communication open.
Meet with the Rehabilitation Manager if therapy is necessary – find out what services are available, how therapy care plans and goals are developed, and when therapy is delivered.
Check the quality of the food! Because eals are served three times a day, food quality is especially important. Look at what is being served or have a meal there yourself – there is no charge during a tour if you are looking for skilled short stay or long term care for a loved one.
Are the Nurses and CNAs responsive to questions you might have? You might ask staff if they are permanent employees of the facility rather than agency or temporarily hired staff.
If you ask to speak with the Administrator, Director of Nursing, or Social Service Director, will that person come just as soon as they are able?
Does the facility you visit have a way to know how long it takes for call lights to be answered? Do they have a computerized tracking system for call light responses and are they willing to share this information with the patient after they are admitted?
Meet with the Admissions Coordinator and ask what you consider to be the hard questions.
How do I interact with the Hospital to be sure I go to the nursing home I want?
Hospitals will often ask where you would like to go for rehabilitation, but if the hospital has a part ownership in a nursing home, it may very well encourage you to accept an admission there because it is financially beneficial for them, sometimes saying that your preferred facility does not have a bed available. If so, call the nursing home where you want to go and ask the Admissions Coordinator there if they have a bed because you would like to go there instead – do not accept being sent to a facility you do not prefer to go.
Can I transfer to the facility where I really wanted to go?
Yes - You can be transferred to the facility of your choice at any time that facility has availability, even if you were sent to another upon discharge from the hospital. The Social Service department where you are staying has the responsibility to help you be transitioned to your preferred rehab facility whenever you tell them you would like to transfer.
What should I expect after I arrive?
You should expect that everyone is friendly and takes time to answer questions you may have, managers make themselves available whenever you ask to speak with them, that the food remains as good as your experience of it was when you visited, and that the facility will be your partner in all of the areas of care that you expect.
Don’t settle for less!