Choosing Long-Term Care - Research Care Choices

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Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Research Care Choices
Nursing Home Checklist
Basic Information
The nursing home is Medicare-certified.
The nursing home is Medicaid-certified.
The nursing home has the level of care needed
(e.g. skilled, custodial), and a bed is available.
The nursing home is located close enough for friends and family to visit.
Resident Appearance
Residents are clean, appropriately dressed for the season or time of day, and well groomed.
Nursing Home Living Spaces
The nursing home is free from overwhelming unpleasant odors.
The nursing home appears clean and well-kept.
The temperature in the nursing home is comfortable for residents.
The nursing home has good lighting.
Noise levels in the dining room and other common areas are comfortable.
Smoking is not allowed or may be restricted to certain areas of the nursing home.
Furnishings are sturdy, yet comfortable and attractive.
The relationship between the staff and the residents appears to be warm, polite, and respectful.
All staff wear name tags.
Staff knock on the door before entering a resident’s room and refer to residents by name.
The nursing home offers a training and continuing education program for all staff.
The nursing home does background checks on all staff.
The guide on your tour knows the residents by name and is recognized by them.
There is a full-time Registered Nurse (RN) in the nursing home at all times, other than the Administrator or Director of Nursing.
The same team of nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) work with the same resident 4 to 5 days per week.
CNAs work with a reasonable number of residents.
CNAs are involved in care planning meetings.
There is a full-time social worker on staff.
There is a licensed doctor on staff. Is he or she there daily? Can he or she be reached at all times?
The nursing home’s management team has worked together for at least one year.
Residents’ Rooms
Residents may have personal belongings and/or furniture in their rooms.
Each resident has storage space (closet and drawers) in his or her room.
Each resident has a window in his or her bedroom.
Residents have access to a personal telephone and television.
Residents have a choice of roommates.
Water pitchers can be reached by residents.
There are policies and procedures to protect resident’s possessions.
Hallways, Stairs, Lounges, and Bathrooms
Exits are clearly marked.
There are quiet areas where residents can visit with friends and family.
The nursing home has smoke detectors and sprinklers.
All common areas, resident rooms, and doorways are designed for wheelchair use.
There are handrails in the hallways and grab bars in the bathrooms.
Menus and Food
Residents have a choice of food items at
each meal. (Ask if your favorite foods are served.)
Nutritious snacks are available upon request.
Staff help residents eat and drink at mealtimes if help is needed.
Residents, including those who are unable to leave their rooms, may choose to take part in a variety of activities.
The nursing home has outdoor areas for resident use and staff help residents go outside.
The nursing home has an active volunteer program.
Safety and Care
The nursing home has an emergency evacuation plan and holds regular fire drills.
Residents get preventive care, like a yearly flu shot, to help keep them healthy.
Residents may still see their personal doctors.
The nursing home has an arrangement with a nearby hospital for emergencies.
Care plan meetings are held at times that are convenient for residents and family members to attend whenever possible.
The nursing home has corrected all deficiencies (failure to meet one or more Federal or State requirements) on its last state inspection report.

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