Prior to your visit to a nursing home, print a copy of the following checklist and use it to weigh the good and bad of each nursing home.
Name of Nursing Home:
Date of visit:
• Engage staff members in conversation, in particular those working directly with residents. How would you characterized the way they interact with residents?
• Can you picture your loved one being cared for by these people? Residents
• Imagine your loved one living among the residents. Are they groomed well, out of bed, out of their room, and active?
• Have you seen any resident receiving personal treatment that should have been carried out in private?
• If a resident calls staff for assistance, how quickly are they answered?
• How many residents does one nurse care for per shift?
• Are they clean and well-maintained?
• Are they personalized with photos, books, flowers?
• Are there windows, and where do they open to?
• Do the hallways feature handrails?
• Are they broad enough to allow at least two wheelchairs to pass with room to spare?
• Are there wheelchair ramps that permit access into and out of the home?
Resident social areas
• Are there pleasant sitting areas, including furniture and seating, to talk, read of watch TV?
• Do the residents seem to enjoy these areas or do they go unused?
• Are there places for private visits?
• Has the facility posted an easy-to-read schedule of events?
• What kinds of interests might not be addressed in those events?
• Are residents participating, and are there volunteers helping?
• Are there any activities designed for patients who are unable to leave their bedrooms?
Dining: menu and area
• Does mealtime appear to be a friendly, social time?
• Is the facility preparing and serving meals according to the menu?
• Is the kitchen a sanitary environment?
• How is the presentation of the food?
• Do residents seem to be enjoying the food?
o What options do they have if they are not?
• Are visitors allowed to eat with residents?
• Where are the bathrooms in relation to residents’ rooms?
• If bathrooms are shared, how many residents use a particular bathroom?
• Do you see an emergency call button located within easy reach near the toilet?
• What is the plan in the event of an emergency: is there a physician on staff, or on call?
• In the event a resident needs to be sent to a hospital, to which hospital do they send them?
• Is there an on-site pharmacist or pharmacy consultant?
• If a resident prefers to use his or her own pharmacy, can they do so?
• What kinds of therapeutic treatment options are available?