What To Look For When Visiting A Facility

Posted on

May 27, 2009


Colorado - Southern Colorado

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Finding that special place for Mom or Dad is one of the most important decisions you can make. Listed below are some helpful hints on what to look for when you tour a senior housing community.
As you are touring, remember that it is not the décor that counts, but the quality of care your loved one will receive.

1) CLEANLINESS Is the community fresh and clean? Look past the furnishings and into corners, baseboards, and windows. Ask how often housekeeping is provided in the apartment or room. What services does maintenance provide? What is their response time?

2) WHAT DO YOU SMELL? Odors may indicate lack of cleanliness or a temporary problem that was caused by a recent Incident. If you find odors in a concentrated area of the tour this may indicate a single incident. Odors throughout the community are likely to indicate a problem. Ask the manager what they believe to be the problem before proceeding.

3) WHAT ARE THE RESIDENTS DOING? Ask to watch activities. Are they well attended? Does the staff seem to be enjoying the activity as well? View the community event calendar.? Do they match your loved ones interests? Look for small and large group activities, trips or outings. Inquire about religious services if this is important.

ATTITUDE? Staff attitude and friendliness are of the utmost importance. Observe the staff interacting with current residents. Do they listen and make eye contact? If you feel welcomed while you tour, so will your loved one. Make sure to get a good understanding of the staffing pattern. How many people are truly involved in care? Introduction to the management team will help you understand the goals of the property. Is the manager willing and available to meet with you?? Do you have confidence in management style and experience?

5) ARE THERE OUTDOOR AREAS? Everyone wants to go outside on beautiful spring days. Investigate the outdoor areas for the residents. Does it feel safe and secure? Find out if the staff uses the same area for breaks. Do they host activities such as gardening in these areas?

6) WHAT DOES THE MENU OFFER? The dining room experience is very important to seniors. Discuss entrée choices and ask about dining hours and procedures. Bring your loved one in for a meal to taste the food and meet some of the residents. Discuss what happens if a resident cannot make it to the dining room for a meal. Don't forget to ask about the laundry service. Who does the laundry and what is the cost? Ask about laundry procedures.

7) ARE THE SURROUNDINGS SAFE? Safety and security features are very important for seniors. Are the bathrooms accessible and do they have grab bars in convenient locations? How does a resident contact staff if they have an emergency in their room or apartment? What other safety features are available in the apartment and throughout the community? Ask about staffing patterns to understand who'll be on-site to assist residents. How may licensed nurses or staff members are available? What are the staffing patterns at night versus daytime? How are medications managed?

8) DO THE RESIDENTS LOOK WELL-CARED FOR? As you tour, ask lots of questions on personal care. Look at current residents. Are they clean-shaven with well-groomed hair and nails? Discuss bathing options and your loved ones preferences. Are the residents dressed appropriately? Is the staff treating residents with respect and a smile?

9) WHAT IS THE MOVE-OUT CRITERIA? No senior likes to move a lot. Ask about specific move-out criteria. Under what circumstances is a resident asked to move? What type of notice is given by them or by you? In many cases, a 30-day notice may be required.

As you're touring, can you imagine you or your loved one living there and being comfortable? Did you feel at ease while touring? Was the staff friendly and inviting? The property doesn't have to be the most beautiful to be the best place for them to live comfortably! Follow your instincts and your heart.

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