Council on Aging Answers 2017 - 55

COUNCIL ON AGING - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Nursing Home
Evaluation Checklist
The following checklist will give you a general idea of the quality of care that should be provided in a
nursing home. Depending on a resident's needs, preferences and payment source, questions will vary.
Ask to see the entire facility, not just the nicely decorated lobby and one wing or floor. Remember that
appearances can be deceptive. Though environment is important, try to get a feel for the care provided
and how the residents are treated by staff.
o Are residents comfortably positioned in comfortable
chairs? Are they restrained in their chairs or beds? Are they
in chairs that have a tray or "lap buddy?"

Resident Appearance
o Are residents up and dressed for breakfast? Does the staff
get them up hours before breakfast (too early) or just before lunch (too late)?
o Are the residents well-groomed (shaved, clothes clean,
hair combed, nails trimmed and clean)?
o Do residents appear alert, content and occupied? Or are
they lethargic, listless or stuporous?

o Is the facility maintained at a comfortable temperature?
Do the rooms have heating, air conditioning, and individual thermostats?

HOUSING

Staff
o Are there adequate staff? What is the staff to resident ratio? Are call bells and resident requests responded to in a
timely manner (5 minutes or so)?
o Are the staff courteous to residents? Do they treat residents with dignity and respect? Or is the staff attitude
condescending? Are childish or otherwise inappropriate
nicknames used when speaking with residents? Do staff
talk about residents as if they were not present or as if
they were children?
o Does the administrator/manager and director of nurses
appear to know the residents?
o Is the administrator friendly and receptive to questions?
o Is privacy respected (e.g., knocking on doors before entering rooms, keeping privacy curtains drawn while care is
being given)?
o Do staff wear nametags?
o Are there therapists on staff or does the facility contract
out for therapy?
o Is there a licensed social worker on staff? Full-time?
o Does the facility have permanent full-time nurses and
certified nurse assistants (CNA's) or are registry nurses and
aides used?
o Are the staff visible and actively assisting residents?
o In addition to English, what languages do the staff speak?
o What is the facility's communication strategy when a resident's first language is not English?
o Does the facility conduct background checks before hiring staff?

Resident Rooms
o In which area of the facility would the resident's room be
located?
o How many residents share a room? Generally, rooms
should have no more than four beds, at least three feet
apart, with privacy curtains around each bed.
o Does each bedroom have a window?
o Is there a bedside stand, reading light, chest of drawers,
and at least one comfortable chair for each resident? Is
there adequate storage space and is it separate from other
roommates?
o Are the beds easy to reach? Is there room to maneuver a
wheelchair or Gerichair easily?
o Are call buttons accessible to residents?
o Is there fresh drinking water at the bedside?
o Are residents allowed and encouraged to bring any of
their own belongings or furniture? Have residents personalized their rooms?
Facility Environment
o Is there an obvious odor in the facility? Strong urine
and body odors may indicate poor nursing care or poor
housekeeping. Heavy "air freshener", deodorants, and
other temporary chemical cover-ups may be substitutes
for conscientious care and maintenance.

o Is the facility clean, well-lit and free of hazards? Do you
see soiled linen or is it properly disposed of? Is there adequate linen?
o Is furniture sturdy and comfortable?
o Are floors clean and nonslippery?

Council On Aging - Southern California | 714-479-0107 | www.coasc.org	 Answers Guide 2017

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Council on Aging Answers 2017

Contents
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Intro
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Cover1
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Cover2
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - 1
Council on Aging Answers 2017 - Contents
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