Council on Aging Answers 2017 - 56

COUNCIL ON AGING - SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Hallways, Stairs and Lounges
o Are halls free of obstacles and debris?
o Are stairways and exits clearly marked?
o Are there handrails in all corridors?
o Are fire extinguishers visible? Is there a disaster plan posted and does the facility have drills?
o How many lounge areas are available for residents and
visitors? Are they clean and comfortably furnished? Is
there sufficient room for visiting?

HOUSING

Bath and Shower Rooms
o Are bathrooms conveniently located?
o How many residents share a bathroom?
o Do bathrooms have handgrips or rails near all toilet and
bathing areas?
o Is there a call button near the toilet?
o Do residents have a choice between a shower or bath,
how frequent and during which shift?
Kitchen and Dining Areas
o Is the kitchen clean and well-organized?
o Is the food handled and stored in a safe and sanitary manner?
o Is the dining area pleasant, clean and comfortable?
o How many residents eat in the dining area? Is it large
enough to accommodate most of the residents? Are there
shifts for meals?
o Do chairs fit under the table so that residents are comfortably close to their food?
Menus and Food
Try to visit the facility during a meal. Observe the way the
food is served, how residents are assisted with eating and
what their reaction is to the food. You can probably buy a
meal to sample the food.
o A menu for the current and following week should be
posted. If a menu is not posted, ask to see one. Is the food
listed on the menu actually being served?
o How often are meals repeated? Are alternatives available,
as required by law?
o Does the food appear and smell appetizing? Is it nutritious? Are fresh foods used, or is it mostly canned or frozen? Do residents enjoy the food?
o Are dishes and silverware used, or are disposable plates
and utensils used?
o Are those residents who need assistance with eating and
who are being fed by nurses aides finishing their meals
and eating at their own pace? Are assistive devices available to those who may be able to feed themselves with a
little help?
o Are meals served at appropriate temperatures?
o What provisions are made for patients who are unable to
eat in the dining room?
o Who plans the meals? Is a professional dietician on staff?
How are special dietary needs met?

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Answers Guide 2017	

Activities
o Are activity calendars posted? If not, ask for a description
of the activity program. Meet the Activity Director if possible.
o Do the activities cover a broad range of interests?
o Are activities tailored to individual preferences?
o Does the facility have outside areas for resident use? Do
staff assist the residents in using these areas?
o What activities are available to residents confined to their
rooms?
o Do volunteers visit the facility?
o What arrangements are made for residents to participate
in religious services of their choice?
o What is done for holidays and birthdays?
o Is there a Resident Council? When does it meet and what
is its function?
Miscellaneous
o Is there a Family Council? When does it meet and who are
the officers?
o How often do residents' physicians visit the facility? It
should be at least once every 30 days.
o How long has the facility been operating under the present management? Are there any plans to change in the
near future?
o What hospital is used in emergencies?
o What is the billing procedure?
o Who should be contacted when there is a problem?
o How does the facility notify the resident and family members of the time and place of the quarterly care planning
meetings?
o Is the Ombudsman Program's phone number posted?
o Are the results from the last inspection by the Department
of Public Health posted?
o Ask to review a copy of the admission agreement. Does
the facility demand a "responsible party" signature? What
is their "informed consent" policy?
o What is included in the basic costs and what is extra?
o If you are looking at an Alzheimer's Unit within a facility,
what makes it different from the rest of the facility (especially if it costs more)?
o How is transportation provided for trips to hospitals, medical offices, or community functions? Is there a charge?
o How is personal laundry handled?
o Is there a system to protect wanderers? Is it operational?
Ask for a demonstration.
o Is there a mandatory arbitration agreement in the admission packet? If so, don't sign it! Nursing homes cannot
require residents or their representatives to sign an arbitration agreement as a condition of admission.

Reprinted from California Advocates for Nursing
Home, www.canhr.org

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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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