There are so many issues to consider when you are looking at care homes for a relative. There are many areas to be concerned about regarding the care and environment as well as programs offered. If you are not careful some very important issues may be left out and they may have an impact on your decision-making process.There is the issue of staff credentials and ongoing training. Ask about if staff credentials are checked for accuracy. It is important to know if staff is receiving ongoing training. Ask for any affiliations the facility may belong to for support and guidance and accountability. You should be able to see evidence of regular inspections for safety being conducted upon the premises of the facility. Ask to see their Form 2567, which is a state inspection survey. This is a report that details the results of unannounced visits by state surveyors who speak with residents and check on various care issues as well as completing checks for sanitation. The credentials, training, associations and inspections are all vital to the safety of your loved one and must be in place in order for you to consider placing your relative in their care.
The environment besides being safe must also be as home-like as possible for comfort and well being. The air quality and temperature must be comfortable. The equipment used must be safe and durable. There must be adequate beds and other furniture for all of the residents.
Staff should be friendly and address the residents with respect and preferably by name. The rooms should be clean and uncluttered. There should be adequate lighting, handrails and wide, clear hallways. There should be a dining room and a place where residents can entertain guests. Residents should be able to personalize their rooms.
Care services should match what the current and future needs will be of your loved one so that the facility can continue to meet the needs now and into the future so that you will not need to move your loved one again. Be certain that they have physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy available. Does the facility have skilled nursing available in case it is needed (feeding tube, injections or intravenous fluids). Are there are support services available such as social workers, clergy, volunteers, medical doctors and specialists, therapists, and also activity director and staff.
Even if your loved one does not require skilled nursing at this point, they may in the future. Make a point to speak with the Director of Nurses at the facility. Ask how long they have been the director and what their philosophy is for nursing care of the residents. Do they have the support of the administration? A care home that experiences multiple turnovers may not have either the support of the administration or may lack good quality nursing staff.
Make sure that the home you decide to enroll in has Medi-Cal. This is funding for when the resident runs out of money or insurance. Make sure you have all fee schedules before signing any papers. Ask for any additional fees for services not covered on the standard contract. Make sure everything you discuss concerning care is in writing. Ask for referrals from staff and current residents. The safety and well-being of your loved one is at stake so take the time now to investigate all you can and ask questions until you are satisfied with the answers.