HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Helping a loved one make the decision about possibly entering a nursing home is not only difficult, but extremely stressful.
In some cases, people need a nursing home for a short-term stay to get help with personal care while recuperating from an operation or injury. In other cases, a long-term or open-ended stay is planned due to chronic conditions or disabilities.
Click here to find and compare Nursing Homes in Hampton Roads which certified to participate in Medicare and/or Medicaid. Operated by Medicare, the site rates facilities in three areas - Health Inspections, Nursing Home Staffing, and Quality Measures.
Of course, before you make any decision about a facility, visit the nursing homes that interest you. A visit gives you the chance to see the residents, staff, and the nursing home setting. It also allows you to ask questions of the nursing home staff, and talk with the residents and their family members.
As you begin to look at different facilities, be sure to ask the residence for written material, including documentation of any necessary accreditation, licensing, or certification. Also ask for the health inspection and fire safety inspection reports. Lastly, nursing homes must tell you in writing about their services, charges, and fees before you move into the home. Get a copy of the fee schedule to find out which services are available, which are included in your monthly fee, and which services cost extra.
As you tour facilities, keep these thoughts in mind:
Rooms/Apartment/Common Areas -
Is the facility free from overwhelming unpleasant odors?
Does it appear clean and well-kept? Is the interior well-lit?
Is the temperature in the nursing home comfortable for residents?
Are noise levels in the dining room and other common areas are comfortable?
Are the furnishings sturdy, comfortable and attractive?
Do residents may have personal belongings and/or furniture in their rooms?
Does residents have storage space (closet and drawers) in their room?
Does residents have a window in their bedroom?
Do residents have access to a personal telephone and television?
Can residents have a choice of roommates?
Are there policies and procedures to protect residents' possessions?
Are exits in the facility clearly marked?
Are there quiet areas where residents can visit with family and friends?
Does the nursing home have smoke detectors and sprinklers?
Are all areas designed for wheelchair use?
Are there handrails in the hallways and grab bars in the bathrooms?
Is the nursing home Medicare and/or Medicaid certifeid?
Does the relationship between the staff and the residents appears to be warm, polite, and respectful?
Do all the staff wear name tags?
Does the staff knock on the door before entering a resident's room and refer to residents by name?
Does the nursing home do background checks on all staff?
Are residents clean, appropriately dressed for the season or time of day?
Health Care -
Does the home have the level of care you or your love one needs, and is there a bed available?
Are there licensed nursing staff 24 hours a day, including a Registered Nurse (RN) present at least 8 hours per day, 7 days a week?
What is the ration of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) to residents?
Is there a full-time social worker on staff?
Is there a licensed doctor on staff who is there daily and can be reached at all times?
Does the nursing home have an emergency evacuation plan and hold regular fire drills (bed-bound residents included)?
Do residents get preventive care, like a yearly flu shot?
Can residents still see their personal doctors?
Does the facility have an arrangement with a nearby hospital for emergencies?
Are there a variety of activities that residents, including those who are unable to leave their rooms, can take part in?
Does the nursing home have outdoor areas for resident use and will staff help residents go outside?
Does the facility have an active volunteer program?
Food Service -
Do residents have a choice of food items at meals?
Are nutritious snacks available upon request?
Are there staff members to help residents who need ti eat and drink at mealtimes?