Choosing a Nursing Home

Attorneys representing Norfolk, Newport News, Roanoke & nearby areas of Virginia


Considerations in Choosing a Nursing Home

Sherry Byrd, RN

  1. Review past state surveys (inspections) on Nursing Home Compare website. Request to read the last survey.
  2. Visit the nursing home several times at different times of the day.
  3. Observe the following:
    1. Are odors prevalent?
    2. How many residents are out of bed/still in bed?
    3. Are residents well groomed: hair combed, teeth clean, appropriate clothing for age/weather, nails clean?
    4. Are restraints in use: bed rails, reclining chairs, trays placed on geri-chairs, etc.?
    5. Do residents appear happy, depressed, sad, intimidated by staff?
    6. How does the staff interact with residents? Does the staff speak to residents respectfully?
  4. Are activities that are age/interest appropriate in progress?
  5. Do the meals appear adequate in proportions and appetizing?
  6. What is the demeanor of the staff? Do they appear pleasant, tired, etc.?
  7. Are there obvious dangers present, e.g., medicine carts unattended, mop buckets in the hallways, spills on the floor, etc.?
  8. Are the Administrator and Director of Nursing Services willing to meet with you?
  9. Inquire if the facility uses agency staffing. If so, are they contracted individually for long periods of time or does the agency provide staffing when needed?
  10. Inquire how you will be made aware of changes in condition.
  11. Inquire as to staff/resident ratio for each shift.
  12. Inquire as to what systems are in place to prevent wandering, falls, pressure ulcers (bedsores), weight loss, and decline in activities of daily living.
  13. Is the name/phone number of the Corporate Regional Manager and Corporate office available to you?
  14. Is the facility well lit? Are there danger/obstacles in the resident bathrooms?
  15. Is privacy being provided during personal care of residents?
  16. Do you hear residents screaming, moaning, or crying?
  17. How accessible are phones to the residents?
  18. What are the restrictions on visiting? May you visit at anytime?

These newsletters/articles are offered only for general informational and educational purposes. They are not offered as and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinions. Although we intend to keep this information current, we do not promise or guarantee that the information is correct, complete or up-to-date. You should not act or rely upon the information in these newsletters/articles without seeking the advise of an nursing home neglect lawyer.

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