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Basic Things To Look For In A Skilled Nursing Facility

Before considering placement in a nursing home, one should explore the possibility of using alternative services or programs that permit an older person to receive the needed care in his or her own home or in a community setting. An increasing number and variety of community based health, supportive services and specialized living arrangements have been created in communities throughout the nation. For some persons, such alternatives may serve as an effective action that will prevent or delay the need for skilled nursing home care. For others, however, this is not possible; for these persons, nothing can substitute for a good Skilled Nursing Facility.

A Skilled Nursing Facility should be staffed to provide around the clock licensed nursing services to residents who require them. One of the first and most important things to ask when doing research on a Skilled Nursing Facility is if they have a current license from their respective state. This should help insure the level of compliance with certain basic requirements. Another important point to ask is if the home is certified to participate in financial benefits from government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Aside from the obvious, participation in the programs nearly guarantees compliance to standards, as Medicare and Medicaide can withhold payments if the standards are not met.

Medicare will help pay for up to 100 days in a Skilled Nursing Facility only if the person has spent at least three days in a hospital and such continued care is recommended by the person’s physician and approved by Medicare. Medicaid usually picks up the charges after 100 days for those who are eligible for both programs and continue to need the care. There are a few basic questions to address that will provide insight into the suitability of the facility.

Nursing: Community Outreach by *emodist on deviantART

General Ambiance:

Is the general atmosphere of the home warm, pleasant and cheerful?

Is the administrator courteous and helpful?

Are staff members cheerful, courteous and enthusiastic?

Do staff members show genuine interest in and affection for residents?

Do residents look well cared for and generally content?

Are residents allowed to wear their own clothing, decorate their rooms and keep a few prized possessions on hand?

Is there a place for private visits with family and friends?

Does the facility have a written statement of residents’ rights?

Do residents, other visitors and volunteers speak favorably about the home?


General Physical Considerations:

Is the nursing home clean and orderly?

Is the home reasonably free of unpleasant odors?

Is there easy access to toilet and bathing facilities?

Is the facility well lit inside and outside?

Are rooms well ventilated and kept at a comfortable temperature?



Are wheelchair ramps provided where necessary?

Is the nursing home free of obvious hazards to residents such as underfoot obstacles or unsteady chairs?

Are there grab bars in toilet and bathing areas and handrails on both sides of hallways?

Do bathtubs and showers have non slip surfaces?

Are there smoke detectors, an automatic sprinkler system and portable fire extinguishers?

Does the facility have an automatic emergency lighting system?

Are exits clearly marked with signs and are they illuminated?

Are exit doors unobstructed and unlocked from the inside?

Are there “no smoking” signs posted?

Is an emergency evacuation plan posted in prominent locations?


There are a number of factors to consider when researching a good Skilled Nursing Facility and the above pointers are an important start at determining its suitability for you or your loved one.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing Phoenix, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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