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Finding a Senior Citizen Health Care Facility

Senior Health > Finding a Senior Citizen Health Care Facility

In this high-tech postmodern culture of ours, we have the best opportunities, the finest options, and the greatest access to the senior citizen health care facility treatment, information, and services. And with a little help from the experts, we can also find a senior citizen health care facility that best suits our modern and traditional needs.

Below is a list of tips for finding a senior citizen health care facility, compiled from information provided by The Georgia Council of Community Care Ombudsmen, Claire Absher, RN,BSN, and other personal care professionals and volunteers:

• An ideal senior citizen health care facility is one that has vigilant, 24-hour-a-day assistance, thoughtful and nurturing activities, and provisions for healthy foods, prepared by and served by equally knowledgeable/attentive staff. Engaging the person who will be living there, as well as his/her family members and friends, in the search for the right facility is ideal.

• Find a senior citizen health care facility that is local, accessible and accommodating to frequent visitors, to facilitate friends and family coming often.
• An area ombudsman (volunteer) can help you retrieve a list of personal home care facilities in your area, a list you should use to contact the homes and do a preliminary and informal interview.

Ask about

Anything else of concern

• If you get a positive impression from the initial call, make an appointment to visit and tour the personal home care site, looking for

• Overall care —are the staff and professionals attentive, respectful, and positive? Do the residence appear happy, healthy, engaged? Is the place clean? Is it well tended to (the grounds, rooms, bathrooms)? Are the community/general areas pleasantly decorated with flowers, paintings, pictures, or seasonal/holiday d�cor? More on these below.

• Liscensing —Because all senior citizen health care facilities must be licensed by the DHR (Department of Human Resources), look for the valid permit—which by law must be posted in a public place. Also ask how many residents are at the home, and check this number against the limit capacity number on the permit.

• Hygiene —Is the facility dirt and dust free? Are the grounds clear of debris? Are the kitchens, bathrooms, and private rooms free of odors?

• Safety —Are the requisite fire extinguishers, fire detectors, and emergency exit postings within site and/or reach? Is there a visible/readable emergency evacuation plan posted? In the private rooms and private and public bathrooms, are there safety call boxes/intercoms and appropriately placed grab bars? Are stairs, halls, and elevators well lit and free of obstacles? And are the staff trained and equipped to attend to the residents during emergencies? Where applicable, have they been certified in CPR and other related rescue methods?

• Medications —Do the medical staff keep medications locked up (they should)? What are the policies for getting and filling/refilling meds?

• Mealtime —Typically, if you make an appointment around mealtime, you can either join as a guest or at least observe the process: what are the qualifications of the food specialist—is he/she a nutritionist? Does the facility kitchen follow the menu published? Are food restrictions and special diets taken seriously? In other words, are a variety of foods available and/or substitutions possible?

• Healthy Activity —Ask for a copy of or a look at the monthly activity calendar: are there sufficient physical, mental, social, community, and

And most importantly, before you leave, chat with a resident or two to ensure that everyone gets the dignity, respect, and privacy they deserve and have rights to. Senior citizen health care facilities should, overall, be conducive to a physically, emotionally, intellectually/mentally, and spiritually safe and satisfying long life.

Senior Health > Finding a Senior Citizen Health Care Facility