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4. Dining and Food. Look, listen, smell and taste to observe what is going on in the dining room and kitchen. Tour the nursing home during meal time and ask if you may dine. Look for food choices. • Is the food attractively served? • Is the food served at an appropriate temperature? • Is the food tasty? • Do residents seem to like the food being served? • Is there enough staff to assist patients who need help eating? Look at and listen to how the staff interacts with the patients during meal time. Ask if you can see the kitchen and talk to the dietitian. Food is one of the most important aspects of patient satisfaction. Look for a nursing home that treats this standard very seriously. 5. Care. Care standards should be evaluated both by skilled care services and by custodial care services. • Skilled Care Services Medicare has come up with a tool to help people to determine whether a nursing home is providing quality care to patients. The Medicare Nursing Home Compare website has a Five Star Rating System on nursing home care that can be found by going to our website at www.PolkElderCare.com. Here are a few ways you can evaluate the facility’s standards for skilled care while you are on your tour. • Does the nursing home have a current license? • Does the administrator have a current license? • Is the nursing home Medicare-Medicaid certified? • What is the RN/LPN to patient ratio for day, evening and night? • What is the nurse aide to patient ratio for day, evening and night? • Are there onsite therapy programs where patients are actually receiving therapy? • Does the nursing home have special programs where staff have been specifically trained to take care of such care issues as Alzheimer’s or wound care? • Do you see any evidence of such programs and care taking place? • Custodial Care Services Custodial care can be determined by evaluating the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) of those who need care. It is easier to evaluate whether the care is being administered and administered properly because we, as lay people, can see, hear and smell the results or the lack of results of the caregiver’s actions in personal care services. MORE INFO ONLINE: POLKELDERCARE.COM More on Nursing Homes: • Need to Find a Facility? • Printable Quick Tips List • Printable “Questions to Ask” Worksheet • Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare Rating System Related Issues: • Legal & Financial Issues • How to Pay For Care? 32 www.PolkElderCare.com


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