Questions to ask

Questions to ask when looking for a long-term care facility.

What legislation does this facility fall under? Is the facility licensed?
What are the entrance requirements?
What is the cost of living in this facility and how will the costs be calculated?
What are the extra costs?
Will the client be charged a fee for building or grounds upkeep, repairs or maintenance?

Accommodation:
1. Are the rooms private?
2. Are rooms furnished?
3. What personal effects are allowed in the room (i.e. furniture/pictures)?
4. Are there bathrooms in the rooms?
5. What steps are taken to ensure client safety in the bathrooms?
6. Is there a private telephone in each room? Cost?
7. Is there TV cable access in each room? Cost?
8. Is personal laundry service provided? Cost?
9. How often are bed linens and towels laundered? Cost?
10. Is there a lease agreement? What is the notice required to terminate the lease?

Meals:
1. How many meals per day are provided?
2. Are between meal snacks provided? Cost?
3. Are snacks available to clients at all times? Cost?
4. Where are the meals prepared? Onsite or offsite?
5. Is there provision for special diets for food preparation?
6. Is someone available to feed clients if necessary? Cost?
7. Does the client pay for extra portions?

Assistance/Personal Care:
1. Does the facility create personal care plans for each client?
2. Are family and residents involved in the creation of these plans?
3. How frequently are clients bathed/showered? Is all bathing/showering assisted?
Cost?
4. When required will client be assisted in dressing and undressing and if it becomes
necessary during the day, or night, to change their clothing? Cost?
5. Is there staff available to assist the client to a toilet?
6. How frequently will such help be provided; what is the toileting routine?
7. Are incontinent clients still given the opportunity to go on the toilet; what is the
toileting routine? How often are they changed in a 24 hour period?
8.Under what circumstances is an ambulance called?
9.Who makes that judgment, RN, RPN, LPN, other?

Medications:
1. How and by whom are the medications administered to the clients?
2. Are any medications given without a doctors order?
3. Who observes for reactions to drugs, particularly when there are changes, i.e. is
the drug working in the best interest of the client?
4. Does the facility have a resident physician for all clients or can they stay with their family doctor?

Special requirements:
1. Does the facility have the ability to provide oxygen for the client? Cost?
2. By what method is the oxygen delivered?
3. Is the staff able and trained to care for clients with severe immobility?
4. Is the staff trained and able to care for clients with diminished cognitive ability?

Staffing:
1. What is the staff to client ratio during the day? At night?
2. Is there more than one staff member available and present on the unit at all times?
3. Is there enough staff available to ensure one or even two staff members can be behind a closed door with one of the clients and the remainder of the unit is not being neglected?
4. In what skills are the staff regularly updated: CPR, anaphylaxis, choking, lifts and
transfers, skin care, first aid, universal precautions, fire and evacuation?

Entertainment:
1. Is there a recreation program?
2. Who organizes the activities?
3. Are outings planned for the clients? Cost?

Complaints and Concerns:
1. How does the facility address complaints and concerns whether from the
client or family/guardian?
2. Who should complaints and concerns be addressed to?
3. How should complaints and concerns be made i.e. verbal, written?
4. How does the facility ensure that the client does not suffer repercussions from staff for issuing complaints or concerns?

Aggression/Abuse:
1. How does the facility deal with aggression or abuse?
2. Is there a policy for reporting aggression or abuse be it of a physical, verbal, emotional or sexual nature?
3. Is it policy to report any type of aggression or abuse to the family/guardian of the client?
4. Is there a policy on dealing with the protection of the client from aggressive clients?
5. What is the policy and is it indeed always practiced?

Privacy/Security:
1. What policy does this facility have regarding the safekeeping of client’s valuables including whatever trinkets the client may value and not exclude eyeglasses, hearing aids, canes, walkers etc.?
2. Is this facility a locked facility?
3. Does the facility recommend that you have a tenant insurance policy, in the event that personal items are lost or broken or if the client happens to take or break someone else’s property?

Building Structure and Cleanliness:
1. Does the building meet fire requirements?
2. How quickly can the fire department respond?
3. Is the building constructed in such a way as to make evacuation for clients by wheelchair easy?
4. Does this building have carpeted areas?
5. How often is the carpet cleaned?
6. How often are personal rooms cleaned
7. Is there a call bell system available in the facility? What are other monitoring systems in place?
8. What is the smoking policy?

General Finances:
1. What method of payment is preferred, cheque, automatic withdrawal, other?
2. How often is a payment made?
3. If automatic withdrawal is it a pre-fixed amount?
4. How are extras costs billed?
5. How frequently are invoices and receipts issued and how detailed are they?
6. Does the facility receive permission from the client or family/guardian prior to increasing extra cost services?
7. What notice is given for increases in accommodation or care?

Eviction:
1. Does the facility have the ability to evict a client?
2. Under what circumstances?
3. How much notice is given?
4. In the event, a client is evicted from your facility and moved to another one is it possible the client might be billed a full month’s rent at your facility and a full month’s rent in the receiving facility, thus paying two rents in the same month?

Emergency Training and Response:
1. How often are fire drills conducted?
2. How often is the building inspected for fire safety compliance?
3. How often is the building inspected for maintenance and safety compliance?
4. Does the facility have a 72-hour preparedness plan? What is it?
5. Where does the facility evacuate to in the event of an emergency?

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