Rehab Select Blog

What to Look for When Touring Alabama Long Term Care Facilities

Posted by Chris Schmidt

Mar 16, 2017 9:00:00 AM

long term care facilitiesChoosing the right Alabama long term care facility can be difficult, whether you're looking for a shorter term recovery stay or a more permanent arrangement. Chances are that the experience of choosing such a facility is a new one for you, which can cause a bit of anxiety along the way. Knowing the right things to look for and the right questions to ask as you tour long term care facilities in your area can help ease that anxiety, giving you the tools to make a well-informed and confident decision. Here we'll go over important factors to look into as you tour Alabama long term care facilities.

Download the Guide: Comprehensive Guide to Long Term Care Facilities in Alabama

What to look into before your tour

Make a point of arriving about 30 minutes before your tour appointment. Pay attention to your first impressions as you walk into the lobby area. Is the area tidy and welcoming? Does it smell clean? Are there residents and/or family members in the lobby? If so, take the opportunity to chat with them. Ask for their perceptions on the facility, including their likes or dislikes and the quality of care and services. Finally, look for the facility's state inspection report to review the details of any violations. Long term care facilities are required to ensure that these are visible to everyone, and they are often displayed on a wall in the lobby area.

During your tour

It is important to be focused and observant as your tour guide leads you through the facility. Things you will want to see in good long-term care facilities include:

  • Resident rooms that are clean, easy to move around in, accommodate privacy concerns and allow some personal belongings for a feeling of home.

  • Residents are clean, appropriately dressed, groomed, content and participating in meaningful activities.

  • Interactions between staff and residents are warm, caring and respectful, and staff members wear name tags.

  • Pleasant lighting, noise levels, temperatures and odors.

  • Meals and dining areas are appealing and residents are assisted as necessary at meal and snack times.

  • Adequate safety precautions throughout, such as handrails, call lights, smoke detectors, sprinklers and non-skid flooring.

  • Clean, welcoming common areas, including lounges, fitness rooms, activity and recreation areas.

Important things to ask about during your tour include:

  • Levels of care provided to residents, including physician and/or specialist care, skilled nursing care, rehabilitation services, social services, mental health services, personal care and procedures to address special needs.

  • Staff continuing education/training requirements, including resident abuse prevention/detection training and emergency management.

  • Staff/resident ratios and a breakdown of the availability of medical staff and therapists.

  • Resident activity planning: Is there a good mix of activities to accommodate varied interests and ability levels? Are residents actively encouraged to participate? How much input do residents have in choosing and planning activities?

  • Visitation policies and policies on resident/family involvement in and input on daily care and care planning.

  • Financial facts, such as what insurance plans/funding options are accepted, what basic costs are and what they cover, and a list of services/amenities for which residents/families will incur additional costs.

Finally, tour escorts and staff members of long-term care facilities should be happy to answer your questions, listen to your individual concerns and allow you plenty of time to look into the details of their facilities and services. If this is so, and you end your tour with a favorable opinion after looking into these details and asking these questions, you can feel confident that this particular long-term care facility would be a good choice to meet your needs.

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Topics: Long Term Care