Health Care Residences: Choose Wisely
Fay Silverman, spokeswoman for Beth Abraham Health Services in New York City, says a personal visit to such a residence is every bit as important as asking the right questions to ensure proper care and comfort will be provided.
Key questions include:
--Is the facility clean, well-lit and free of strong antiseptic or other odors? What is the staff-to-patient ratio? (including nurses and aides). In a 40-bed unit, there should be a minimum of one staff member for every eight patients.
--Does the facility supplement staff levels with volunteers from the community? Do employees and volunteers treat residents with respect?
--Does the facility have an outdoor social/recreational area for residents' use? What sort of activities does it provide?
--How often are residents taken to off-site activities, such as cultural/sports events, museums, fairs, etc.?
--Does the facility have a medical director on staff around the clock, or just ``on call''? Does the facility offer rehabilitation on site with staff therapists, or does it use outside consultants? With what hospital(s) is the facility affiliated?