Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I look for in a nursing home?

A: First, determine your priorities in terms of care and services, and find facilities that offer them. Often priorities are determined by whether you are seeking intermediate or long-term care. Some people-for example those recovered from a fractured hip or a stroke-would very much prefer a medical model with an intense therapy department. Others are looking for a home-like atmosphere, in a convenient location with programs and activities.

Second, determine what kind of environment you want. Not every resident or family wants or likes the same thing. Every nursing home has a culture all its own. Visiting the facility is the very best way to determine if an environment is the right one for your or your family member. On one of your visits, ask for someone other than the administrator or admissions director to show you around. You'll gain additional perspective from a certified nurse's aide or physical therapist. If possible chat with residents and other family members.

Third, pay close attention to interaction between the residents and staff. Do people make eye contact and speak as they pass in the hall? Is there conversation in the shared areas? Do you hear anyone laugh?

Q: When can I visit?

A: Anytime. Please call and we'll arrange an appointment at a time convenient to you. We suggest that you visit us more than once at different times of the day. You may want to join us for a meal, on a day when we're having a special activity, or on a rainy or snowy day when we're all inside. You may want to be here when the nursing shifts change or on the weekend.

Q: May I continue to see my current physician?

A: You've developed a bond with your physician and that can be very important in ensuring continuity of care. That's why we encourage you to keep your current physician when you become a resident. Many physicians will visit patients at the facility or you may continue to visit the doctor's office for appointments.

Q: What is the difference between skilled nursing care, intermediate nursing care and custodial care?

A: Skilled nursing care is needed for medical conditions that require care by medical personnel such as nurses and physical therapists. A treatment plan is usually ordered by a physician and carried out in a nursing home. Intermediate nursing care is for stable conditions that require daily care but not 24-hour nursing supervision. Custodial care is performed by people without medical training and involves assistance with daily living skills such as eating, dressing, and bathing.

Q: What is the financial policy?

A: We are a Medicare facility, and we accept Medicaid pending residents. We will advise you prior to your admission whether Medicare will pay for your stay with us. For your convenience, our staff will submit bills directly to Medicare, Medicare supplemental insurance or your private insurance company. Many of our people come in on Medicare and while on it, we assist in processing them through the public aid system. This is a real plus for our residents and their families.

Q: May I leave the facility for activities or current events?

A: We encourage you to spend the day with friends, attend religious services, enjoy community activities, and even go on family vacations while a resident of our facilities. Our Activity Department offers a calendar full of a variety of outings including visits to area restaurants, shopping trips, sporting events, and visits to cultural and historical sites. Our special needs-equipped van is available to take residents to and fro.

Q: May I personalize my room?

A: We want you to feel at home, so please do bring your favorite items to personalize your room. Many of our residents bring photographs, mementos, Afghans, and even a favorite chair. We encourage you to add your own special touch to our already warm and comfortable environment.

Q: What happens when a facility receives an inspection deficiency?

A: We strive for excellence in all areas, but when an inspector does identify something that we need to change, we take what their report as a tool to learn. If we aren't doing something right, we put quality assurance in place to change it. The inspection process helps us refine our procedures for providing better service and care to our residents, and that's what we are about.

Q: Are there web sites that offer useful information for individuals considering nursing home care?

A: The Internet is a valuable tool to identify resources and information. While there are many sites, here are links to federal government, National Institutes of Health, and state of Illinois sites that offer extension information and further links.

http://www.medicare.gov/Nursing/Overview.asp

http://www.niapublications.org/agepages/longterm.asp

http://www.idph.state.il.us/healthca/nursinghometestjava.htm

Q: How do I get started with my admission?

A: Give us a call. Our staff will work closely with you and your family to ensure a comfortable transition. We will guide you through the paperwork and will leave no question unanswered.

A checklist of questions to answer before you choose.

Appearance and Facilities

  • The place doesn't have to be new, but is it well-maintained inside and out?
  • Is the décor pleasing and warm?
  • Is the facility free from odors?
  • Have the residents personalized their rooms?
  • Do the bedrooms have windows?
  • Do all rooms have bathrooms?
  • Are shared tub and shower facilities close to bedrooms? How many residents share each one?
  • Is there sufficient space in the resident lounge areas?
  • Are residents enjoying the leisure equipment?
  • Is there a place for private visits?
Meal Service
  • Does a registered dietician or professional service plan all meals?
  • Are meals nutritious and appealing with substitutes available?
  • Is the kitchen clean and orderly?
  • Is hot food served hot and cold food served cold?
  • Do the residents seem to be enjoying themselves in the dining room?
  • Are residents who need assistance promptly helped?
Activities
  • Are there individual and group activities?
  • Is there an activities calendar and is it posted?
  • Are arts and crafts offered?
  • Is there a program of physical fitness for residents who are able to participate?
  • Are residents doing something other than watching television when you visit?
  • What are the last five outings residents took?
  • Is there a special needs-equipped facilities van?
Health Care
  • Is a physician available for emergencies?
  • Who is the facility's pharmacy? Can residents use their own?
  • Does the facility provide in-house physical, occupational, and speech therapy?
  • Are therapists licensed?
  • Do the same therapists come every day?
  • Is there a variety of well-maintained therapy equipment?
General Information
  • Is there a social services department?
  • Is the resident council active?
  • What volunteer organizations are regularly involved with residents?
  • Are there religious services?
  • What are visiting hours?
  • Are licensed and inspection reports current?
Frequently Asked Questions