Housing Choices

Comparison Checklist for Housing Choices 

Touring The Facility of Choice 

Because more than one type of program may provide the services desired, further investigate on and a personal  visit should be conducted. A review of the following checklist will assist you in preparing to make this important  decision. While visiting, remember to ask to see a copy of the last state survey for Nursing Homes and Assisted  Living Residences and request that the results be explained to you. State surveys and quality of care reports for  nursing homes are available on the internet at www.medicare.gov. State surveys for Assisted Living Residences are available at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at www.healthfacilities.info. Surveys  must be placed in a visible place in the facility for resident and family review. Independent Living Facilities and  Retirement Community es are not licensed. 

First Impressions Notes 

What is your initial impression of the facility as you enter?
Is it well lighted and attractive in appearance?
Does the facility feel “under control” or “disorganized”?
Are halls or common areas cluttered?
Is the facility noisy? Is there background music?

Food and Services – ask to eat a meal and observe Notes 

What type of dishes and tableware are used? Is the table set attractively? How is  the service? Is the temperature of the food appropriately hot or cold?
Are the portions adequate? If not “family style”, may you have second helpings or  decline a portion of the menu? 
Are there provisions for special diets? Will staff consider special requests or  addittions to the menu? 
Is the dining room atmosphere pleasant and conducive to conversation? 
Where are those individuals who need assistance with eat ng served?

Interpersonal Relations Notes

During your visit was the administrator visible and involved in the organization?
Did the staff communicate with each other in a courteous and professional  manner and seem happy to be working at the facility?
How did the staff address the residents? Did they engage in conversation while  performing tasks?
Were staff members neatly dressed and easily identified? Did they seem  approachable?
Did you sense individuality was encouraged?

Dignity and Decor Notes 

What kind of schedules are in place and enforced? (i.e. meals, curfews and scheduled services.)
May friends and family visit at will?  Are there visiting hours?
What is the temperature of the common areas? Will you have individual  temperature controls in your living space? 
May you decorate your personal space as you wish?
Are bathrooms wheelchair accessible, and are grab bars installed? Clean and  odor free?
What kind of activities are off ered and how are residents encouraged to  participate?
Do residents greet staff in passing and do you see impromptu conversation  between them?
If considering a semi-private room, how is the space shared by the two  individuals? Is there an adequate sound barrier between private living spaces?

Other Considerartions Notes 

What provisions are there for special needs? Does the facility provide for  physician visits? May you use your own physician?
Does the facility host community activitie? Is there a chapel and/or do they  have scheduled religious services?
If a nursing home or assisted living, is the name of the local ombudsman posted?
How are telephone/cable/internet services provided?
Is the latest survey posted?
For nursing homes only – Are fraud and abuse posters visible?
For nursing homes only – Is the staffing ratio of patients to residents posted?
For nursing homes only – Are the quality of care ratings posted?

Download the checklist!