Is there a separate unit for persons with dementia or behaviour problems?
How many floors are there? Is there a sufficient number of elevators?
Does the home have air conditioning? Are resident rooms temperature controlled?
Does the home have a current emergency plan, including details for evacuating all residents?
Is a public bulletin board visible and does it include the following:
Residents’ Bill of Rights
Monthly program of activities
Formal complaint process for residents and family members
Emergency Evacuation Plan
Recent accreditation and/or inspection report
Minutes of recent Resident Council and Family Council meetings
What are the visiting hours? Are there any restrictions on visiting?
Is there a functioning Family Council?
How is the community involved with the home? Is there a volunteer group?
Daily Life for a Resident
Are residents’ rooms inviting?
Are the size of the rooms and access to the washrooms satisfactory?
How many residents share a washroom?
What furnishings are provided by the Home? Are they in good repair?
What furnishings can residents bring?
Can residents personalize their room (i.e., hang pictures)?
Can residents connect a telephone, cable/satellite TV? Is there a technology support person available?
Is a call bell or communication device within easy reach in resident rooms and common areas?
Is there equipment to assist people with physical disabilities? (built-in or portable transfer lifts?)
What personal belongings may residents bring?
Is there an option for keeping personal belongings secure (locked drawers)?
Is there adequate storage for seasonal clothing?
How does the staff handle residents going into another resident’s room?
Is there privacy in the resident’s room?
Are areas provided in the home for private visits with residents?
Is shared accommodation available for couples?
Is the resident/family responsible for personal supplies? (i.e., tissues, lotion, toothpaste)
What are the rules regarding smoking, alcoholic beverages, and cannabis use?
What is the policy regarding pets in the Home?
What is the policy for short stay absences, vacations, and medical leaves?
Is there a full-time Activity Director on staff?
What activities are offered to residents? Request a monthly program of activities.
Are there programs and services available to meet diverse cultural needs?
Is there a social worker and/or spiritual care practitioner?
Are residents taken regularly (daily) to activities if they cannot go on their own?
Are activities provided at the bedside for residents if needed?
Are safe outdoor areas easily accessible to residents? How often are they taken outside?
What are the hours when meals and snacks are served?
Ask to see a sample menu. Do the meals seem varied and appealing? Are there choices available on the menu?
Are special diets accommodated?
Are meals served in an orderly and respectful way. (if possible, tour at mealtime)
Are residents with feeding problems assisted in a timely manner?
If a resident misses a meal, will one be offered later?
Can residents dine in their own rooms?
Can residents bring in their own food?
Are family members or friends able to have an occasional meal with the resident?
Staffing and Staff Training
What is the ratio of personal support workers to residents? (The ratio will be different during the day and at night.)
How many registered nurses are there during the day, evenings, overnight?
What training is compulsory for all staff?
Are staff trained to work with visually impaired and hearing-impaired residents?
Are staff trained in managing difficult and aggressive behaviours?
Does the home have a behavioural support program for highly aggressive residents?
Does the home have an infection prevention and control specialist on staff?
Is there a nurse practitioner on staff who provides regular care to all residents?
Who are the physicians that service the home? How often do they visit?
Is a physician on call 24 hours a day? What is their response time?
Is there good communication with the medical team?
Do residents have access to a palliative care program in the home?
Is there a designated palliative care room?
Are family members provided palliative care information and support to make end-of-life care decisions?
Are there provisions for family members to stay overnight with a seriously ill or dying resident?
Approach to Care
What is the home’s policy on cardiopulmonary resuscitation? (You will be asked to decide upon admission about the level of restorative care to be administered.)
Are residents and family (or substitute decision makers) actively involved in the case conferences and planning for the resident’s care?
Are the quarterly resident assessments and care plans available to residents and family (or substitute decision makers)?
How often are the care plan review meetings held?
Does the home focus on individual needs? For example, if a resident wishes to go to bed at a specific time, would that be accommodated?
How often are residents bathed? Do residents have a choice of showering or bathing?
What are the home’s policies on restraints and medication to manage behaviour?
Are physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other support services available at the resident/family request? How are these services arranged and funded? How frequently are they available?
Are dentists and dental hygienists available to provide dental care? Who arranges for this? How are these services funded?
What foot care is provided?
What vision care is provided?
Can residents bring in paid personnel/service providers to supplement care? If so, are background checks a requirement?