Having regular access to the out of doors has been found to be necessary for happy and healthy living.
- A protected outdoor space, garden or patio where residents can come and go independently.
- Outdoor garden spaces are provided in raised beds so persons in wheelchairs as well as standing residents can participate in gardening.
- A safe outdoor walking or wheelchair walkway that is not part of the city landscape.
- Over head paging is used only in emergency situations.
- Children are welcomed into the nursing community on a regular schedule
- Community groups are invited to use space within the home and residents are welcome to join the community events.
- Home has guest rooms available for residents out of town visitors.
- Home has a cafe or restaurant on the campus available to residents and visitors.
- A kitchen is made available to famlies with a refrigerator, stove and sink.
- Staff are scheduled to work with the same residents on a regular basis.
- The regular nurse and nursing assistant are included in the quarterly care conference.
- The staff wear street clothes not uniforms.
While touring a nursing community be aware of how often you are greeted by nursing home staff. Just as when staying at a fine hotel, and employees greet you asking if there is anything they can do for you. A nursing community should display that same feeling of sincere welcome.
Great questions to ask staff as you tour are “how long have you worked here,” and follow up with “what do you enjoy about your job here?” Happy people will want to tell you all about all of the great things about their job and nursing community. Happy and enthusiastic staff will be the most important item on your checkoff sheet.
Virginia Garberding RN
Certified in Gerontology and Restorative Nursing