When you visit a nursing home, you should try to interview someone in a management position. Oftentimes, this means meeting with the director of operations. When meeting with someone who oversees the nursing home, you can get important information. Ask questions about policies and the employment process. Ask these 10 questions when meeting with a director of operation.

1. How do You Screen Potential Employees?

All nursing home employees should get qualified for their jobs. The proper education and experience will reduce the risk of neglect, abuse, or accidents. You should ask someone in a management position about the screening process for employees. The home should run background checks on all potential employees. This will ensure that they do not have histories of abuse. Once hired, an ongoing screening process should be in place for current employees.

2. What Does Continued Education Look Like for this Facility?

It is not enough to just make sure that staff members have the proper qualifications and training. Laws, rules, and health practices are constantly changing. It is important that all employees of a nursing home stay up-to-date on these changes. Be sure to ask the Director what kind of continued staff training the employees receive. It is important that it isn’t just the nurses who receive continued training. All employees should get this training. If every staff member must do continued training each year, this is a good sign.

3. What Future Improvements do You Plan on Making?

Part of a clear dedication to improving a nursing home is it’s future plans for development. Talk to the Director of Operations about the nursing home’s plans to improve in the future. Some common examples of improvements to look out for are:

  • Purchasing newer models of equipment.
  • Paying for nurses and other employees to continue their training.
  • Adding a new wing to the facility.
  • Implementing a staff screening process.
  • Implementing an abuse prevention policy.
  • Establishing a care plan policy.
  • Restructuring management.
  • Providing more in-house treatment.
  • Making rooms more comfortable for residents.
  • Adding new activities for the residents.
  • Improving meal plans.
  • Monitoring staff more carefully.
  • Hiring more registered nurses.
  • Extending visiting hours.

There are always ways to enhance a facility. The Director should recognize this and have plans to make the nursing home even better.

4. How are Complaints Handled?

If you are considering a nursing home, you need to be aware of how the nursing home deals with conflict. Even the best nursing homes have issues. If you have a problem with the nursing home, you need to know who to contact about your concerns. Ask the Director of Operations where you can make a complaint and how complaints get handled. Will someone get back to you in a timely manner? Are efforts made to find a solution to the problem at hand? Will the home follow up with you to make sure that you feel satisfied with the way that the issue gets handled? You need to be confident that if any issues arise, you and your loved one’s needs will get addressed.

5. What Social Services are Available to Residents?

Social services should be available to all nursing home residents. This will provide a safe space for residents to talk about whatever issues they face. Therapy and other social services should be in place for homes to protect from abuse and to work out issues.

6. What Spiritual Services are Available to Residents?

An important aspect of many elderly people’s mental health is their spirituality or religion. Whether your loved one follows a religion or not, spiritual resources should be available. If your loved one is religious, he or she should have access to resources such as:

  • Religious services.
  • Religious leader for guidance.
  • Last rites.
  • Bible study or a way to share faith with others.
  • Accommodations for certain dietary restrictions.
  • Religious texts.
  • Religious sacraments (such as baptism, confession, etc.).

These resources will help your loved one adjust to life in a nursing home. They can improve his or her mental and spiritual health.

7. What is Your Visiting Policy?

Make sure that you will actually be able to visit the nursing home at your convenience. Ask about this policy at the home that you’re checking out to make sure you can visit during their hours.

8. What is Your Abuse Prevention Policy Like?

An effective ways of preventing neglect and abuse is having an abuse prevention policy. An abuse prevention policy outlines what about is. It also explains penalties for abuse so that everyone in the nursing home is on the same page. An abuse prevention policy outlines what is and is not acceptable in a nursing home. Both residents and employees will know what they can and cannot do. Make sure that the nursing home has an abuse prevention policy in place to protect residents.

9. What is Preventative Care Like?

Issues that arise in nursing homes should get resolved immediately. As soon as a resident begins to exhibit symptoms of an illness or abuse, they should receive treatment. You should ask the director of operations about the nursing home’s preventative care policy. This will make sure that your loved one gets help as soon as an issue arises. It is better to have potential problems checked out than to let them get worse over time.

10. What are Care Plans Like for Residents?

Each resident should have a care plan that explains their medical treatment. Care plans should be created and followed in the nursing home you choose. Care should also get updated to include modifications. A care plan is a basic and essential part of life in a nursing home. Make sure that the director of operations explains the care plan processes.