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Is it ok to talk to residents when touring a facility?

Status: Open    Oct 24, 2014 - 03:54 PM

Senior Living Communities

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Nov 03, 2014 - 10:57 AM

Good question!

I would suggest that you ask that question when you first make arrangements for the tour or right at the beginning of the tour. The facility’s policy will depend upon the type of facility and its residents. The facility’s primary concern is going to be for the protection and privacy of their residents.

Frequently, facilities will arrange for settings where you can have some interaction with residents and family members, as part of their tour. Some examples include at meal time or during an activity session.

Even if the facility discourages direct contact with residents, you can gain a great deal of information by observing the residents and their interactions with the staff.

Do the residents look clean, comfortable, and content? Does the staff address them by name? Does the staff seem to know what the resident needs are? Do call lights seem to be answered in a timely manner? Does the staff seem to be readily available? What is the ratio of staff to residents? Do the facility and residents’ rooms look clean and neat? Does the facility have an active resident/family council?

These are just a few observations that you can make while touring a facility.

My book, Healthcare Handbook For Senior Citizens and Their Families, lists more observations for you to make when touring assistive living and skilled nursing facilities. I suggest that you carry a written list of questions with you, when you visit a facility, so you don’t forget to ask them.



Nov 02, 2014 - 12:12 PM

I think it would be up to the facility, but given regulations and not knowing what a patient/resident might say.....I highly doubt they would let you. My suggestion would be to ask for referral from residents family member (again could be denied due to privacy)

Your best bet is to visit the facility at a time when residents are most likely to get visitors and approach family member outside the facility.

Another idea - see if facility has "family meetings" - those that are for facility issues only. Ask if you can attend...........

Unfortunately, a lot of us do not have this luxury, because of emergency placement etc. If you see something coming where you will eventually have to place a loved one try as many avenues as you can to get recommendations.

Dec 07, 2014 - 08:16 PM

Most facilities offer social interactions that the public may be invited to, particularly those researching homes for their family. At that time, it is up to the resident to participate in a social interaction with a guest. It is a social event and the only rules are those at any social event. Tact, diplomacy, care, friendliness, and respect. I have asked residents if they enjoyed livng there and if the conversation continued, what they liked most or least.... if there were any drawbacks to being there. Most people in a such living situations are grateful to meet a new friend.

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