Nov 03, 2014 - 10:57 AM
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.