Sunday, Jan 09, 2005: “Choosing a Retirement Community”

St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
Choosing a Retirement Community
Discussion Led By Becky Fairman

Episcopal Retirement Homes
Sunday, January 09, 2005



Thoughts on your visits:

–  Evaluate units based on your space needs and their location

–  Walk through the entire complex and observe how the residents are using the servIces

–  Ask residents how they like living there (often best done at mealtime)

–  For that matter, check out the food!

–  Make sure you understand the requirements for admission to assisted living or nursing care, the policy for moving from one care level to another, any extra costs

…and if the facility has appropriate certification

–  Get copies of all rental, lease and purchase forms and rules 

Visiting checklist:


–  Does the facility provide the level of care needed?

–  Is the facility certified for Medicare and/or Medicaid participation? -Can residents stay if they are converted to Medicaid? -Is there a waiting list?

–  What are the admission qualifications?

–  What are the visiting hours? Are there resident or visitor restrictions?

–  Are there transfer agreements with a local hospital or other nursing homes?

–  Ask to see the list of deficiencies based upon the annual license survey and the 
plan for correction. The Facility

–  Is the facility free of odor and generally clean, neat and well-maintained? Is it attractive and conveniently located for relatives, friends and personal physician?

–  Are nurse and emergency call buttons located and operational in each room and bathroom facility?

–  Is the facility free from obvious hazards? Are there handrails and grab-bars present in hallways and bathrooms?

–  Is there adequate privacy for each bed and bathing and toilet facility? -Is there a lounge where residents can chat, play games, read, relax?

–  Does the facility have an outdoor area where residents can get fresh air and sunshine?

–  Is there a fire and disaster plan.posted and practiced? Are there smoke detectors and an automatic sprinkler system? 


–  Is the dining area adequate, attractive and inviting?

–  How is the food?

–  Are the meals varied daily? How are special diets handled?

–  Are meals served at normal times, with plenty of time for leisurely eating?

–  Do residents who need help get it, whether in the dining room or in their own room?

–  Are nutritious between-meal snacks available? 


–  Is there a physician on staff or on call? Are licensed nurses on each floor or wing?

–  Does the facility have adequate staff to respond to call buttons when residents ..need help?

–  How are roommates selected? If there is a problem, can a room transfer be made in a timely manner?

–  Is a program of physical and other therapies available for residents who need it?

–  Does the facility have a variety of recreation, cultural and intellectual activities planned for residents?

–  Are activities offered for residents who are relatively inactive or confined to their 

–  Do residents have the opportunity to attend religious services and talk with 

–  Is there an active residents’ council which encourages other residents to participate in governing the facility? Is there a copy of the residents’ “Bill of Rights”?

Need help?

The following people would be able to help you when making decisions about your future:

–  Hospital social workers/discharge planners .Long term care ombudsman

–  Geriatric assessment programs (usually affiliated with a hospital)

–  Community senior programs -local senior centers, etc. .Nursing home admissions directors

Online resources

Episcopal Retirement Homes

American Association of Homes & Services for the Aging


3870 Virginia Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45227
(800) 835-5768