Family Friendly Facilities: The Only Way to Go
 By Michael Brodie

In most cases, when we think of care facilities, we imagine the building and maybe the layout and people we might encounter there. But what will let you know if this is a caregiver and family friendly facility. Below are some key items to look for and ask about when interviewing facilities.

  1. No restrictions on visiting hours, day or night, as long as the resident agrees, and no other residents are disturbed.

  2. The facility has no objection to providing a cot for relatives, especially for out-of-town visitors, to stay overnight in their loved one's room.

  3. Families are able to take their loved ones out of the facility without bureaucratic difficulty, and the facility should sponsor frequent activities which attract family members to the facility. 

  4. Families are allowed and encouraged to join their loved ones for meals in the dining area.

  5. Family celebrations should be encouraged and assisted by the facility (celebration of birthdays, anniversaries, religious and national holidays) and parties accommodated.

  6. Children are welcome, accommodated and encouraged to visit. There is a playground, booster seats in the dining area and a children's menu.

  7. Counseling and support groups are offered to families to help with problems and difficulties of transition to and within a facility.

  8. Facility newsletters are available to visitors in the lobby and easily located.

Michael Brodie, M.B.A., N.H.A., is an administrator at the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged at Douglas Gardens in Miami Florida.(305) 751-8626, (305) 754-4530(fax), www.hctassistedliving.com

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