Selecting A Skilled Nursing Facility

by Ava Hallam, Marketing Director, Pawtucket Falls Healthcare Center, Guest Blogger

Welcome to Pawtucket Falls

As we age, whether it is for ourselves or our family members, there seems to come a time that we may need to select a skilled nursing facility. This could be for a long-term care situation or short-term rehabilitation following an elective surgery, accident, or illness.

It is best to be prepared and do your homework as there are many options for care in all communities. You want to make an informed decision and one that is a good fit for your loved one. In order to accomplish this, you need to become acquainted with various aspects of the facility.

"It is best to be prepared and do your homework as there are many options for care in all communities. You want to make an informed decision and one that is a good fit for your loved one." --- Ava Hallam

Consider starting this process by looking at two or three skilled nursing facilities and do not be afraid to ask questions and observe. Start by looking at the website and written materials. Start by setting an appointment for a phone interview. After the phone call, and if you like what you hear, schedule a time for an in-person visit.

What to Look For

Look at the age of the facility. Some older facilities are in good condition and well maintained. Check to see if renovations have occurred. Are the walkways and courtyard area maintained for outdoor visitation in pleasant weather? Do stairwells and hallways have safety rails?

Resident bedroom at Pawtucket Falls

Most facilities have private and semi-private rooms, check both out and inquire as to availability and cost. Ask if telephones and televisions are provided and is there internet access? Are there private areas to meet with the family? Ask for a sample menu. What about snacks?

Check out the staff. Are they courteous and attentive to residents? Do they know the resident’s name and knock before entering rooms? Are staff wearing name tags?

What about the residents? Are they appropriately dressed and well-groomed?

Ask who is the attending physician(s)/nurse practitioners. What about therapists? Are they fully staffed with physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists? How many days a week are therapists there and how long can therapy be provided?

Look at a resident's room. Is it clean and comfortable? What about the lighting, ventilation, and space? Do bathrooms have non-skid surfaces and grab bars?

Ask to see a menu. Are they appealing? Make sure meals are served hot.

What are opportunities for family involvement? Are there support groups, care conferences, and care planning meetings?

Big Changes at Pawtucket Falls

As of January 2022, we are under new management – Best Care Services. The new Administrator is Cathy Donnelly along with a new director of nursing, Jackie Pacino. And our $2 million-dollar renovation is almost completed! The transitional care unit (short-term rehabilitation) consists of all private rooms with an in-room sitting area, large screen televisions, and private phones. Plus, an additional newly expanded transitional care step-down unit.

A newly renovated therapy gym for in-house access to physical, occupational, and speech therapists. Chef prepared meals and exciting activities for all who wish to participate. Most major insurances are accepted plus Medicare, Private Pay, and RI Medicaid.

Bilingual staff – Spanish and Portuguese. We can also provide interpreter services in most languages. Plus, staff longevity 29% have worked at the facility for 2-44 years. Pawtucket Falls Healthcare Center is known for its low turnover staffing rates which translates to experience and expertise.

Families can visit their loved ones in person and if unable we can provide Zoom, FaceTime, and phone calls.

What are the policies and procedures? What is the policy regarding smoking? Ask about the protection of resident belongings. Ask what insurance covers and will there be any out-of-pocket fees?

Ask for a copy of the admissions agreement. All facilities have State Surveys completed. These are required to be posted and made available. When looking for a facility be sure to check us out:

Pawtucket Falls Healthcare Center,

70 Gill Ave.

Pawtucket MA, 02861


If you or your loved one needs long-term care, short-term care, or respite services please give us a call at 401-722-7900 and ask for Admissions. Also, please visit our website –


Ms. Hallam is the Marketing Director at Pawtucket Falls Healthcare Center and this issue's guest blogger. Ms. Hallam was a guest on Connelly Law's Radio Program Southcoast Seniors on am790 WPRV. The opinions expressed in our guest blogs are those of the author(s) only. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Connelly Law Offices, Ltd., or its employees nor are their appearance here to be considered an endorsement of their product(s) or service(s). However, we do extensive research and maintain a professional relationship with all our guest bloggers and consider them and the agency or business they represent to meet the utmost professional and ethical standards for senior service providers.

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