By Melinda Young

When hospitalized patients need to be transitioned to a skilled nursing facility (SNF), one of the first hurdles is finding the right place.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston has developed a one-page tool to help families with this decision. Here are a few excerpts from the tool, titled “Touring a Skilled Nursing Facility:”

• What questions should I ask?

- Do you have a full-time rehab (physical, occupational, and speech therapy) staff on site?

- How much therapy will I receive?

- What types of insurance do you accept?

- Is there a waitlist for admission?

- What is the average rehabilitative stay?

- Were there any issues with your recent health inspection? If so, how are you addressing them?

- What are your visitation policies?

- Is there any additional cost for services not covered by insurance, such as laundry, cable, and hairdresser?

• What should I look for?

- Does the facility appear to be clean, well-maintained, and free from unpleasant odors?

- Is the staff engaged with patients in a positive and respectful way?

- Do staff members greet you as you tour the building?

• What areas should I ask to see?

- Gym/therapy areas;

- Dining room;

- Shared areas where patients can visit with family and friends.