It was time to change things up a little this week so I went the skilled nursing route. Here is how it went.

It was time to change things up a little this week so I went the skilled nursing route.  Here is how it went.

The Visit

The building was easy to find on a fairly busy street. It was easy to get in and out of the parking lot, but actual parking was a disaster; I ended up parking close to 200 paces from the front door. That was OK for me because I can use the extra steps, but not so good for older visitors.  There did not appear to be any designated visitor parking.  If I had been a family member looking at several options, after not being able to find parking I would have kept driving. The building has an awkward side entrance but they did a great job of putting up easy to see and understand signs to get visitors to the front entrance.  After parking I made the mini hike to the front entrance where I was immediately greeted by a very friendly young man, which was terrific.  I explained who I was and asked for a tour.  He told me he would see if there was someone who could show me around. He got on the phone and I could only hear one side of the conversation but it appeared that once the person he was talking to figured out I was not a prospect she was not crazy about helping me.  I was surprised when, after hanging up, he said someone would be with me in a few minutes.  He then offered me a cookie and coffee (I would hire this guy: he was way above average). I waited for five or seven minutes, which wasn’t too bad since I showed up unannounced. A pleasant young woman came out and gave me a very quick whirlwind tour of the property.

My Experience

  • The building is owned by a regional operator and has between 150-200 beds.  They provide both long-term Medicaid custodial care and short-term rehab.
  • They have a 4 star rating and their last inspection had a higher number of deficiencies than the state and national average.  All of the deficiencies were minor and they had no fines in the past three years.
  • The one unique feature that my tour guide pointed out to me was that they are one of the few skilled nursing facilities in the Sacramento area that still allow smoking (outside only).
  • The building was carpeted and, particularly on the long-term care side of the building, it was dingy, making me wonder if it was dirty or just old.
  • She told me they had beds available but she was not forthcoming about how many.


  • The building was not exactly grim but to have a family member in this building would mean settling for something that was barely adequate, not something that was as nice as it could be.
  • It is hard to understand why any senior community would, in this day and age, have dingy carpets. Even if they are clean, they scream “dirty”.  There are great heavy duty carpets (think airports) and amazing laminates that look almost exactly like hardwood, but are durable, look classy and are easy to clean.
  • It is really expensive to create a skilled environment like Clermont Park (see week #3), but paint, wall paper and creative lighting can make a huge difference without costing an arm and a leg.
  • I was not offered a brochure and had to ask for a card from the person giving me the tour.
  • On one hand I understand giving me the quickest tour possible, because I didn’t represent an immediate new admission. On the other hand . . . one never knows who might ask me for advice and honestly this would not go on my recommend list unless every other place was much worse.
  • Besides, any tour should be seen as good practice and an opportunity to see the community through someone else’s eyes, especially a visitor familiar with the industry. I find it weird and distressing how rare it is for people to ask me about what I think or what I am seeing in other communities in their marketplace.  This would seem a natural and valuable line of inquiry.

Steve Moran

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