Nursing Home Facts - Choosing a Nursing Home/Things to Consider

We have provided you with a detailed list of specific considerations that we hope will help you make your decision on which nursing home is right for you or your loved one.

Quality of Care

Location of the Nursing Home




Living Space

Appearance of the Nursing Home

Quality of Care

Obtain the annual inspection report of the Health Care Financing Administration.  Nursing homes that receive Medicare or Medicaid payments must be inspected annually.  The nursing home must provide this report if requested.


Location of Nursing Home

Choose a home that is close to family and friends so they can visit frequently.  If public transportation is a need, choose a home located near pick up and drop off points.



Request an admissions contract.  Get written information about what happens when the source of payment changes from private pay to Medicaid.  Determine what sources are included in the daily living price.


Most states have two licensing levels, intermediate and skilled.  These levels are based on the resident’s mental and physical needs and capabilities.


Socialization and Activities

A variety of activities should be posted on a calendar to stimulate participation.

Activities should be offered daily and structure is a must.  Some homes offer routine activities ranging from exercise to arts and crafts.  Investigate!  Ask staff, residents and other visitors.  A good sign is if there are volunteers who are involved from the community.  Also check out visiting policies (i.e. in home visits, out of home visits).


Living Space

Many nursing homes have residents who share a room with another resident.  This most likely will require much adjustment on the part of both residents. Personal items can be apart of the room, but space is usually limited to essentials.  Be sure to permanently label all personal belongings.  Use care in helping the elder select familiar belongings, check with administration about televisions, radios, and or a “comfy chair.”


Appearance of the Home

Check for cleanliness of ALL rooms. Note the condition of bathrooms, dining,

Rooms, and virtually all rooms.  Is the home bright and cheery, or more institutional looking?  Are the grounds suitable for the residents to sit, walk or be walked with a walker or wheelchair?  Is this area well lit?  Check to see if the food is nutritious, good tasting and ask, "Is there family dining available?"  Again talk to other residents and their families. Remember nursing home patients need to be treated with respect and dignity.  When possible the nursing home candidate should be given the opportunity to make or assist with their life’s decisions.  Though the placement of a loved one in a nursing home is enduring, it can also prove to be sound solution, if the right match is met.


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