Nursing Home Facts - List of Questions


The following is a list of questions, in 5 separate sections, that you may want to ask of the staff of the nursing home you are considering:

What is the overall atmosphere?

What types of meals are offered by the facility? Consider nutrition, choice, appearance, variety, and taste. Are special meals available for dietary restrictions? 

Does a dietitian approve resident meal plans? 

How big is the facility? Larger facilities may have more organized activities, socialization opportunities, and transportation. 

What are the facility's visiting hours? What types of accommodations are available for visitors? Are there any restrictions on having guests? 

How clean is the facility in reference to appearance and odor? 

What is the general attitude and appearance of the residents? 

What is the general attitude of the staff? Is the staff friendly and courteous to residents and each other? 

What is the participation level of residents in activities and outings? 

How often and in what manner does the staff interact with the residents? Does the staff recognize all of the residents? Are members of the staff friendly toward the residents? 

What is the resident's and family's involvement in the development of the service plan? 

How often are each resident's needs reassessed? 

What are the admission requirements? 

What type of services and activities due they offer?

Is socialization encouraged and promoted? Is it easy to socialize with other residents? Do lounge areas and a common dining room exist? 

What are the extent, range, and frequency of planned activities? 

Are there a lot of opportunities for transportation? How flexible is the transportation? 

Do opportunities for involvement with the surrounding community exist? 

How flexible is a resident's daily schedule? How much independence is allowed? 

Is the facility licensed by the state? 

Is the facility's administrator licensed by the state? 

What is their equipment and amenities like?

Are exercise facilities available to the residents? What kind of opportunities do residents have to exercise?

What types of amenities are available to residents? 

Is the facility equipped to support any special needs of the patient? 

Is extra storage space available? 

Is the facility located close to shopping centers and/or entertainment? 

Do the units have a telephone and television? How is billing handled? 

Is there a kitchen with a sink and refrigerator in the unit? 

Are religious facilities available?

Financial Considerations

What is the monthly cost of the facility?

What are the trends in rate increases over the past years? 

Is a deposit required? Is it refundable? 

What services are included in the monthly cost? What services have to be paid for separately? What other services is available? 

Are utilities included in the cost? 

What circumstances might force a resident to leave the facility? 

What kinds of opportunities are available for a resident to receive further care as a condition or problem requires? 

Is the facility connected with a nursing home or other kind of facility? 

What types of housing are available? (private/shared, apartment, suite) 

Is the housing furnished? If so, what is included? 

What types and what amounts of personal belongings is a resident allowed to bring?

What happens if you are unable to pay for services? 

When can care services are terminated, and what is the refund policy? 

What are the payment, billing, and credit policies?

Safety Considerations

Are intercoms installed in each room? 

Is there a 24-hour emergency response system accessible from each unit? 

What is the level of safety in the facility? Is their proper lighting? Are there handrails, emergency pull-cords, and door alarms? How extensive is the fire system? 

Are exits clearly marked and easily accessed? 

Does the facility have air conditioning? 

Is the ventilation and heating adequate? 

Is the facility's security adequate? Are there lockable doors for each unit? 

Does the facility have handicapped access and accommodations? 

How close is the nearest hospital? 

Is there a doctor or pharmacy on-site? 

How many staff members are on duty for each shift at the facility? 

How long does it take for the staff to respond to a resident's call for assistance?


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