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Selecting a Nursing Home Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Major Questions to Ask when selecting a nursing home

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


The following checklist to help you make an informed decision about nursing home care for your Loved One. If you, or a member of your family, must enter a nursing home, visit the facility ahead of time. Quality of care, cost, services provided and physical layout vary greatly. By carefully evaluating and comparing nursing homes in your area, you are most likely to choose one that best meets your needs and those of your Loved Ones.


1. Is the facility certified for Medicare?
2. Is the facility certified for Medicaid?
3. Is the Resident or the Resident’s family informed when charges and fees increase?


1. Does the nursing home have a good reputation in the community?
Chamber of Commerce
CMS 5-Star Rating
2. Does the nursing home have a list of refere­nces?
3. Is the nursing home convenient for family and friends to visit?
4. Does the local ombudsman visit the facility regularly?
5. Does the nursing home meet your cultural, religious or language needs?
6. Can Residents continue to see their personal physician?


1. Is the outside of the nursing home clean and in good repair?
2. Are there outdoor areas accessible for Residents to use?
3. Is the inside of the nursing home clean and in good repair?
4. Does the nursing home have handrails in hallways and grab bars in bathrooms?
5. When floors are being cleaned, are warning signs displayed or are areas blocked off to prevent accidents?
6. Is the nursing home free from unpleasant odors?
7. Does the nursing home have smoke detectors and sprink­lers?
8. Are toilets convenient to bedrooms?
9. Do noise levels fit the activities that are going on?
10. Are exits clearly marked?
11. Is it easy for Residents in wheelc­hairs to move around the home?
12. Is the lighting approp­riate for what Residents are doing?
13. Are their private areas for Residents to visit with family?
14. Do the Residents have some personal items in their bedrooms (for example: family pictures, souvenirs, a chair)?
15. Do the Residents’ rooms have accessible storage areas for their personal items?

Patien­t/R­esident Care

1. Do various Staff and profes­sional experts partic­ipate in evaluating each Resident’s needs and interests?
2. Does the Resident or his or her family partic­ipate in developing the Resident’s plan of care?
3. Does the home offer programs to restore lost physical functi­oning (for example, Physical Therapy, Occupa­tional Therapy, Speech Therapy)?
4. Does the home have any special services that meet your needs (for example, special care units for Residents with dementia or respir­atory problems)?
5. Does the nursing home have a program to restrict the use of physical restra­ints?
6. Is a registered nurse available for nursing Staff?
7. Is there enough Staff at night and on weekends or holidays to care for each Resident?
8. Does the nursing home have an arrang­ement with a nearby hospital?
9. Do Admini­strator and Staff seem comfor­table with each other and with the Residents?
10. Does the nursing home offer the services of a Workplace Chaplain to tend to the spiritual needs of hurting Employees as they care for the Residents?


1. Do Residents seem to enjoy being with the Staff? Is their intera­ction warm and respec­tful?
2. Are most Residents dressed for the season and time of day?
3. Does Staff know the Residents by name?
4. Does Staff respond quickly to Residents’ calls for assist­ance?
5. Are activities tailored to Residents’ individual needs and interests?
6. Are Residents involved in a variety of activi­ties?
7. Can Residents make choices about their daily routine?
Examples: when to go to bed, get up, bathe or eat.
8. Does the nursing home serve food attrac­tively and at proper temper­atures?
9. Does the nursing home consider personal food likes and dislikes in planning meals?
10. Does the nursing home use care in selecting roommates?
11. Is there enough Staff to assist each Resident who requires help with eating?
12. Does the nursing home have a Residents’ council? If so, does the council influence decisions about Resident life?
13. Does the nursing home have a family council? If so, does the council influence decisions about Resident life?
14. Does the facility have outside volunteer groups, such as pet therapy programs, scouts and churches?