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In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You're Not Around Later

Checklist: Questions To Consider When Choosing A Nursing Home

This article on aging is provided by Everplans — The web's leading resource for planning and organizing your life. Create, store and share important documents that your loved ones might need. Find out more about Everplans »

When choosing a Nursing Home, the most important issues to consider are your level of comfort and the level of care provided.

It may be helpful to ask yourself the following questions when deciding which Nursing Home is the best option for you or a loved one:


  • Does the facility appear clean and orderly?
  • Does the facility smell good, or does it smell strongly of unpleasant odors, such as urine or deodorizer?
  • Is the layout of the facility easy to understand and remember?
  • Is there a single nurses’ station or are there multiple nurses’ stations?
  • Does the facility have a contained outdoor area?
  • Do the rooms have features you desire, such as windows or a television?
  • Are the common rooms clean and well maintained?


  • Does the nursing home offer social activities that you’re interested in?
  • Does the nursing home provide housekeeping and laundry services?
  • Does the nursing home have a volunteer program?
  • Can residents manage their own schedules, such as when to wake up, eat, and go to bed?

Medical Care

  • How are medications managed?
  • How are medical emergencies handled?
  • How are non-emergency medical situations handled, such as falls?
  • How are visits from physical therapists, occupational therapists, medical specialists, and physicians scheduled?
  • Does the staff have special training to deal with dementia or Alzheimer’s?
  • Is there a special unit or special programming for residents suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s?
  • How does the staff handle problems like wandering, disorientation, and agitation?


  • Do people working at the facility seem warm and welcoming?
  • Do staff members seem helpful, attentive, and patient?
  • Do staff members interact with residents kindly and respectfully? Do staff members refer to residents by their names?
  • Do staff members wear nametags?
  • Do staff members knock before entering a resident’s room?
  • How many people are on staff during weekdays? Weekends? Evenings?
  • Do residents have the same caregivers on a daily basis?
  • Does the nursing home run background checks on staff members to make sure they haven’t been found guilty of abuse or neglect?

Residents And Facility Culture

  • Do current residents seem happy and comfortable?
  • Are residents well groomed and properly dressed?
  • Do residents socialize or interact with each other?
  • If you are considering sharing a room, do you think you and your roommate will get along? If not, are there other options for who you might be able to live with?


  • If you have religious or medical dietary needs, can the kitchen accommodate you?
  • Do you have the option of eating in your room rather than in the dining room?
  • Do residents who need help eating get timely assistance?
  • Are snacks offered throughout the day?

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