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:
- 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?
- 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?