When You Visit A Nursing HomeDownload PDF

When you visit nursing homes to decide which is best for your loved one, use these questions as a guide.

Basic Information

Is the nursing home certified?

  • Yes. By Medicare
  • By Medicaid
  • No

Does the nursing home have the level of care that you need (for example, skilled, custodial)?

  • Yes
  • No

Appearance of Residents

Are residents clean, appropriately dressed for the season or time of day, and well groomed?

  • Yes
  • No

Living Spaces

Is the nursing home free from overwhelming unpleasant odors?

  • Yes
  • No

Does it appear clean and well-kept?

  • Yes
  • No

Is the lighting good?

  • Yes
  • No

Is smoking allowed or restricted to certain areas?

  • Yes
  • No

Staff

Does the relationship between the staff and residents appear to be warm, polite, and respectful?

  • Yes
  • No

Do staff members knock on the door before entering a resident’s room?

  • Yes
  • No

Do they refer to the residents by name?

  • Yes
  • No

Is there a full-time, Registered Nurse (RN) other than the administrator or director of nursing in the nursing home at all times?

  • Yes
  • No

Does the same team of nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) work with the same resident 4 to 5 days a week?

  • Yes
  • No

Are CNAs involved in care planning meetings?

  • Yes
  • No

Is a full-time social worker on staff?

  • Yes
  • No

Is a licensed doctor on staff?

  • Yes
  • No

Can the doctor be reached at all times?

  • Yes
  • No

Has the management team worked together for at least one year?

  • Yes
  • No

Residents’ Rooms

Are residents allowed to have personal belongings and furniture in their rooms?

  • Yes
  • No

Do residents have storage space (for example, a closet or drawers) in their rooms?

  • Yes
  • No

Are there policies and procedures to protect residents’ possessions?

  • Yes
  • No

Hallways, Stairs, Lounges, and Bathrooms

Does the nursing home have smoke detectors and sprinklers?

  • Yes
  • No

Are all common areas, resident rooms, and doorways designed for wheelchair use?

  • Yes
  • No

Are handrails in hallways and grab bars in bathrooms?

  • Yes
  • No

Menus and Food

Do residents have a choice of food items at meals (Ask if a favorite food is served.)?

  • Yes
  • No

Are nutritious snacks available upon request?

  • Yes
  • No

Do staff members help residents eat and drink if help is needed?

  • Yes
  • No

Activities

May residents, including those who are unable to leave their rooms, able to choose to participate in a variety of activities?

  • Yes
  • No

Are outdoor areas available for residents to use?

  • Yes
  • No

Do staff members help residents go outside?

  • Yes
  • No

Safety and Care

Is an emergency evacuation plan in place?

  • Yes
  • No

Does the nursing home hold regular fire drills?

  • Yes
  • No

Do residents still see their own doctors?

  • Yes
  • No

Are arrangements made with a nearby hospital for emergencies?

  • Yes
  • No

Has the nursing home corrected all deficiencies (failure to meet one or more federal or state requirements) on its last state inspection report?

  • Yes
  • No
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