Melanie (Mel) Sullivan, Ed.D., has been named Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Ecumen,...
Sign up for Changing Aging News
Nursing Home Compare Tips
Following are key questions we encourage you to answer to help you evaluate and choose a nursing home or care center that provides a good fit for you.
At a Glance
- Is there current availability and if not, when do they anticipate an opening?
- Are specialty services available, and if so, are they offered in separate areas of the building (i.e. memory care, rehabilitation, hospice, ventilator, etc), or blended in one area?
- Is the nursing home conveniently located for friends and family to visit?
- Do residents appear to be clean, appropriately dressed for the season/ time of day, and well-groomed?
- Does the building appear to be clean and well-kept?
- Are the noise levels in the common areas comfortable?
- Is smoking allowed in the building?
- Are pets allowed in the building?
- Are furnishings comfortable and attractive?
- Is the temperature of the building comfortable for the residents?
- Is the building more residential or institutional in appearance and feel?
- Are there private, quiet areas where residents can visit with friends and family?
- Do the relationships between the staff members and residents appear to be warm, polite, respectful and engaging?
- Do staff members respect residents’ privacy?
- Are continuing education programs provided for all staff members?
- Does the nursing home conduct background checks on all staff?
- Does the tour guide (admissions person) know the names of residents throughout the building?
- Is the nursing home staffed with licensed nursing staff 24 hours per day?
- Does the same team of nursing assistants (CNAs) work with the same residents on a consistent basis?
- Is there a full-time social worker on staff?
- Are there doctors who visit the care center regularly?
- Is furniture provided in the rooms, and what items may be brought in by residents?
- Is there adequate storage space (closet and drawers) for each resident?
- Are the rooms shared or private?
- If the room is shared, how many people share the bathroom?
- Do residents have access to a personal telephone and television?
- Are computers available to residents?
- Can residents have a choice of roommates?
Care and Services
- Do residents receive preventive care, such as yearly flu shots?
- Can residents continue to see their personal doctors?
- Does the nursing home have an arrangement with a nearby hospital for emergencies?
- Are care plan meetings held with residents and family members at convenient times for everyone?
- How was the most recent state inspection report and have they corrected any deficiencies that they may have incurred?
- How well do staff know the residents?
- How do they empower residents to be engaged in pursuits that are meaningful to them?
- Are residents offered choices for meal items?
- Are nutritious snacks and beverages available upon request?
- If assistance is needed, will staff help residents with eating and drinking at mealtimes?
- Are a variety of activity options available to residents?
- Are there outdoor areas for resident use and staff to assist them to go outside?
- Are there scheduled activities outings?
- Is there an active volunteer program in the nursing home?
- Does this nursing home have spiritual services that will meet your individual needs?
- Can you talk with other residents and family members to get their insights?
- Can you spend a day to observe life at the nursing home?