Tips for Choosing the Right Nursing Home

Choosing a nursing home for a loved one can be an overwhelming and difficult task. Of course you want to make the best decision for a family member or friend, and you need to consider many different factors as part of your decision. The process can seem daunting and you might not know where to begin.

The following tips will help you start the journey of selecting the residential nursing facility that suits your loved one and provides the type of care and services they need. 

Tips for Visiting Prospective Nursing Homes

Keep the following tips in mind when visiting the nursing homes on your approved list. It’s essential that you’re tuned in to the level of care, the available services and amenities and the environment of each facility when you visit. You want your loved one to feel at home and receive the best care available.

Six tips for choosing the right nursing home:

  • Visit during mealtime. Ask to participate in a meal at each nursing home you visit. Taste the food and observe the atmosphere of the dining room. Inquire about dining options for times when your loved one is unable to attend meals in the general dining area.
  • Ask to see the menu for the coming week and make sure that the meals will meet any special needs required and offer adequate nutrition. Remember that your loved one will eat there every day, so meals should be balanced and offer sustenance and options for dietary needs.
  • Use your senses of sight and smell liberally. Cleanliness is an important consideration in nursing care. Look for evidence of mold, careless housekeeping or insect infestation. Use your nose to find any unpleasant odors that indicate poor cleanliness or hazardous conditions. Inquire about laundry procedures and ask for a schedule of cleaning for your loved one’s living space.
  • Attend an activity: Find out when the staff conducts group activities and ask to attend a session. This is a good opportunity to observe the staff and residents in an interactive setting. Gauge the enjoyment level of the participants. Do they seem happy and engaged? Watch the staff members. Are they friendly and do they seem invested in their jobs?
  • Check security and safety measures. Ask questions and observe safety and security on the premises. Are doors locked to prevent “escapees?” Are visitors identified? Visit the restrooms and look for handrails. Ask to see the security camera monitoring area. Ask about the procedure for alerting staff to an emergency situation if your loved one needs help at any time.
  • Talk to residents. Personal care and quality of life are paramount concerns in nursing care. Visit with residents at each facility and take note regarding their hygiene. Is hair brushed and are clothes neat and clean? Are men properly shaved? Ask questions of the residents regarding their typical daily schedule and activities. Be sure to speak with more than one resident to ensure that you are getting a variety of responses.
  • Check licenses and hiring procedures. Ask for the nursing home’s current license and recent inspection dates. Ask whether staff is required to submit to background and drug tests. Check reviews on websites such as

Trust your own Instincts

If you’ve done your homework, researched and visited multiple facilities, you will have a good idea where you felt most comfortable. Visualize your loved one living in each location and imagine visiting him or her there. Consider all of the information you’ve collected and discuss the possibilities with your loved one, his or her doctors, and other family members. You will then be in a great position to make an educated, loving decision.

If you need Help, Call Cordisco & Saile LLC

In the event that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or negligence,the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you file a claim. Call us today to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney: 215-642-2335.