How to Compare Nursing Homes

Deciding the right place can be a tedious process that requires a great deal of research and awareness and choosing the right nursing home is no different.  In reality, choosing a nursing home may be more complex because, in addition to common amenities, potential residents also have to consider the researching the staff, programs, and services, medical or otherwise.  Although this site offers a number of articles to help, such as “Nursing Home FAQs”, it is a good idea to bring a checklist that makes sure you don’t miss anything as you compare facilities.

Each list should have its own page with the name and the date of your visit listed at the top; it can also be helpful to make notes next to each point as well.  You can also make sections for each concern to match the flow of the interview and tour from the outside to the inside.  Touring during a time when activities, such as lunch, or a community event, are recommended to get a good idea of staff interaction and overall happiness of the residents.  During your tour of the facility pay attention to the overall cleanliness of the facility; look for dirty floors or walls, listen to the noise level of the rooms, get a sense of smell for each area, and ask a lot about maintenance and housekeeping.  Below

 

Date of Visit: ______________

Name of Facility: _____________________________________

Address/Location: ____________________________________

Contact Info: ________________________________________

 

  1. Outside the facility

___ Location: traffic, location to family, etc.

Notes:

___ Appearance: well maintained (paint, landscaping, sidewalks), mobility friendly (ramps, sidewalk flaws, railing, stairs, etc.).

Notes:

___ Outside Security: doors easy to open but secure, surveillance, etc.

Notes:

 

  1. Lobby

___ Appearance: welcoming décor and friendly staff, smell, sign-in or check I process.

Notes:

___ Visiting Process: specific visiting hours, waiting area, drinks for guests, etc.

Notes:

___ Lobby staff: friendly, polite greeting, attentive, knowledgeable/helpful, etc.

Notes:

 

  1. Common Areas

___ Hallways: length, railing, ramps, stairs, location of important rooms, elevators, benches, etc.

Notes:

___ Furniture: comfortable, clean, up-to-date, lots of residents present, etc.

Notes:

___ Floors: clean, even, fall prevention measures, short distances between areas, etc.

Notes:

___ Additional rooms: television room, library, gym, pool, computer room, etc.

Notes:

 

  1. Rooms/ Apartments

___ Emergency measures: bedroom/bathroom emergency alerts, average response times,

Notes:

___ Room Floorplan: closet space, in-room furniture, storage options

Notes:

___ Bathroom: tub/shower, handrails, etc.

Notes:

___ Different room sizes: floor plan cost comparison,

Notes:

___ Personal Items: list of items that are allowed and prohibited

Notes:

 

  1. Activities, Services, and Programs

___ Meal options: healthy choices, choices for medical conditions, flexible eating schedule, visitor meals, seating plans, kitchenettes available, etc.

Notes:

___ Medication management: frequency, cost, storage,

Notes:

___Observe an activity or ask for a community event schedule: bingo nights, movies nights, cookouts, birthday parties, etc.

Notes:

___Options for outside entertainment: transportation to movies, dinner, shopping, etc.

Notes:

___ Options for hobbies: library, movie libraries, book clubs, knitting circles, yoga, etc.

Notes:

___ Personal care services: beauty/barber services, laundry, bedding, spa, etc.

Notes:

___ Services at additional cost

Notes:

 

  1. Other

___ Pet-friendly: allows personal pets, animal-assisted therapy, community pet, pet care services, fenced outside area, etc.

Notes:

___ Residents: age, happiness, medical accommodations, welcome person, etc.

Notes:

___ Licenses and regulations: licenses posted, inspections reports, complaint reports, complaint process, evacuation procedures/routes, fire drills, etc.

Notes:

___ Transportation services: recreational transportation, transportation to medical services, errands, etc.

Notes:

___Needed additional services: memory care, rehabilitation, physical therapy, etc.

Notes:

 

Staff interaction, dining experience, general aesthetics, and room comfort are some of the most important factors for seniors.  Knowing they have a found a place that is safe and complimentary might even influence their longevity and overall quality of life.  Finally, as you check off your criteria and ask all of the necessary questions, imagine yourself actually living there.  Imagine trying to relax or make friends, image interacting with the staff or solving a personal care problem.  As you imagine day-to-day life, imagine waking up and going to bed. Simply, make sure to choose the place that feels just right!

To begin the search for nursing homes in your area, start here. Or you can call (877) 345 – 1706 to speak with a local senior living advisor for free who can help you on your search.