Things You Need to Know Before Choosing A Nursing Home

Nursing homes provide medical and health care to those in need, usually in an atmosphere more clinical than that found at assisted living facilities.

If you are considering nursing homes for yourself or a loved one, it is essential to conduct thorough research and compare options before making a decision that’s suitable for their well-being. Here are some questions that will assist with making the best choice possible.


Depending upon the level of care required, nursing home costs can become quite high. To reduce costs even further, many sources – from personal funds and private insurance policies to public benefit programs like Medicaid – can cover some or all of these costs.

Nursing home costs typically cover room and board services, including 24/7 care and supervision, three meals daily, and access to physical, speech, and occupational therapies. Additional medical expenses like medications, supplies, or transportation will incur an additional expense.

When choosing the appropriate nursing home for a loved one, it’s essential that you visit multiple times throughout the day in order to gain an idea of their experience there. Speak with residents and their families as you gather data that could inform your decision; many facilities also provide social benefits like recreational activities and group outings which help seniors remain connected to their communities while giving them a sense of purpose and wellbeing.


Many individuals needing nursing home care have long-term disabilities and medical needs that cannot be fulfilled in the home, such as being paralyzed by a stroke, dementia, or another medical condition that requires regular supervision and skilled nursing care.

Nursing homes aren’t solely about healthcare; they also provide cleaning and cooking services, which make daily activities simpler for older adults. But for someone used to managing these things themselves at home, moving into a nursing home can be upsetting as it strips them of their independence.

When considering nursing homes for your loved one, visiting them multiple times will allow you to see how the community functions on various days and times of the week. Ask if there are activities planned that you could join as well as meals with them to see whether their food appears appetizing and nutritious; additionally, find out if the nursing home has experience treating their specific condition such as Alzheimer’s.

Personal Care

As you tour nursing homes, pay particular attention to how clean and well-kept the rooms, hallways, and bathrooms are; also pay attention to how kindly and respectful the staff is towards residents; additionally ask about medical professionals such as how many registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are on-duty 24/7 as well as their ratio with residents.

Make sure that the facility provides transportation to grocery stores or friends’ homes, and inquire as to the quality and suitability of food served based on any dietary restrictions or preferences.

Nursing homes typically accommodate those whose medical conditions have rendered them incapable of performing daily activities such as bathing and eating without assistance, including bathing and eating. Stays can range in duration; for some, it could follow hospitalization while for others their physician might refer them as part of a continuing care plan. These facilities differ from senior living communities which typically provide more independent levels of care with less dependence on daily medication management.

Medication Management

As you select a nursing home, take particular note of their medication management practices. On average, each resident receives medication 73 times daily from this facility; thus exposing them to potential errors that could prove catastrophic for their wellbeing.

Be mindful of how staff interacts with current residents and inquire as to their experience with your loved one’s medical condition. Inquire also as to staffing: how many nurses and nursing assistants there are per resident? In addition, do you specialize in caring for seniors living with Alzheimer’s or similar?

While visiting, look for signs of cleanliness. Does the environment smell fresh and clean, or does it have an unpleasant odor? Additionally, see whether meals are offered at set times, residents are able to dine in their rooms, special diets can be accommodated, assistance is offered in eating, etc. Furthermore, view what social activities are offered – does the facility provide various events or outings or just one type?


No matter your opinion on whether it should be the family’s responsibility to provide care for aging relatives, some elderly need nursing home care. Nursing homes are usually the safest solution when long-term illnesses or conditions such as dementia or severe depression compromise someone’s ability to function safely in the home environment.

When touring potential nursing homes, make sure they are well-regulated and that health inspection results are posted publicly. Also, take a tour and observe cleanliness and atmosphere – does the layout meet residents’ needs, is there a welcoming community vibe, or does it feel cold and institutional?

Also, inquire as to the types of activities the nursing home regularly hosts for residents with specific illnesses such as dementia. Also find out which specialized programs or services may help keep him active and engaged, such as programs designed specifically to keep him engaged with life. Finally, find out about meal arrangements; what options exist for special diets; when residents can spend time outside (health permitting); as well as whether any government funding options are accepted.