How to choose a nursing home checklist

How To Choose a Nursing Home Checklist

Due to health issues or age, seniors need quality care round the clock. However much we want to take care of ourselves or our aging loved ones, it might not be possible with a busy work schedule.

Instead of giving partial care to a senior who needs special care all the time, a nursing home is a better option. In some cases, seniors do not feel great about checking into a nursing home. However, this sometimes is the best alternative especially if they are ailing.

Although there are spectacular nursing homes that offer the best care for seniors, we cannot ignore the red flag of nursing homes with bad reviews and complaints.

To avoid feeling dissatisfied and moving from one nursing home to another, you need to do extensive research before you find a nursing home for you or your loved one. To make it easier for you, we have compiled a checklist to help you get the best nursing home for a senior.

How To Choose a Nursing Home Checklist

Below is a list of things to consider when choosing a nursing home for you or a loved one:


If you plan to visit your loved one in the nursing home often, the distance matters. Choosing a nursing home that is close to your home or a relative who is supportive is a good option. Nursing homes that are far from home could make your loved one feel isolated.

A nursing home that’s close to a supportive relative also works ensures that the relatives do not have to take long drives whenever they need to visit.

Senior’s Own Preferences

If you are looking for a nursing home for a loved one, it is important to involve them in every decision. Take note of how they feel about being in large nursing homes with lots of people or smaller nursing homes with a limited number of people.

Remember, making your loved one feel comfortable and preparing them for the nursing home should be the primary goal. Sometimes, your loved one may not manage to speak out about what they desire in a nursing home. In this case, consider their personality and their preferences in facilities.

Facilities Offered

What makes a nursing home good is the services they offer. To make the best choice of a nursing home for you or your loved one, it is recommended that you visit the potential nursing homes and check out the quality of services they deliver. Only pick a nursing home if you are satisfied with the services they offer. 

Look out for the following during your visit:

  • The quality of meals offered
  • Ask if they offer specific diets for certain health conditions
  • Check if they have any games or fun activities for seniors
  • Ask if they provide golf equipment, or other game equipment
  • Check if they offer assisted feeding for seniors who can’t feed by themselves
  • Note the responsiveness and the attention they give to seniors in need
  • Check if there are private rooms for more introverted seniors

The Staff

The Staff of a nursing home is everything. If you want to get the best care for your loved one, check if the hired staff are good at their job. For instance, you can as this about the staff:

  • Whether they have any record for neglect or mistreating clients
  • If they are professionally qualified for the role assigned
  • Whether they undergo a regular test for communicable diseases
  • The Staff: patient ratio
  • If they have regular training to keep up with modern care trends

Related: Interview questions for caregivers

Customer Care/ Admin Reliability

The administrator of the nursing home is the primary contact between you and your loved one. Ensure that they are reliable and warm toward their client. The admin is also in close contact with your loved one most of the time. They need to be kind, warm, and empathetic.

Check the Reviews

A reputable nursing home should have favorable reviews online. Reviews give you a reliable opinion on what actually goes on in the nursing home. Pay attention to the complaints if they are there.

Do Not Bypass Red Flags

We cannot ignore the red flags of the facility. Take note of these red flags:

  • Long waiting periods at the administration office
  • Unhygienic smells in the facility
  • The verbal and nonverbal language between the staff and seniors
  • Cleanliness of the facility
  • Seniors always in wheelchair in the nursing home

In case you make visits to the facility with your loved one, and notice that they feel negative about the place, do not dismiss them. Trusting your gut is important when deciding on the nursing home.


Seniors need to be comfortable in the nursing home for the benefit of their health. A good nursing home should offer good facilities, food, friendly staff, and a reliable administration. It is important to visit several facilities and note how they treat seniors and what they offer before you settle on one. Remember to check online reviews to get the honest opinion of people who have experienced living in the specific nursing homes you are considering.

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