How to Choose the Right Nursing Home

How to Choose the Right Nursing HomeHow to Choose the Right Nursing Home


A nursing home or skilled nursing facility for seniors provides a range of health and personal care services, including three meals a day, nursing care, supervision, and assistance with everyday activities. In addition to this, rehabilitation services, such as occupational, physical, and speech therapies, are also available.

Nursing homes for seniors offer two main types of services:

  • Short-term stay to help you recover and regain your strength after a surgery or illness
  • Long-term facilities with professional assistance and constant care for physical or mental conditions

If you are looking for a skilled nursing facility, it is best to list your needs and look for ones that best match your requirements. Read on to learn about the essential factors you need to consider when selecting a nursing home so you can make an informed decision.

12 Things to Consider When Choosing a Senior Nursing Home

Consider What You Want

Identify your requirements and think about what is important to you. It could be meals, nursing care, physical therapy, special treatment for dementia, or any other physical or cognitive need. Additionally, determine the level of care you require so that you can look for nursing homes accordingly.

Talk to Friends and Family

Discussing with friends, relatives, and social groups will give you more options and help you identify skilled nursing facilities that meet your needs. You can also check with healthcare providers about nursing homes that offer good care.

Look at Different Options

Once you have your choices listed, get in touch with each place on your list. Ask questions about how many residents live there, staff availability, total costs, and other essential details. Find out about waiting lists to decide if a nursing home is right for you. Here are some essentials you need to keep in mind when looking at different options:

Start Online

You can do the research online by visiting the website to gather the necessary information. During the process, be sure to use reliable data such as Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare to look for the skilled nursing facilities near you.

Pay Attention to Rating Details

When deciding on the best nursing home, beware of the ratings and reviews. Be sure to consider the staffing levels because it is a critical measure of a facility’s quality.

Size and Location

When considering nursing home care options, location is a crucial factor. Ensure that it has required facilities such as a hospital nearby and good connectivity. In addition to this, the size of the nursing home is also essential because it impacts the amenities offered and the space you have to rejuvenate.

Here are some questions that you can ask to get a better idea:

  • Does the skilled nursing facility suit my preferences, unique needs, and personality?
  • Would a place with many people around me provide a better environment?
  • Does the nursing home have enough space where I can take a walk and relax?
  • Does the facility have enough rooms and activity areas?
  • Is it easily accessible and safe?

Keep Close to Home

It is beneficial to look at facilities with high ratings and favorable reviews near relatives and friends. Doing so will ensure you have frequent visitors at the nursing home, allowing you to keep in touch with them and avoid feeling isolated.

Visit the Facility

Once you narrow down the options, make plans to take a physical tour of each facility and meet with the concerned person responsible for the maintenance.

Here are some things to consider when visiting:

  • Infrastructure
  • Medicare and Medicaid certification
  • Room layout
  • Handicap access
  • Well-maintained dining area
  • Residents who look well cared for
  • Warm interaction between residents and staff

Ask Questions During the Visit

When planning your visit to a nursing home, be ready with your questions to understand how they work and determine whether they meet your needs.

Here are a few essentials you may think of:

  • Ask the staff to explain if there are any strong odors. Bad smells in a senior nursing facility often indicate a problem, and good ones might hide an issue.
  • Ask how long the head of departments, especially food, healthcare, and social services, have worked at the nursing facility. Doing so will help you ensure the crucial staff members are constant.
  • Ask about the activities they arrange for the residents to ensure their physical and mental well-being.

Consider the Amenities Offered

Different nursing homes offer varied services and health care programs. Some of them are essential to meet the specific needs of a resident, while others are crucial for improving their quality of life. This is why it is critical to identify which ones are provided by the facility you choose. Check if they offer a good meal and dining experience for the residents, including catering to specific dietary conditions. Look for other activities that can make your experience better. In addition to this, they should provide special health care services for different patient needs. You can also ask about senior rehabilitation and other units on-site.

Look at Their Staff

The staff members at a skilled nursing facility should be qualified, kind, friendly, and professional. They should have the expertise to ensure the residents’ safety and cater to their needs. The staff should also ensure they are healthy and comfortable. It is wise to ask questions and observe them before making a decision. Check if they are polite, warm, and respectful towards the residents and handle emergencies.

Things to Consider When It Comes to Nursing Home Staff

  • Are the staff members qualified for the nursing home?
  • Ensure they do not have any record of neglect or mistreatment.
  • Ensure the nurses and other staff work with the residents to meet their needs.
  • Check the turnovers, especially in the administrative positions, because a turnover rate is often a sign of underlying problems.

Choices and Independence

Moving to a skilled nursing home can be overwhelming. Ensure you will have some independence at the facility while getting the proper care you need. You should have the opportunity to make choices as long as you are capable of it. This includes your meals, preferred activities, bedtime, and daily schedule to be comfortable and happy in the nursing home.

Visit the Facility Again

In addition to the first visit, consider making a second one without calling ahead on another day of the week or time to meet other staff members. You may also stop by during mealtime to ensure the food is fresh and healthy and observe how they handle things.

Read the Contract Thoroughly

Once you choose a nursing home, it is wise to read the contract carefully before signing it. Ask anything you are not clear about to understand the clauses. In addition to this, you can ask a friend or family member to read the contract to ensure you don’t miss any essential points.

Nursing Home Red Flags

In addition to the critical points to consider when looking for a skilled nursing facility, you should also think of things to avoid. They represent red flags and include the following:

A Poor Violation History

Although state and federal authorities place regulations on nursing homes, you may notice a few inadequately managed facilities during your search. You can identify the ones with bad reputations during your online research.

Severe Violations

While you are likely to find some minor contraventions for many nursing homes, it is vital to understand the severity. Having a cobweb in the basement or incorrect placement of soap dispensers are minor violations. However, allowing a resident to wander off the campus is a dangerous breach. Ensure the nursing home you select has no major violations and has adopted adequate measures to fix minor issues.

Inaccessible or Incompetent Staff

The nursing home’s staff members will play a critical role in caring for you at the facility. They will be your primary contact in the future. If you have trouble getting in touch with them, it is an indication for you to look elsewhere. In addition to this, if you notice the staff members are overworked or stressed, it is a red flag for a poor administrator.

Compare Nursing Homes

When comparing nursing homes, be sure to review their staffing ratings, quality ratings, responsiveness, health inspection details, and customer service. Doing so will help you choose an ideal facility that fits your needs and make the right decision.

Choose Our Nursing Homes for Medical Support and Care

The Holiday Retirement offers a top-notch nursing home in Rhode Island for seniors, including short-term rehabs and longer stays. We treat our residents with respect, dignity, and compassion. Our dedicated nursing staff and in-house therapists will care for you. We have excellent infrastructure and offer exceptional amenities to ensure our residents are healthy, safe, and comfortable.

For more information about our nursing home in Rhode Island, give us a call at 1-401-765-1440. We will be happy to assist you. You can also book a tour of our skilled nursing facility by filling out our online form.

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