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Additional Nursing Home & Long Term Care Information:

Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?   

Nursing Homes: Finding a Really Great One    

Nursing Home Staff That You Should Know   

Evaluating the Nursing Home Facility   

Understanding the Nursing Home Contract  

Nursing homes: How do you evaluate care?   

Elder Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes   

Finding The Best Nursing Home   

Finding a Safe Nursing Home 

When to Contact a Nursing Home Attorney

Caregiving Articles of Interest:

Is Elderly Care at Home the Best Choice?

Caregiving- Families Don't Always Play Fair

How The Sandwich Generation Can Help Their Parents Create a Legacy of Meaning  

Five Things You Must Do When Traveling With Older Parents   

Senior Parents Living Alone   

The Life Cycle - Taking Care of Your Parents   

Home Care Training Increases Effectiveness of Caregivers   

Avoid Identity Theft from Obituaries   

Additional Senior Articles of Interest:

Alzheimer's Disease

Depression among the Elderly

Long term care insurance: What is it really?

Personal Safety for Grandma and Grandpa

Social Security: Can I get it now?

Web Site Map



Nursing Homes: Finding a Really Great One


How do you find a really good nursing home? 

hearing and agingOne of the first things you need to do is to start learning about the nursing homes in your area. Start talking to friends and family members about local long-term care facilities that they have had some experience with.  You may ask your doctor for advice, or if you're at a hospital talk to the hospital social workers or discharge planners.  You can probably get a nursing home list from your local agency on aging.  Also, if your area has a long-term care ombudsman's program they may be very helpful.  Ombudsman are state employees who evaluate and inspect nursing homes. 

Nursing homes are governed by the Nursing Home Reform Act which contains many of
the regulations and standards that nursing homes must adhere to. 

After you have had a chance to discuss local nursing homes with friends, family, doctors etc., you should then make an appointment to talk to some of the administrators and tour the facilities.  Then, it would probably be a good idea to return at various different times of the day and night to see how they function on a more informal basis.  Some of the questions that you should ask the nursing home administrator may include: 

  • What are the costs?                                              
  • Are there extra fees?
  • Is Medicaid accepted as payment?
  • How many Medicaid beds are available and what is the total amount?
  • What is the usual employee-to-resident ratio?
  • Are there separate areas of the nursing home for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's?
  • What is the usual daily schedule?
  • How many RNís are on duty at any given time?
  • What is the total census of the long-term care facility?
  • What activities are usually planned for the residents?
  • Is there a family and/or resident council?
  • Are there usually single rooms available?
  • What are the usual visiting hours?
  • What personal items are residents allowed to bring with them?
  • What kind of security is available at the facility?
  • What is the bedhold policy?


When you meet with the nursing home administrator you should probably ask to see the three most recent state surveys (also called inspections).  Your local ombudsman may also be helpful in assisting you in attaining and understanding these documents.  These surveys will help you to understand what types of problems exist at the facility.  You should probably be leery if you see the same types of problems existing on a consistent basis year after year.  Good nursing homes will usually make improvements based upon the survey.  All nursing homes have some problems, but the purpose of the report is to identify those problems so they can be fixed.

Some information from Seniorís Rights: Your Legal Guide to Living Life to the Fullest By Brette McWhorter Sember 


Additional Information By Paul Susic M.A. Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate (Geriatric Psychologist) 

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