Nursing Home Checklist
- Does the nursing home provide the level of care needed?
- Does the nursing home meet local and/or state licensing requirements?
- Does the nursing home's administrator have an up-to-date license?
- Does the nursing home meet state fire regulations (including a sprinkler system, fire-resistant doors, and a plan for evacuating residents)?
- What are the visiting hours?
- What is the policy on insurance and personal property?
- What is the procedure for responding to a medical emergency?
- Is there a waiting period for admittance?
- What are the admission requirements?
Fees and financing
- Are fees competitive?
- Have fees increased significantly in the past few years?
- Is the fee structure easy to understand?
- What are the billing, payment, and credit policies?
- Are there different costs for various levels or categories of services?
- Are the billing and accounting procedures understandable?
- Does the nursing home reveal what services are covered in the quoted fee and what services are extra?
- What governmental financing options are accepted (such as Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, and others)?
- When may a contract be terminated? What is the refund policy?
- Is there a written plan for the care of each resident?
- What is the procedure for assessing a potential resident's need for services? Are those needs reassessed periodically?
- Do the nurses, social workers, and administrators have geriatric experience and/or education?
- Are staff members available to meet scheduled and unscheduled needs?
- Do staff members seem to genuinely enjoy working with the residents?
- Do staff members treat residents as individuals?
- Is staff available to assist residents who experience memory, orientation, or judgment losses?
- Does a doctor or nurse visit the resident regularly to provide medical checkups?
- Do residents appear happy and comfortable?
- Do residents, other visitors, and volunteers speak favorably about the nursing home?
- Are residents clean and adequately dressed?
- Are the rights of residents clearly posted?
- Do you like the appearance of the building and its surroundings?
- Is the decor attractive and home-like?
- Is the floor plan easy to follow?
- Do doorways, hallways, and rooms accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
- Are elevators available?
- Are handrails available?
- Are shelves easy to reach?
- Are carpets secured and floors made of a non-skid material?
- Is there good natural and artificial lighting?
- Is the residence clean, odor free, and appropriately heated/cooled?
Medication and health care
- What is the policy regarding storage of medication and assistance with medication?
- Is self-administration of medication allowed?
- Who coordinates visits from a physical, occupational, or speech therapist if needed?
- Is staff available to provide 24-hour assistance with activities of daily living, if needed? Daily activities include:
- Hygiene and grooming
- Bathing, toileting, and incontinence
- Using the telephone
- Are rooms for single and double occupancy available?
- Is a 24-hour emergency response system accessible from the room?
- Are bathrooms private? Do they accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
- Can residents bring their own furnishings? What may they bring?
- Do all rooms have a telephone? How is billing handled for long-distance calls?