Skip to content

    Health Care Reform:

    Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act

    What Caregivers Should Know About Nursing Home Care

    Nursing Home Checklist continued...

    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:
    • Dressing
    • Eating
    • Mobility
    • Hygiene and grooming
    • Bathing, toileting, and incontinence
    • Using the telephone

    Room features

    • 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?

    Social and recreational activities

    • Is there an activities program?
    • Are the activities posted for residents?
    • Do most of the residents at activities seem to be participating?

    Food service

    • Does the nursing home provide three nutritionally balanced meals a day, seven days a week?
    • Is the food hot, attractive, and tasty?
    • Are snacks available?
    • How are special diets handled? May a resident request special foods?
    • Is drinking water always accessible?
    • Are common dining areas available or do residents eat meals in their rooms?
    • May meals be provided at times a resident prefers or are there set meal times?
    • Is assistance available for residents who need help with eating?

    Residents and Atmosphere

    Common terms:

    Skilled nursing care: Care that is received in a nursing facility that provides 24-hour nursing care for convalescent residents and those with long-term care illnesses. It is one step below hospital acute care, and regular medical supervision and rehabilitation therapy are usually available.

    Personal care: Care that is customized to the individual needs of activities of daily living; self-administration of medications.

    Activities of daily living (ADL): Everyday activities that include bathing, grooming, eating, toileting, and dressing.

    Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL): Include activities such as shopping, preparing meals, performing housework, laundering, heavy chores, managing finances, and yard work and maintenance.

    Home health care: Medical and nursing care that is administered in the individual's home by a licensed provider.

    Health maintenance organization (HMO): A health maintenance organization is an organized system for providing comprehensive healthcare in a specific geographic area to a voluntarily enrolled group of members.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Today on WebMD

    stethoscope on person's chest
    Your Marketplace choices,
    How not to waste money on health care.
    man in cafe looking at computer
    Finding low-cost health insurance.
    doctor showing girl a stethoscope
    Get the facts on health insurance.
    Loading …
    URAC: Accredited Health Web Site TRUSTe online privacy certification HONcode Seal AdChoices