Last Updated: March 28, 2013
Touring skilled nursing homes in person is an essential part of
finding the right care for your loved one. Many people recommend
making multiple visits during your decision making process. For
your first visit, make an appointment with the admissions director
to tour on a weekday. Late morning and mid-day hours are usually
the best times to get a feeling for the day-to-day operations of a
Watch out for homes with bad smells, residents who are strapped
into wheelchairs and staff who seem to ignore the residents. One of
the most important things you can do is to talk to the residents
and ask how they're doing. Above all, trust your instincts; first
What to Ask
As you visit the nursing home, be sure to ask the admissions
director a lot of questions. Don't worry about taking up their
time. Verify any information you were told over the phone.
- Is the facility a non-profit or for-profit?
- What types of care do they offer?
- Is the facility certified by Medicaid and Medicare?
- What is the average length of stay?
- What are the qualifications of the staff in the therapy
- What makes this nursing home different from others?
- Does the facility include family members in resident care
Medicare and Medicaid-certified Nursing Homes
We recommend using the Medicare Nursing
Home Compare site to view recent state inspection survey
results for the homes you're considering. Nursing Home Compare
gives detailed information about past performance of every Medicare
and Medicaid certified nursing home in the country. Compare the
number of deficiencies cited to the state average. If the facility
has received a citation in a particular service area, be sure to
ask questions about this area. Beware of choosing a facility with a
very high number of deficiencies compared to other facilities in
the area and the state average.