How To Choose A Nursing Home For Your Loved One

Updated on April 21, 2021

Getting assistance with finding a high-quality nursing home is as straightforward as doing your homework. Upon moving into the facility, residents and their families are advised to conduct their own facility inspection and dive into government records. Also, some experts recommend not rushing into the decision of choosing a nursing home. 

According to government organizations, industry groups, and seniors’ advocates across the country, those receiving care and their families should get to know their community’s facilities in advance to avoid last-minute searches. Some people spend a short time in a nursing home after being discharged from the hospital. However, most nursing home residents don’t return home once they recover from their conditions as they require continuous care and supervision due to persistent diseases or illnesses. 

Although your doctor may be able to recommend a facility where nursing home abuse won’t likely happen, still, it pays to equip yourself with knowledge on how to choose the best and right one for your loved one. Here’s how you can go about the process:

Discuss With Your Family 

Family members should be consulted regarding the decision. If possible, you must include the individual who’ll be moving into the nursing home.

For instance, it’s easy for adult children to make decisions on behalf of their senior parents, but this is wrong. Remember that no matter how old your parents are, they, still, have their own rights.

You may also bring into discussion with the family other vital aspects, like financial arrangements, who’ll be in charge of what, and how everyone can contribute to make your elderly loved one feel loved and well taken care of. 

Decide On The Level Of Care 

You should understand what’s appropriate for your loved one in terms of the level of care. You can check various available options by visiting the National Institute on Aging.

For examples, in case your family member has memory difficulties, you should look for a facility with an adequate memory unit. 

You might also consider if it’s essential for you to have a place that will make it convenient for friends and family to visit regularly.

Nursing Home for Loved Ones

Visit Your Prospective Facility Beforehand

This may seem obvious, but people may not realize how important it is to take a tour of the facility before moving their patients there. Taking a tour and talking to staff members could provide you with a lot of valuable information. You may learn even more if you plan an extended visit during the weekend. 

Observe Residents’ Grooming Conditions 

Experts would say online searches couldn’t substitute a personal visit to the facility to look for clues. Watch the residents’ hair, clothing, teeth, and fingernails as they pass you in the hallways. Also, try to evaluate if the place is calm and quiet, or chaotic and noisy.

Inquire During Your Visits 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions during visits to the facility. For instance, you may ask why there’s an unpleasant smell as a foul odor could indicate a problem, although a good smell could mask one. You may also inquire about the years of service of the nursing home’s director, the food department’s director, and the social services director. Something may be wrong with the facility if key members change often. All these tiny or relevant details matter to your decision when choosing a nursing home.

Revisit The Facility And At Different Times 

Nurses in nursing homes are highly vulnerable to abuse and neglect. When you visit your loved one often, enough to observe any unusual behavior or changes, you may be able to spot evidence of abuse or neglect.

One significant suggestion for visiting is for you to drop by often, unannounced. Sure, you may go to dinner with your parents every Sunday afternoon, but you could stop by at 8:00 p.m. and spend the night with them. The Friday night crew may be around and offer valuable insights into the facility’s workings. 

Seek Professional Advice 

You don’t have to look much further than your primary care physician for information regarding local medical facilities. Most doctors, especially if you’ve already built a long-term rapport with your loved one, will happily recommend a nursing home when it comes to the provision of care. 


A nursing home resident’s rights are protected and should be honored by federal law. Due to some abuse or other severe issues that sometimes occur in nursing homes, you and your family should be careful about selecting the best one for your loved one. Hence, it’s crucial to follow the steps and tips included in this article.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.