Anita Astorino Kulik
1350 5th Ave.
Coraopolis, PA 15108
Fax: (412) 269-2767
SELECTING A NURSING HOME
What to Look For
Making a decision about a nursing
home in which to place a loved one or yourself is not easy.
Often, the decision must be made
in a matter of days. Even when one knows well in advance, there are still many
aspects that should be considered in picking the right home.
I hope these suggested questions
help make your decisions easier.
Tour the Homes
Spend additional time in the home
beyond your initial visit, even if it involves just sitting in a public area
where residents have access. You might want to drop by at a couple different
times of the day. Talk to residents and observe the actions and attitude of the
- Is it clean?
- Does it smell clean?
- What are the visiting hours?
- Do hallways, stairs and
bathrooms have grab bars?
- Does the home / rooms have a
colorful, pleasant, home-like atmosphere?
- Are the residents clean and
- Is there an active
- Do staff members knock
before entering residents' rooms and address them by name?
- Are indoor and outdoor
common areas available for residents to visit with guests?
- Do residents appear
The major concern of most people
about to enter a nursing home is how they will finance the care.
Before you begin looking at
homes, account for all possible sources of funding and project those sources
well into the future. Include private insurance, personal financial resources
and eligibility for Medicaid or Medicare.
Questions to Ask
- Bed capacity?
- How many residents is the
home currently caring for?
- Facility owner?
- Managing company?
- Current license status?
- Has the facility had
licensing problems in the last five years?
- Are specific therapies and
services the resident will require available?
- Is the home conveniently
located for family and friends to visit?
- Is the home affiliated with
- Is the home a
- Is the home a
Medicaid-certified (Medical Assistance) participant?
- How much will you or your
loved one be required to pay over specific periods, such as weekly or
- Will they let you examine
- Registered dietician on
- Can residents choose the
activities they wish to participate in?
- Does the facility have an
emergency evacuation plan and hold regular fire drills?
- Name and telephone number of
a local advocate for nursing home residents and families?
- Ask for a written copy of
each home's policies, including admission, transfer and discharge
- Also ask each home if there
are items or services you want that are not included in the payment rate and
what they cost.
- Lastly, ask around among
your family and friends about what they have heard about the nursing homes
you are considering. Clergy and medical professionals might also provide you