Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

10 Tips on Finding a Quality Nursing Home for Your Loved One

  Jan 16, 2024
Reviewed by Ravinder Kaur

Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is one of the most significant and difficult decisions a family can make. It becomes the new home for your close one, providing around-the-clock care, meals, activities, and medical services. 

It’s vital to find a facility that will keep them safe, comfortable, and engaged. However, abuse and neglect do happen in some of these homes. Neglect and abuse are never acceptable, so it’s vital to thoroughly vet any nursing home you consider for your family member.

With so much at stake, how can you find one that will provide high-quality supervision in a safe, nurturing environment? 

Use this guide to make the best choice for your loved one’s well-being and peace of mind.

Review State Inspection Records

These facilities undergo regular inspections by state regulators to renew their licenses. Review a facility’s recent inspection reports to check for any deficiencies or substantiated complaints. This helps identify any quality issues or patterns of concern. 

An excellent online resource to educate yourself on potential signs of abuse and neglect and to understand the seriousness of choosing the right convalescent home is This website provides invaluable insights into the patterns and indicators of subpar care in nursing homes.

Look for problems like understaffing, neglect, abuse, or poor hygiene practices. Also, see if citations were issued for failure to meet standards. Did they develop correction plans and implement them effectively? Severe or repeated deficiencies indicate deeper issues.

Compare reports over a few years to assess if they resolve problems or continue having the same violations. A high number of deficiencies, complaints, or serious violations suggest considering a different facility.

Statistics on women who were abused

Find the Right Location

Choosing one in proximity to where your family lives is ideal, as it allows for frequent visits and involvement in your loved one’s daily life. Being able to visit often enables you to monitor their treatment and supervision and ensure any issues are promptly addressed. 

Aim for a location central to where all family members live to simplify coordinating visits. 

Also, consider selecting a nursing home near amenities your loved one enjoys, like parks, libraries, places of worship, or shopping centers. Maintaining connections to community resources they love enhances the standard of life. 

Choosing a location that still allows participation in hobbies, religious services, and social groups will provide social stimulation and comfort to your close one.

Schedule Tours

It’s pivotal to your potential facilities in person to get a firsthand feel for the environment and staff. Pay close attention to how staff interact with residents during a tour. Do inhabitants seem engaged, content, and cared for? Or do they seem bored and isolated?

The friendly, attentive staff is a must. Look for patience, active listening, and respectful communication. Adequate staffing ensures that they receive timely assistance.

Also, observe the cleanliness, smells, noise levels, and general ambiance. A tidy, pleasant, and homelike environment is ideal.

Schedule tours at different times of day to witness staffing and routines during mornings, afternoons, evenings, and weekends. 

Mealtimes provide a good window into the kind of food and feeding assistance needed. Arriving unannounced also provides a more authentic view than a scheduled tour.

Interview Administrators

Have detailed conversations with nursing home administrators about staff qualifications, training, and turnover rates. Ask about the facility’s complaint resolution process and discuss the types of activities and healthcare services offered.

Inquire how they assess new occupants and develop customized care plans. Do they regularly update these plans as needs change? And make sure you explore how they help them to remain as independent as possible. Nurturing independence and dignity are signs of a good facility.

Request statistics on key quality indicators like pressure ulcers, infections, hospitalizations, and discharges; high rates signal substandard attention. Also, ask about staff-to-resident ratios. Higher ratios permit more individualized guidance.

Talk to Residents and Families

Speaking directly to the inhabitants and their family members provides invaluable, candid perspectives on life at these homes. Ask about their experiences and satisfaction with the convalescent home and observe the culture and atmosphere as you chat.

Do they seem cheerful, comfortable, and content? Or do they appear sad, anxious, or lonely? Get a sense of how engaged residents are with staff and activities. Also, ask families about their perceptions of the care and their involvement.

These real-life experiences provide insights that brief tours can’t. Have open conversations to determine if their values align with your expectations for the supervision. The feedback will inform if a facility seems like the right fit.


Compare Staffing Levels

A nursing home’s staffing levels offer paramount insights into the amount of care and attention the inhabitants receive. Check the facility’s registered nurse (RN) staffing against state minimums and industry recommendations.

Higher RN staffing is linked to better health outcomes for the occupants. Ensure levels meet or exceed your state’s minimum RN hours per resident per day. The national recommended standard is 0.75 hours.

Also, look at the total staff hours per resident day. Higher overall staffing means more attention time for each individual. Make sure to compare staffing data between a few facilities you’re considering to help inform decisions.

Consider Specialized Care Needs

If your loved one has specific medical conditions or impairments, select a nursing home equipped to provide the necessary specialized care. For example, if they need memory vigilance for mental health issues such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, look for a secured memory care unit.

For post-stroke or rehabilitation care, find a home with ample physical and occupational therapy services. If they are diabetic or need wound care, ensure the facility has nurses properly trained to manage those needs.

Also, verify that key medical specialists like podiatrists, dentists, optometrists, and psychiatrists visit them routinely or are available onsite. This provides vital healthcare access.

Do You Know?
Over 1.3 million out of 55.8 million elderly people in the U.S. end up in nursing homes which accounts for 2.3% of the elderly population.  

Evaluate Daily Life

Look closely at the nursing home’s activity calendars, menus, and daily routines and ensure all the inhabitants have access to a variety of engaging pastimes, diverse programming, and healthy, appetizing meals.

Review the activity schedule to see if it includes exercise, arts, music, games, community outings, and more. There should be activities tailored to different interests and abilities. Daily life should stimulate residents and nurture their well-being through enjoyable routines each day.

Evaluate if menus offer nutritious meals that accommodate special diets. Also, taste the food if you can to check quality. 

Weigh Costs

While cost should not be the primary factor, do choose one you can realistically afford long-term. Be clear on what’s included in the monthly fees, any additional costs like therapy or medications, and payment options.

You can consult a financial planner to discuss your budget and resources. Make sure to look at both higher and lower-cost facilities in your area to compare services, amenities, and care. Then, weigh the costs versus the expected quality of life for your loved one.

Finding a home that provides the best care within your means is possible – all you need is proper research. You can also ask about financial assistance programs or scholarships they offer. With planning, A-level care is possible even on limited incomes.

 Nursing home statistics

Trust Your Instincts

After touring facilities and doing your due diligence, reflect on your impressions of each nursing home. Consider which environment seems healthiest and most nurturing for them.

What place feels right in your heart? Which staff and community resonate with you? Trust your instincts when evaluating options. Making a decision with both logic and intuition will provide peace of mind.

Focus on the facility where they will feel most comfortable, engaged, and well cared for. This will ease the transition and help ensure their health and happiness in their new home.


Choosing a nursing home for a loved one requires careful thought and research. While it can feel overwhelming, arm yourself with information from tours, interviews, research, and your gut instincts. 

Take time to make the best selection – your loved one’s quality of life depends on it. With smart detective work, you can find the right one that will provide attentive care and become a comfortable new home.