Frequently Asked Questions


Questions to ask when searching for a nursing home:

1.   Is the facility licensed by the appropriate State agency?
2.    Is the facility Medicare and/or Medicaid certified?
3.    What services are included in the daily rate?
4.    Is there a security deposit or endowment required?     Is it refundable?
5.    Does the facility offer therapies (physical, speech, occupational, respiratory, restorative)?
6.   What is the staff to resident ratio?
7.   Does the facility use "Agency Staffing"? (Staffing that is acquired through an agency
      and not hired personally at the facility).

8.   Is there an orientation process for all staff?
9.   Do the staff receive continued education training?
10. Is there a medical director?
11. Is the facility staffed by at least one RN or LPN at all times?
12. Is there a licensed social worker on staff?
13. Is there a dietician on staff?
14. Is there an activities program? If so, request a calendar of the activities for the month.
15. Are there religious services and activities?
16. Are there activities outside of the facility?
17. Are there specific visitation hours?
18. Are there opportunities for the resident & family to get involved in care plan development?
19. Are there special programs for incontinence care?
20. Does the facility contract with hospice for care of the terminally ill?
21. Is there a Residents' Council and/or a Family Council?
22. How are roommates selected?
23. Is there a menu selection at meals?


Other things to consider when visiting a nursing home

1.   Is there space where residents and families can meet privately?
2.   Is there a beauty shop?
3.   Is there a library?
4.   Are there comfortable lounges?
5.   Is the facility clean and without odor?
6.   Is the facility well lighted?
7.   Are residents well groomed and neatly dressed?
8.   Are there activities going on?
9.   Are residents engaged in conversation with one another?
10.  Is the facility spacious and wheelchair accessible?
11.  Is there a patio or sidewalk that allows residents the opportunity to go outdoors?
12.  Is the staff pleasant and responsive to residents?
13.  Does the staff speak and treat residents with respect?
14.  Are the resident rooms spacious and do they have enough windows?
15.  Are meals attractively served?
16.  Are call lights/bells answered quickly?


Questions to consider when searching for an assisted living community

1.    Is the facility licensed?
2.    What is the daily/monthly rate?
3.    What services are included in the daily rate?
  ___Meals (3 per day)?
  ___Laundry (personal and bed linens)?
  ___Cable Television?
4.    Does the facility provide additional assistance if needed?
  ___Medication Administration?
  ___Assistance with bathing and other daily activities?
  ___Incontinence Care?
  ___Dementia/Alzheimer's Care?
5.  Is there a security deposit or endowment required?
     Is it refundable?
6.  How often are rates increased and how much notice is given to the resident and family?
7.  How much notice must I give if I choose to move-out?
8.  Will I have to the leave the facility if I need additional services?
9.  Will a staff member assistt me in locating another facility if I am required to move?
10.  Do I have to pay the daily rate while I am away or in a hospital?
11.  What will happen if I run out of funds? Will I have to move?
12.  Are there therapy programs available? (Physical, Speech, Occupational, Restorative)
13.  What is the resident to staff ratio?
14.  Is there assistance available 24 hours a day?
15.  Can I bring my own furnishings?
16.  Are there restrictive hours for guests and visitors?
17.  Are there emergency call lights in each apartment?
18.  Is there an activities program? Is so, request a calendar of the activities for the month.
19.  Is transportation to area events provided?
20.  If I am ill, do I need to eat my meals in the dining room?
21.  Are residents permitted to have pets?
22.  Is alcohol and tobacco allowed?
23.  Does the facility provide Respite Care?
24.  Does the facility provide an Adult Day Program?
25.  Is skilled licensed nursing care available if necessary?
26.  Is the assisted living facility attached to a licensed nursing home?
            (This is important if the resident is going to be able to use
               his/her Medicare part A benefits.)


Things to look for when visiting an assisted living community

1.      Is the community comfortable and attractive?
2.      Is the facility clean and free of odor?
3.      Is the building wheelchair accessible?
4.      Is the building secure?
5.      Is there fire safety equipment present
       (smoke detectors, sprinkler system, fire extinguishers)?
6.      Are there fire doors and are exits easily accessible?
7.      Does each apartment have a private locked entrance?
8.      Is there a private wheelchair accessible bathroom in each apartment
        equipped with railings?
9.      Are emergency call cords easily accessible in the bathroom and apartment?
10.  Are there bathtubs and whirlpool bathtubs available?
11.  Does the apartment provide a refrigerator, sink and microwave?
12.  Is cable television included?
13.  Is there an individual temperature control in each apartment?
14.  Is there plenty of light and windows in each apartment?


For a printable copy of these questions - CLICK HERE