5 Qualities Of A Good Nursing Home

When you’re attempting to find an assisted living facility or nursing home for your aging parent, it can be difficult to know what to look for. You want to make her senior living experience a comfortable, enjoyable one, but looking at nursing and retirement homes is likely a new process for you. Use this easy checklist to find the best nursing homes for your loved one.

#1: The Residents are Treated With Respect

Whether you go with a nursing home, assisted living or a retirement home, your loved one deserves to be treated with respect. Avoid nursing homes where the elderly residents are spoken to like children, scolded or spoken down to. Instead, choose a care facility that respects them as the adults that they’ve grown to be.

#2: Residents Receive a High Level of Care

Choose a nursing home that offers your loved one a high level of skilled, professional care. Are the meals nicely presented and in compliance with dietary guidelines? Does the staff spend time interacting with patients, introducing them to the other residents and helping them to feel at home? Is a wide variety of regular senior living programming available, so that patients don’t become bored or lonely?

#3: Family and Visitors are Treated Well

Nursing home residents spend a lot of time each week looking forward to the visits that they’ll receive from family and friends. When visiting nursing homes, pay attention to how staff treat visitors. Are children welcome? Are therapy animals welcome? Are gifts and packages welcomed or limited? These are important details to note as you choose a long-term care facility.

#4: Payment is Handled Professionally

Check with office staff, as well as any current residents that you may know, to determine how payments are handled. The best nursing homes won’t trouble residents about payment details, instead dealing directly with the family member who pays the bills. Is Medicare billed directly, or do you have to submit paperwork and claims? Will you be called immediately if a payment issue arises? Make your preferences known on these issues before you contract with a nursing home.

#5: The Environment is Well-Maintained and Pleasant

The best nursing homes have clean, well-maintained interiors and exteriors. Spend time looking around the facility as you tour, keeping your eye out for any warning signs. Are the grounds neatly maintained? Are trashcans emptied properly? Are the residents clean, well groomed and dressed appropriately for the weather?

If you notice any red flags, or you simply feel uncomfortable with a specific facility, you may want to trust your instinct. Spend time thinking over your decision, or schedule another interview on a different day while you ponder your choices.


Connecticut Legal Services, Inc. (2010). Nursing home residents’ rights.Retrieved October 22, 2010, from http://www.ctelderlaw.org/NursingHome/nf.rights.htm

Webster University. (n.d.) Long-term care facility selection guide. Retrieved October 22, 2010, from http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/checklist.html