Choosing the Right Nursing Home for Your Loved One

Couple Playing Dominoes At Day Care Centre

As the American population ages, many people will need the assistance of nursing home services. Finding the right nursing home for your loved one can be a challenge. Considerations such as the services offered by the facility, the type and level of staffing, the proximity of the facility to the places your loved one enjoys, how far you have to drive to visit your loved one, and cost and payment options are all important factors in choosing a facility to meet the needs of your loved one and the family. Inspection and state evaluation results may also be an important factor in making your decision. You’ll need to spend some time discussing priorities and then make the decision that’s best for you.

Facility Services

According to this handy checklist, you’ll need to consider what level and type of services your loved one needs. Occupational therapy, physical therapy, rehabilitation, custodial care and administration of medications are among the many services offered by a nursing home. You’ll also need to consider whether your loved one needs skilled nursing provided by a registered nurse or if their needs can be provided by a nurse’s aid and other staff.


If your loved one is still able to participate in activities outside of a nursing home, location will be of key importance. The social networking from going to church, visiting the library or seeing their usual doctors can help with mental and physical health. According to this U.S. News article, another consideration for location is the proximity of the nursing home to where you and other family members live. You may not want to have to drive for a whole day in order to visit an aging parent. This can also be important if your loved one’s condition is expected to get worse over time.


The staffing level of a nursing home makes a major difference in your love one’s quality of life. Look for the best possible staff-to-patient ratio that is within your budget. A facility that can provide frequent one-to-one care can help ensure that your family member is staying hydrated and eating well. A high level of staffing also helps to ensure that there is plenty for your loved one to do, such as watch movies, play card games and bingo, participate in arts and crafts, and other sensory activities to stimulate the body and the mind. According to this AARP article, you’ll want to ensure that your family member has an advocate within the facility.

Cost and Payment Options

The cost of daily care and the available options for payment may be your greatest concern in finding appropriate and affordable care for your loved one. According to the Medicare website, many families end up paying a significant amount of money out of pocket for nursing home care. Look for facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid or long-term care insurance payment methods.

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