For those searching for a nursing home, the type of care offered as well as the number of staff, type of staff, and services will likely weigh in making the final choice. Individual medical needs as well as personal preferences will also affect your search for a nursing home.
The most important concern in selecting a nursing home is whether it can provide the specific medical care an individual requires. Ask an attending doctor, primary care physician, or other health care provider familiar with the individual’s care needs to understand the types of medical services that may be required for you or your loved one.
In addition to talking with the medical team, it is recommended that you visit potential nursing homes to talk with and observe the resident to assess whether he or she needs:
- Regular assistance with daily activities, such as eating, walking, getting to the toilet, or exercising
- Medical supervision and health monitoring, such as reminders or assistance in taking medications, or checking blood pressure and food or liquid intake
- Pharmacy services
- Dietary monitoring and help with regular meals and snacks
- Organized social and recreational activities, both individual and group, to provide mental stimulation
- Speech, physical, or occupational therapy
- Full-time skilled nursing and supportive care
Personal likes and dislikes (decor, facility layout, food selections, activities offered) can also be important in determining the best place for care.
Location may or may not be a concern for those seeking a nursing home. Discuss the issue of relocating with the potential resident, listen to the responses — and honor preferences if possible. For many nursing home residents, for example, having regular contact with family and friends in a familiar community is the greatest single concern. Others, because of dementia or chronic illness, may need to live close to the family members or friends who will oversee their care, whether or not they have a community of other contacts there.
This website offers facility searches by zip code, city, and provider name.
Many people find it more comforting to be among others who are similar — in age, background, and medical condition — while receiving nursing care.
If this is important, check the “Facility Description” information for each nursing home. This page has information on current residents – including age, gender, race, and ethnicity.
You can also use the site’s “Refine Search” function to locate facilities providing special services such as rehabilitation and hospice as well as specialized care for those with psychiatric conditions, HIV/AIDS, or Alzheimer’s disease.