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What to Look for When Choosing a Nursing Home for Your Mother or Father

Garcia & Artigliere

If you are looking for a nursing home for your parent, start by screening available nursing homes online. You can find nursing homes by location and compare their quality of care on Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare page.

Once you have narrowed down a list of possibilities, make plans to visit your top choices. Be sure to observe and ask questions about these important aspects of nursing home living:


In a good nursing home, the staff members will be friendly. Ask questions about staff levels and turnover, which should be relatively low. Moreover, the ratio of registered nurses to nursing assistants should be relatively high. Observe how the staff interact with the residents.

Appearance of Residents

Residents should appear to be well cared for – their clothes should be clean and they should look well groomed. In addition, their nails should be trimmed, and their hair should be neat.

Appearance of Facility

The rooms and the common areas of the nursing home should be clean and free of hazards, such as items residents could trip over.

The opinion of Residents’ Family Members

Talk to some of the family members who are visiting residents to find out what they think of the nursing home.

Quality of Meals

Observe and, if possible, eat a meal in the nursing home during your visit. It should be nutritious and reasonably appetizing.


There should be a variety of activities available for residents to keep them stimulated, such as bingo, art therapy, and gardening.

Research Government Information

The agency in your state that regulates nursing homes will have information about nursing homes on its website. Also, if you haven’t already checked the Nursing Home Compare page on the Medicare site, do so before making a final choice about which nursing home will be best for your parent. The Medicare site gives ratings for each nursing home on how well the home performed in health inspections, the home’s staffing and their quality measures, along with an overall rating.

By choosing carefully, you can help ensure the best quality of life for your parent when he or she is a nursing home resident. However, even in the best nursing homes, abuse may sometimes occur. If you ever have a problem or suspect abuse or neglect, call a nursing home abuse lawyer at Garcia & Artigliere. You can call us any time at (800) 328-2630 to set up a free consultation.


We offer free and confidential consultations. Call (800) 328-2630 Learn About Your Legal Options

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