52 Questions to Ask a Nursing Home

Phone of nursing home room with a bed with white sheets and health care worker wearing white with their hands on wheelchair handles.

Coming to the conclusion that your loved one needs a nursing home is difficult. Now you have to find the “right” facility. 

This can be a challenging and stressful time. Being prepared for tours and knowing what questions to ask can help you make the most informed decision. 

These questions will serve as a roadmap to guide your exploration and empower you to make informed decisions that prioritize your loved one’s well-being.

Facility Basics

  1. How many beds does the facility have in total?
  2. Are their current beds available or is there a waiting list?
  3. How many patients are in each room?
  4. How many patients share a bathroom?
  5. Do you have private rooms?
  6. Is the family responsible for furnishing anything in the room?
  7. What is the facility’s star rating? (Check out Medicare.gov/care-compare)
  8. What are visiting hours?
  9. How secure is the facility?
  10. What is the admission process like?


  1. Do you staff at or above the state requirements?
  2. How many patients does each certified nursing assistant (CNA) have?
  3. How many patients does each nurse have?
  4. Do the staff have regular assignments, so they get to know their patients for continuity of care?

Quality of Care

  1. What is the standard wait time for a call light to be answered?
  2. How many times a week do showers occur?
  3. How are preferences and care instructions communicated to the staff?
  4. What are the meals like?
  5. Can special diets be accommodated?
  6. How often are the rooms cleaned?
  7. What are the facility’s infection control procedures?
  8. What is the process for communicating with the family?
  9. How often are patients seen by a physician?
  10. How does the facility address fall prevention?
  11. What happens if the facility can no longer handle my loved one’s care needs?
  12. How are hospitalizations handled?

Resident Engagement & Well Being

  1. What activities are provided and how often?
  2. How are specific preferences honored, including food, religion, and cultural preferences?
  3. What types of personal belongings are allowed?
  4. Are there phones in the rooms? If not, what are my options to speak with my loved one?
  5. What if they don’t get along with their roommate?
  6. How are room changes handled?
  7. What is the facility’s grievance process?
  8. Do you have a beauty shop or is there access to a hairdresser? 
  9. What is the facility’s outside food policy?
  10. Are visits from pets allowed?

Special Needs & Services

  1. What type of rehabilitation services are provided i.e. physical, occupational, speech, respiratory therapy?
  2. How is it determined if my loved one is eligible for therapy services?
  3. Are there programs available to maintain their physical fitness and mobility?
  4. Do any specialists come to the facility?
  5. Can my loved one continue to see their own health care providers in the community?
  6. How are outside appointments handled? What about transportation? 
  7. Are you equipped to take care of people with dementia?
  8. Is hospice or palliative care available?
  9. How often are care conferences held?
  10. What if my loved one requires a private room?
  11. Are laundry services provided?
  12. Am I able to take my loved one out of the facility for the day?
  13. What is the discharge planning process?


  1. Does my loved one have the proper insurance to stay here?
  2. What do I need to do to get everything in place financially, so my loved one’s stay is covered?
  3. How are resident’s personal funds managed once admitted?

Questions to ask yourself?

  1. Did the facility look and smell clean?
  2. Do you feel the staff can manage your loved one’s care needs?
  3. Is the facility close for family and friends to visit?

You know your loved one best. So after touring long term care facilities it is important to reflect on which one fits your loved one best. 

Take into consideration the size and style of the facility and if it fits their personality.

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