Everything You Need to Know About Finding the Right Nursing Home

March 28, 2024

Finding the right nursing home can be overwhelming for families with elderly members. Different nursing homes offer varying levels of skilled nursing care. It's important to choose a nursing home that meets residents' medical and personal care needs.

There are online resources available, such as Health Management Technology and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which provide inspection reports on long-term senior care facilities.

To properly assess the type of care in nursing homes, it is recommended to visit in person and speak with nursing assistants and residents. Rushing this process can result in poor decision-making, so it's important to take the necessary time. Our personal injury lawyers in Georgia offer assistance in this matter, call today at (678) 251-9309.

Quality of Care

Ensuring resident well-being in any medical care and living facility is a top priority. In nursing home care it's important to carefully monitor both the physical and mental condition of each nursing home resident to guarantee safety, fulfillment, and the highest levels of care for all.

Paying attention to how each resident looks during assisted living facility tours is key - are they alert, engaged, and cheerful? It might be a good idea to chat with them one-on-one so you can gauge their level of comfort, independence, contentment, and overall engagement in daily activities.


Another great way to evaluate resident well-being is by checking out the facility's activity calendar. Determine whether this variety of activities caters to the residents' age and interests - can one see your loved ones enjoy them?

You could also observe staff interactions with residents as well; if there's little interaction or just mundane tasks being done during scheduled activities, then it may not provide enough stimulation or entertainment for the residents.

In any case, observing staffing levels, cleanliness, bright colors on walls/floors/ceiling tiles, music playing in common areas, etc can offer insight into how effectively a facility maintains its residents' wellness.

Staff-to-Patient Ratio

When it comes to nursing homes, the staff is of the utmost importance. Making sure that a facility is adequately staffed is key to providing quality care and having satisfied employees.

Inquiring into staff retention may also provide key insight into a facility’s climate. High staff turnover has been indicated as an indicator of job dissatisfaction among employees, as well as difficulty establishing continuity when it comes to providing quality care to residents.


Asking directly about any personnel changes can help bear out any issues that may be going on under the surface; making sure loved ones are receiving both steady and comfortable nursing staff care is essential, so investigations like these should not be overlooked.

Is it Safe and Secure?

Visiting a nursing home facility can be a daunting task, but it is essential for making an informed decision. It's important to note that Medicare.gov suggests taking a trusted loved one along when touring the facility, as they will offer different perspectives and insights.

During the visit, make sure to observe the state of the facility to determine if it is safe, well-lit, and accessible, and ask if 24-hour nursing supervision is available. Make sure to take into account how helpful the staff and health aides are and feel free to ask any questions you or your loved one may have such as do they have smoke detectors, how can residents call for assistance and where is the emergency call button and nurse call bell located.

It´s likely, some additional questions will only come up after viewing the facilities in person, so make note of these thoughts so they can be addressed at a later time.

How Clean is the Facility?

Maintaining cleanliness and sanitation standards on a regular basis, in a nursing home is an important indicator of its overall quality. If a facility has an unpleasant odor, it can be a red flag about the level of care it provides for its residents.

While touring the nursing home for information purposes, key questions to ask are what cleaning products they use and what are their sanitation policies to get a better sense of how well the facility is maintained. It is also advised to use all senses when visiting, beyond just one's nose or eyes. Observe as much as you can and take details into account that further measure the cleanliness of the place.


Cleanliness and hygiene are key factors that go into ensuring the health and safety of loved ones living in nursing homes. All personnel should be familiar with cleaning regularly and proper sanitary practices while using quality products to ensure that germs do not spread to cause potential illnesses among residents.

It is equally important when a person visits to make sure that cleanliness standards are met upon arriving at these facilities. Trustworthy staff should keep a nursing home clean by keeping areas free from hazardous materials, correcting dirt levels, carefully managing odors, and keeping surfaces visibly cleaner by wiping them down regularly with disinfectants.

What Kind of Activities are Provided for the Seniors?

Long-term care facilities provide a wide range of services to their residents. The core offerings typically include medication administration, coordination and completion of medical treatment plans, personal care, and nutritional support. These services are vital for those who require assistance due to physical or cognitive limitations to maintain their independence.

In addition, many nursing homes will also offer specialized programs outlined by their social worker or health care provider tailored to meet each resident’s specific needs.

  • Memory care units focus on providing dementia-specific treatments including reminders for meals and activities throughout the day, as well as help with daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, eating, and drinking at meal time.
  • Rehabilitative therapy can help patients recover from strokes or other types of disabling conditions.
  • Other specialty programs such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy are centered around physical health, maintaining mental capabilities, or reducing pain.

By providing these moral supportive services and specialized care plans such as 24-hour nursing care, residential care facilities aim not just to keep their patients safe but also comfortable and content in the home-like environment they provide.

Do They Provide the Specialized Care for Your Loved One?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides ratings to help evaluate the quality of nursing homes in your area. The Care Compare website, sponsored by CMS, rates each nursing home out of five stars based on staffing, health inspections, and quality measures.

For the staffing rating, the Care Compare website evaluates things like the staff-to-patient ratio and turnover rate.

  • The health inspection rating is determined from results gathered from health assessments as well as information about recent health inspections and complaints against the facility.
  • Quality measures assessments are important in determining the rating of a nursing home. Factors such as 24-hour licensed registered nurse coverage, 24-hour supervision, availability of community activities, assistance with activities for residents, health aide services, availability of a plan of care, meal services, and a qualified pharmacist onsite are taken into consideration.
  • These ratings provide an excellent insight into what kind of care you can expect from the nursing homes in your area. it includes information about the different types of services available such as medical services, social services, religious services, laundry services, special services, and rehabilitative services. In addition, information is available about social activities for residents.

This information can be incredibly useful when deciding on a nursing home for yourself or a loved one.

Is the Location Right?

As much as possible, staying close to home is the best way to move into a facility. Being able to stay in familiar surroundings and in proximity to adult children, family, and friends can make all the difference in making the transition comfortable and successful.

Additionally, living in a nearby area gives relatives and friends easier access when they come to visit family in independent living facilities. Their regular visits will help ensure that there is adequate supervision of the nursing home administrators and the staff providing care, allowing them to check on well-being and overall safety. Proximity to the family is beneficial in case of a medical emergency.

Another important factor to consider in the decision-making process is the quality of care. Evaluate any local facilities you are considering objectively by researching online reviews or talking with people who may have experience or knowledge about them. Reputable organizations or even governmental bodies can be reliable sources of information as well.


Keeping up with standards from governing authorities is essential for monitoring the quality of care at a facility so you can feel confident that your loved one is being taken care of properly and receiving excellent service.

The pandemic has hit the nursing home industry hard, resulting in a 15 percent decrease in its workforce since March 2020. As a result, some facilities have had to reduce their resident populations to maintain quality care. This means that families searching for nursing home options may need to broaden their search, as some spots may already be taken.

AARP, Medicare, and AHCA/NCAL offer detailed checklists of questions to ask prospective places before making any long-term agreement. Researching options now will ensure finding the best fit possible.

What are the Signs that Indicate it is Time for Someone to Move into a Nursing Home?

When considering a nursing home for a loved one, it is important to take various factors into account. Making this decision is often challenging and requires thorough consideration and assessment.

The first thing to consider is the level of care needed by the person. If they require more specialized medical attention from medical professionals than can be provided at home, then it may be time to consider a nursing home.

In addition, you should also look at the activities of daily living your loved one can still perform on their own. If they are no longer able to adequately take care of themselves and need to utilize grab bars during basic tasks like bathing or dressing, then a nursing care home might be the best option.


Finally, emotional factors such as loneliness or social isolation should also be taken into consideration when deciding on senior housing options. If your loved one is no longer able to connect with their family and friends in the way they used to, then a nursing home with skilled care and health services might be a good option for them.

What Should You Do if Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Occurs?

If you suspect or have evidence of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is important to take action on this complex process as soon as possible. Nursing home abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or neglectful. It’s important to remember that nursing home staff are expected to provide a certain standard of care and it’s up to you to make sure that your loved ones receive this care.

The first step is to report the abuse to the appropriate authorities, such as local law enforcement and Adult Protective Services. You should also alert the nursing home’s management or facility administration and make sure that they take proper action.

It’s also important to document any evidence of abuse or neglect, including photographs, recordings, or written statements from witnesses. This can be used as proof in a court of law if necessary.

If the problem with the nursing home cannot be resolved, filing a complaint with the state long-term care ombudsman's office or pursuing legal action against the facility may be necessary. Marks Law Group in Georgia has elder law attorneys who can offer assistance and guidance throughout this process.