Choosing a Facility

A mother and daughter smiling together outside

A valuable online tool is “Nursing Home Compare” found in the “Search Tools” area of

The Medicare website has a list of items that may help you determine what facility is best for you. Visit to find the full checklist or review this partial list below.

Basic Information

  • The Skilled Nursing Facility provides the skilled care you need, and a bed is available.
  • The Skilled Nursing Facility has special services if needed in a separate unit (e.g. dementia, ventilator, or rehabilitation), and a bed is available.
  • The Skilled Nursing Facility is located close enough for friends and family to visit.

Resident Appearance

  • Residents are clean, appropriately dressed for the season or time of day, and well groomed.

Living Spaces

  • The Skilled Nursing Facility appears clean and well kept.
  • The temperature in the Skilled Nursing Facility is comfortable for residents.


  • The relationship between the staff and the residents appear to be warm, polite, and respectful.
  • All staff wears name tags.
  • There is a full-time Registered Nurse (RN) in the Skilled Nursing Facility. The Skilled Nursing Facility should make available the daily staffing schedule for review at any time.

Residents’ Rooms

  • Residents may have personal belongings and/or furniture in their rooms.
  • Each resident has a personal storage space (closet and drawers) in his or her room.
  • Residents have access to a personal telephone and television.
  • Residents have a choice of roommates.


  • Residents, including those who are unable to leave their rooms, may choose to take part in a variety of activities.
  • The Skilled Nursing Facility has outdoor areas for resident use and staff help residents go outside.
  • The activities department engages residents with the greater community as much as possible and desired by individual residents.

Safety & Care

  • Residents get preventive care, like a yearly flu shot, to help keep them healthy.
  • The Skilled Nursing Facility coordinates residents’ care with their primary care physician.
  • Care plan meetings are offered and held with residents and family members at times that are convenient whenever possible.
  • The Skilled Nursing Facility can provide proof of correcting any and all deficiencies (failure to meet one or more Federal or State requirements) on its last state inspection report.
  • Upon discharge after their post-acute stay, the Skilled Nursing Facility’s clinical team will coordinate the resident’s continuum of care with the resident’s primary care physician whenever possible.