A checklist of important points to consider in
selecting a skilled nursing facility:
• Are they certified to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs?
• Do they have a State license or letter of approval from a licensing agency?
• If the resident requires specialized services are they provided? (Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Respiratory Therapy...)
• Is the general atmosphere warm, pleasant and cheerful?
• Do the residents look well cared for and content?
• Are the staff members cheerful, courteous and enthusiastic?
• Are the residents up and dressed every morning?
• Are the residents allowed to decorate their rooms,
pick out their own clothes and keep a few prized possessions on hand?
• Is there a place for private visits?
• Do the residents, visitors and volunteers speak favorably about the facility?
• Are there copies of the residents rights, recent Dept. of Health State Survey, Hotline numbers and ombudsman,
posted in accessible areas for everyone to see?
• Do they admit and provide services without regard to race, color, creed, sex, national origin or source of payment?
• Is the facility clean and orderly?
• Is the facility reasonably free of unpleasant odors?
• Is the facility well lighted?
• Are the rooms well ventilated and kept at a comfortable temperature?
• Are there smoke detectors, a sprinkler system and emergency lighting in every room?
• Are there portable fire extinguishers?
• Are the exits clearly marked and illuminated?
• Is there a maintenance staff available to provide immediate service?
• Is dental care available for residents?
• In case of medical emergencies is a physician available at all times, either on staff or on call?
• Is emergency transportation readily available?
• Does a qualified pharmacist maintain and monitor a record of each residents drug therapy?
• Does each room open onto a hallway?
• Does each room have a window to the outside?
• Does each resident have a reading light, comfortable chair and a closet and drawers for personal items?
• Is there a curtain or screen around each bed for privacy?
• Do the bathing and toilet facilities have adequate privacy?
• Is there a resident lounge where they can relax, play games, read and watch TV?
• Does the facility have an outdoor area for the residents where they can get fresh air and sunshine?
• Are there beauty and barber facilities?
• Are the costs, including extra charges, comparable with other facilities?
• Are prepaid unused days refunded?
• Are visiting hours convenient?
• Have you read the contract completely?
• Is there at least one registered nurse on duty at all times?
• Is an RN on duty during the day, seven days a week?
• Are there emergency call buttons at each residents bed?
• Are trained geriatric technicians and certified nurses aides caring for the residents?
• Is the kitchen clean?
• Ask to see the meal schedule. Are at least three meals served each day?
• Are nutritious snacks available?
• Are guest trays available?
• Are the residents given enough food?
• Is the food appetizing?
• Does the meal served match the menu?
• Are the residents and family asked about special diet likes and needs?
• Is the dining room attractive and comfortable?
• Do residents who need assistance eating receive it?