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Checklist for Families With Loved Ones Who Need Nursing Home Care

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, he or she may eventually need nursing home care. The challenge is in finding the right facility not only for your loved one, but also for the family.

Below is a sample checklist that has been developed to help you and family members make these important decisions. Make copies, and compare different homes. Don’t expect every facility to score well on every question; simply consider which items are most important to you. But, don’t rely only on a number. Ask to speak to family members of other residents. Also, contact the local or state ombudsman, and get a copy of the state inspection report.

Sample Nursing Home Evaluation Form
Name of Nursing Home: ________________________________________
Date Visited: __________________________

  • First impression? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Exterior: paint, gutters and trim? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Are the grounds pleasant and well kept? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Views from residents’ rooms and other windows? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Alzheimer’s Special Care Unit? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Secure outdoor area? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Secure area with walking paths? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Appropriate areas for physical and occupational therapy? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Are barber or beauty salon services available? 1 2 3 4 5

  • A well-ventilated room for smokers? 1 2 3 4 5

  • General cleanliness? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Clean smell? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Enough space for residents? 1 2 3 4 5

  • How noisy are hallways and common areas? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Is the dining area clean and pleasant? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Is there room at tables for both residents and aides, if necessary? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Are residents using common areas? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Can residents bring furniture and personal items for their rooms? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Does the administrator know residents by name, and speak to them in a pleasant manner? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Does staff speak to residents with cheerful, respectful attitudes? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Do staff and administrators work well together? 1 2 3 4 5

  • What special training has the staff received for Alzheimer’s residents? May I observe a training session? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Do nursing assistants participate in the resident’s care process? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Employee retention? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Does a state ombudsman visit regularly? 1 2 3 4 5

  • How likely is an increase in private pay rates? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Any additional charges not included in the daily or monthly rate? 1 2 3 4 5

  • How are roommates selected? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Describe a typical day? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Can residents choose when to go to bed and wake up? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Are meaningful activities available for Alzheimer’s patients? 1 2 3 4 5

  • If activities are in progress, what’s the level of resident participation? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Can Alzheimer’s patients continue to participate in interests like gardening or contact with pets? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Is there safe, well-lighted parking? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Are hotels/motels nearby for out-of-town family members? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Area restaurants suitable for taking residents out with family members? 1 2 3 4 5

  • How convenient will care planning conferences be for family members? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Is an effective family council in place? 1 2 3 4 5

  • Can meetings be scheduled to discuss any problems? 1 2 3 4 5

Putting your loved one in a nursing home can be a very traumatic process. But it doesn’t have to be. We can help.Nursing Home, Alzheimer's, dementia, family guide, long term care

At The Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center, we’re Elder Law attorneys. We have walked families through this process successfully before. In fact, we have helped several families with estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset protection, isses qualifying for Veteran’s Benefits and MassHealth.

To learn more about how the Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center can help you register online to attend one of our upcoming Trust, Estate, and Asset Protection Workshops or register by calling (800) 964-4295 (24/7).  You will discover why traditional estate planning may not work and the Life Care Planning steps you should be taking instead so you will not outlive your savings, the asset protection language that most people don’t have in their power of attorney documents which can help protect their life savings, how to qualify for the hidden Veteran’s benefits that most people know nothing about, and How Medicaid works…and the steps you need to take now to protect yourself and your family under the new rules.