NURSING HOME QUICK TIPS LIST
The Quick Tips List was developed to give
an overall indication of what to look for when
touring the nursing home by looking at just 5
categories of questions. The questions are easy
to understand, common sense things to look
for when touring a facility. Just use your senses
(Look, Listen, Smell and Taste) for each
category of questions and you will be able to
determine whether a facility has high standards.
Higher standards are the key to better the care.
Don’t accept explanations or excuses from the
nursing home you are considering. If you find a
nursing home with low standards, move on to
the next nursing facility.
1. Facility. Look for cleanliness and be aware of
any strong odors.
• Look at the floors - Are they shiny if tiled, and
are they free from stains, if carpeted?
• Look at the furniture - Is it dirty and worn?
• Look at the structure - Are the walls, doors
and fixtures in good repair?
• Is the home well lit? Are there any strong
• Are there overpowering “good smelling”
fragrances that could be masking or covering
up foul odors.
2. Staff. Look & listen to observe the following:
• Is the staff well groomed and dressed professionally
• How does the staff interact with patients
• Does staff seem friendly, caring, patient, polite
• Do they seem happy?
• Does the care staff seem to work well with
• Is staff polite and courteous or are they complaining
to each other?
• Is the interaction between management and
the care staff positive?
• When you ask questions, does management
seem forthcoming or are they hesitant to
answer? Do they seem agitated or aggravated?
3. Patients. Look, listen and smell to observe
Note: Do not go into any patient’s room
without the expressed permission of the patient
and the staff. Please respect the privacy of the
• Are the patients that you see groomed and
clean? (shaven, nails trimmed and dressed
• Do you smell any strong odors coming from
• Do patients seem to be receiving attention
by staff if needed?
• Are the patients that are more active and
social involved in any activities?
• Do they seem to be enjoying their interaction