Choosing a Facility

Grandfather smiling and grandson and granddaughter sitting on a bench

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 SNF (Skilled Nursing Facility) is Medicare-certified.
  • The SNF is Medicaid-certified.
  • The SNF provides the skilled care you need, and a bed is available.
  • The SNF has special services if needed in a separate unit (e.g. dementia, ventilator, or rehabilitation), and a bed is available.
  • The SNF 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 SNF is free from overwhelming unpleasant odors.
  • The SNF appears clean and well kept.
  • The temperature in the SNF is comfortable for residents.
  • Smoking isn’t allowed or may be restricted to certain areas of the SNF.


  • The relationship between the staff and the residents appears to be warm, polite, and respectful.
  • All staff wear name tags.
  • Staff knock on the door before entering a resident’s room and refer to residents by name.
  • There is a full-time Registered Nurse (RN) in the SNF at all times, other than the Director of Nursing.

Residents’ Rooms

  • Residents may have personal belongings and/or furniture in their rooms.
  • Each resident has 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 SNF has outdoor areas for resident use and staff help residents go outside.
  • The SNF has an active volunteer program.

Safety & Care

  • Residents get preventive care, like a yearly flu shot, to help keep them healthy.
  • Residents may still see their regular doctors.
  • Care plan meetings are help with residents and family members at times that are convenient whenever possible.
  • The SNF has corrected all deficiencies (failure to meet one or more Federal or State requirements) on its last state inspection report.


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