Choose the nursing home that meets your needs

When you have all the information that's important to you about the nursing homes you're considering, talk with people who understand your personal and health care needs. This can include your family, friends, doctor, clergy, spiritual advisor, hospital discharge planner, or social worker.

More than one nursing home meets my needs

If you find more than one nursing home you like with a bed available, use all the information you get to compare them. Trust your senses. If you didn't like what you saw on a visit (like, the facility wasn't clean or you weren't comfortable talking to the staff), you may want to choose another facility. If you felt that the residents were treated well, the facility was clean, and the staff was helpful, you might feel better about choosing that nursing home.

I’m helping someone make a decision

If you're helping someone, keep the person you're helping involved in making the decision as much as possible. People who are involved from the beginning are better prepared when they move into a nursing home. If the person you're helping isn't alert or able to communicate well, keep his or her values and preferences in mind.

I don’t like a nursing home

  • If you visit a nursing home that you don't like, look at other options, if available. Your happiness and the quality of your care is important.
  • If you’re in a hospital and decide not to go to a certain nursing home that has an available bed, talk to the hospital discharge planner or your doctor. They may be able to help you find a more suitable nursing home or arrange for other care, like short-term home care, until a bed is available at another nursing home you choose. However, you may be responsible for paying the bill for any additional days you stay in the hospital.
  • If you don’t like the nursing home you’re currently living in, you can move to another facility with an available bed. Moving can be difficult, but an extra move may be better for you than staying at a facility that isn’t right for you. The nursing home you leave may require that you let them know ahead of time that you’re planning to leave. Ask the nursing home staff about their rules for leaving. If you don’t follow the rules for leaving, you may have to pay extra fees.