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The decision to place a relative or friend in a·nursing care facility can be one of the most important decisions we will ever face. The goal of a facility stay is to help people care for themselves and to assist them in returning home whenever possible. For that reason, the facility selected depends on the needs of the individual. This publication is designed to help you assess these needs and select the best possible·nursing care provider in your area.



First of all, to the extent possible, involve the person who will be entering the facility in discussions about where he/she will live. This can lessen the trauma everyone inevitably feels with any move or change in lifestyle. Talk to your personal physician and other health care professionals as well as clergy and welfare workers. Which nursing facility would they recommend and why? State and Local offices on aging or a long-term care ombudsman can also provide information. There are also a number of Internet websites that will provide information about the facilities you are considering, such as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. There is also good information on the "Nursing Home Compare" Site that we feature on our home page.


Before arranging a tour, consider the following:

  • Is the facility conveniently located for frequent visits by family, friends and the resident's personal physician?
  • Is the facility near the hospital where the personal physician works?
  • Is the facility currently licensed by the state or currently on an admission ban due to survey deficiencies?
  • Does the Administrator have a current license from the state?
  • Is the facility approved/certified for Medicare and/or Medicaid?



You can help ease a person's entry into a nursing center by being with the resident on the admission day and staying with them for a few hours to help him/her to get settled and meet and greet and feel at ease. After selecting the facility, the most important factor in a successful nursing facility experience is your continued involvement. Get to know the staff at all levels. Attend family council meetings and speak up to support the good things you see happening and raise concerns about any situation you have questions regarding.

Work to give your family member time to adjust to nursing facility life, urging him/her to have a positive attitude and to be patient to the new surroundings. Encourage to participate in activities of interest and work to meet people. Friends and family outside the facility should make time to visit and share in the home's activities. Remember, a nursing facility is the resident's home. It is a place for resident's entire family and circle of friends and it is important to come by often.



All personal items, such as hearing aids, dentures, clothing, glasses, etc.; should be marked with the patient's name. It is not recommended to bring valuable items such as (jewelry, heir-looms, or cash). Check with admissions coordinator regarding long term care facilities medication policy. It is recommended that between 5-7 complete outfits for the appropriate season be brought to the facility.


All insurance cards (Medicare, Medicaid, etc) and other legal documents such as but not limited to (advance directive, power of attorney) should be brought in during the time of admission.


Please read our Frequently Asked Questions page on our site for more detailed education.


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