Nursing Home Visit Talking Points

Health Care and Services:

  • Can residents retain their personal physician if they wish?
  • Will a resident be moved out of the facility if additional care is needed?
  • Do residents have input in the development of care plans?
  • Are rehabilitation programs and therapies offered, as appropriate?
  • What are the policies on "do not resuscitate" and "advance directives"?
  • If applicable, does the facility meet the Alzheimer's Association criteria?
  • Does the facility offer specialized programs or services?


  • How available and how responsive is the staff?
  • What are the facility's hiring and staffing policies?
  • How are prospective employees screened?
  • What kind of training do new employees receive?


  • Is there adequate privacy and space in resident rooms?
  • What personal possessions are permitted in resident rooms?
  • How are items protected from theft?
  • If rooms are shared, how are roommates selected?
  • What happens if roommates are not compatible?
  • What are the policies on transfer and relocation of residents?
  • Are there activity rooms and lounge areas for resident use?
  • Are the bathing and food preparation areas clean and accessible?

Meals and Resident Activities:

  • Are meals served in an appealing manner and at proper temperature?
  • Ask to sample a meal.
  • Are there food choices?
  • Are there accommodations for special diets?
  • Are snacks and drinks available between meals?
  • Is there an active residents' council?
  • Are special events held at or outside the facility and what is scheduled?
  • Are there religious or cultural activities offered?

Family Visits:

  • What are the facility's policies concerning family visits?
  • Are there designated visiting hours?
  • What space is available for visits?
  • Are there limitations on the number of visitors or frequency of visits?
  • Are family members permitted to join relatives for occasional meals?

Payment Policies:

  • Is the facility approved to accept Medicare or Medicaid patients?
  • What is the billing and payment policy?
  • What is included in the daily/monthly rate?
  • Are there any additional charges?
  • How long will the bed be held if the resident is hospitalized?

Facility Environment:

  • Do the residents appear to be well cared for, properly groomed, and dressed appropriately for the season and time of day?
  • Do staff seem to be friendly, caring and accommodating to residents, visitors and others?
  • Do staff members respond promptly to resident's requests?
  • Is the facility clean?
  • Are there strong odors in the facility?
  • Is the facility well maintained, pleasing and cheerful?
  • Are the exits clearly marked and accessible?

Survey Reports:

  • When was the facility's last survey conducted?
  • Is the most recent survey report available in the facility? If so, where?
  • Have cited deficiencies been corrected?
  • If corrected, when and how were they corrected?
  • How will the facility prevent them from recurring?
  • If deficiencies are not yet corrected, what is the facility's plan for correcting?