• Be on time, and allow time for a thorough tour.
  • Bring a list of questions with you and be prepared to write
    down more questions as they come up during the tour.
  • Take notes as you tour, including initial reactions to what
    you see, hear, smell, like, or don’t like.
  • Observe interactions between staff and residents. Ask if
    they are satisfied with the facility and the services offered.
  • Ask about qualifications of the administrator and staff.
  • Review their activity calendar; ask about outings, events,
    and transportation.

Ask questions about ANYTHING you see or hear that you don’t understand!

  • Talk with residents as you tour but don’t go into resident
    rooms without permission. Ask if you can talk to families of residents in the
    places you are touring.
  • Get a list of services the facility provides, ask if they offer flexible/progressive care as needed, and what different levels of care they can accommodate.
  • Ask about the criteria for requiring a resident to leave if
    their level of care increases beyond what they can provide? Who makes this
    decision? Is the family consulted? Is Hospice available?
  • Ask to review their last licensing/certification report.
  • Discuss costs, including base rate and extra expenses to
    personalize the care, planned annual rate increases, as well as Long Term Care,
    Medicare and Medicaid coverage. Make sure you’re talking to the appropriate
    staff member about financial issues. Don’t be afraid to ASK questions!
  • Are there extra charges for services like incontinence care, transportation, laundry service, meals delivered to the room, or increasing personal care needs such as feeding or special medical care?
  • How much privacy is available for residents and for family visits?
  • Do they offer private or semi-private rooms, studio, single room, or double bedrooms?
  • Ask about their emergency protocol and services.
  • Ask for a copy of the most recent state inspection survey.
    The state Ombudsman Program could help you interpret. If you find this isn’t available or if it lists unexplained health or safety deficiencies, you probably
    shouldn’t consider that facility.
  • Review the Resident Agreement of the facility.
  • Ask who to call if you have further questions after your
    tour & write down the contact information including phone number or email.
  • If it appears to be a promising option, return to the
    facility at a later date, a different time of day or evening, or during a meal
    or another activity

HOME       Tips on Touring     Before the Tour         Choosing a Facility      What the Facility Will Need to Know     The Final Decision

For a complete list of care homes in your area and
contact information, see and click on the state, then the city, then on the facility.

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