Visiting Nursing Homes


Choosing the best type of nursing home

Choosing a nursing home is a very important decision and one which should not be taken lightly. Current and future care needs, location, available services must all be analysed in depth before coming to a decision. It can seem that there is an overwhelming amount of factors to consider when viewing a nursing home so in order to help simplify the process, this guide reviews the most important aspects


How many nursing homes should I visit?

In order to make an informed decision, it is recommended to visit as many nursing homes as possible in order to make comparisons and select the nursing home most tailored to your specific care needs.


How do I arrange a nursing home visit?

To arrange a nursing home visit, simply call to make an appointment, let the receptionist know you are interested in arranging a visit and ask to speak to a manager.


What are the main factors to consider when visiting a nursing home?

Below is a guide of the most important aspects to consider;

·         Location of the nursing home

·         Quality and condition of the nursing home

·         Type of care available

·         Available services and activities

·         Staff friendliness and competence

·         Catering facilities


Location of Nursing Home

·         Is the nursing home a convenient distance from family and friends so they won’t have to travel far to visit?

·         Is there a car park available?

·         Is there public transport nearby?


What impression did you get of the nursing home?

·         What are your general first impressions of the nursing home?

·         Is the garden well maintained?

·         Was the staff friendly and welcoming upon arrival?

·         Is the nursing home tidy, organised and odour-free?

·         Does it seem like a happy relaxing environment?

·         What is the nursing homes’ visitor policy? Does it seem like visitors are encouraged to visit? Do they have strict visitor hours?

·         Does it seem like resident’s personal independence is encouraged where possible?

·         Is resident’s privacy handled with discretion?


Available Services and Facilities

·         Can you view an unoccupied bedroom?

·         Is the bedroom appropriate to your needs?

·         Is the bedroom clean and have plenty light?

·         What are the available toilet and bathroom facilities? Is there an ensuite option?

·         Is the bedroom fully furnished?

·         Does the bedroom have a television and phone? Is there a nurse call system?

·         What is the nursing homes policy on residents bringing some of their own possessions?

·         Are there areas to facilitate socializing e.g. sitting rooms, outside sitting areas etc?

·         Are there handrails, lifts, full wheelchair access, wide corridors and doorways?

·         Are the gardens easily accessible and views outside from the interior scenic?


Type of Care Available

·         Does the type of care provided fit your specific needs?

·         Can the nursing home facilitate any future needs which might arise?

·         Are relatives and residents opinions and recommendations on the care of a resident taken into account?

·         Are care plans reviewed frequently and open to contributions from residents and relatives?


The Staff

·         Is there one assigned member of staff who is responsible for the level of care the resident receives?

·         Are the staff adequately trained and have the necessary qualifications?

·         Is the staff easy to find and interact well with the residents?

·         Is the manager approachable and instil you with confidence?


Catering Facilities

·         Can you view a current menu?

·         Is there consistently a variety in the menus?

·         Is there a set time for meals? Are there snacks and drinks available throughout the day?

·         Is the food quality fresh and of a high standard?

·         Is there help available for residents who need assistance eating?

·         Are special diets catered for?



·         Is there frequent activities organised for residents? Can residents’ visitors participate in these?

·         Is there an upcoming activities programme distributed to residents?

·         Are residents religious needs catered for?

·         Are there visits from external parties organised for the home?

·         Is there an option for residents to exercise regularly?