A nursing home is a long-term care facility, which provides 24-hour room and board with personalized healthcare services, such as nursing care, therapy, rehabilitation, and a range of other programs and treatments. Choosing a nursing home for a loved one can be stressful because it is an unknown experience with many factors to consider. Patients typically seek 24/7 care at a nursing home to address issues like:



  • Chronic illness
  • Disability
  • Complex medical needs
  • Therapy or rehabilitation
  • Recovery after sickness, injury, or operation
  • Age-related issues such as forgetfulness, need for constant supervision or medical help.

There are typically two types of services available at nursing homes: short-term rehabilitation and long-stay residential units. Choosing a long-stay facility for a parent or other relative is an important decision that ensures the loved one receives appropriate care, respect and can experience the highest level of function and good quality of life.

Four Steps to Help Choose a Nursing Home

There are approximately 691 licensed nursing homes in the state of Florida, and this represents more than 64,000 beds. Because this is such an important decision and there are hundreds of nursing homes, the selection process can be overwhelming at first. Here are some easy steps to start the selection process.

Step One: Choose a geographical area.

Select a geographical area conveniently located so that close friends and family members can visit.

Step Two: Create a shortlist.

Do some quick research and create a shortlist of facilities that appear to match the family’s goals, such as environment, programs, and different treatments or therapy.

Step Three: Perform an advanced review of the shortlist.

  • ov compares three nursing homes and ranks them based on overall rating, health inspections, quality, and staffing.
  • Ask family, friends, and coworkers that you trust if they have experience with any homes on the shortlist.
  • Physicians and nurses often have an inside understanding of how certain nursing homes operate. Ask your loved one’s general physician if they provide medical service at a particular nursing home and if they have a specific facility they would recommend.

Step Four: Visit the different facilities that remain on the shortlist.

  • If possible, visit the very hall and room where the loved one would reside.
  • Gain as much information as possible about the day-to-day life and activities that current residents experience.
  • Take note of the cleanliness of the facility, including the appearance of the staff and residents, the common area, the cafeteria, bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen.
  • Take note of the atmosphere in the facility. Is it calm and caring or chaotic and unfriendly? Do the residents appear to be cared for, have activities they are engaging in, or do they look unkempt, bored, or secluded?
  • Ask to meet with the nurses and staff who work in the hall where the loved one will reside. Jot down the names of the providers and caregivers and check online to see if there are any positive or negative reviews.
  • Visit the cafeteria at dinner time or the common area during the day. Taste the food and talk to some residents to get their opinion.
  • Ask to observe any special sessions taking place like crafts, yoga, or game day.

Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Suggestions

Experienced nursing home abuse attorney James Hannon, Esq. understands that choosing to place a loved one in a nursing home is a meaningful, life-changing event. He recommends that the family thoroughly investigate the facility to discover prior reports of neglect, abuse, or lawsuits and visit the nursing home of choice at different times to observe:

  • Interactions

Look for positive and negative interactions. Watch for staff speaking to one another or residents with disrespect.

  • Cleanliness

When you visit the facility on different days and different times, does it always smell clean?

  • Maintenance

Touch the bedding, doors, and chairs to see if the facility is comfortable and well maintained.

  • Schedule

Stop in to see if the staff members are following the posted schedule.

  • Safety

Observe day-to-day interactions to see if the staff are following safety guidelines, such as confirming the patient’s name, the drug, and dosage before giving medication.

  • Security

Is the property secure? Is there a security staff member on-site? Do the doors lock at certain hours. Is the parking lot well lit?


As you consider your options, remember that choosing a nursing facility is an important decision. Take the time to research and visit several facilities so that you can confidently place your loved one in a loving, safe environment.