• Does the facility meet your standards of cleanliness?


Patient Rights


  • Is there a written description of patient rights and responsibilities? Ask for a copy.

  • Does the staff protect patient privacy and dignity?

  • Does the facility have an advance directives policy?


Care Planning


  • Do individuals and families take part in developing their own care plan?

  • Does the facility provide services for terminally ill residents and their families?

  • Is there an Alzheimer’s disease program at the facility?

  • Is there an AIDS program?

  • Is a subacute care program available?

Staff Attitudes


  • Does staff show interest and respect for the individuals?

  • Is staff courteous?

  • Is there a quick response to patient calls of assistance?

  • Is staff respectful and friendly to other staff members?

  • Is the administrator available to answer questions, hear complaints or discuss problems and concerns?

Licensure and Certification


  • Do the facility and administrator have a current license issued by the state?

  • Is the facility certified to provide Medicare and/or Medi-Cal coverage if the individual needs it?

  • Is the latest state survey available for review?

  • Does the facility have a formal quality-assurance program?



  • Is the facility conveniently located for frequent visits from family and friends?

  • Is the facility located near a hospital?

  • Is the facility conveniently located for the individual’s physician(s)?



  • Does the basic daily charge cover all the services needed by the individual?

  • Is there an available list of specific services not covered by the daily charge?

  • If the individual leaves the facility, are the advance payments returned?



  • Is a physician available in an emergency?

  • Are personal physicians allowed to treat individuals?

  • Does the facility report to the individual’s physician?

  • Is regular medical attention guaranteed?

  • Are care plans and medical records kept?  

  • Do your C.N.A.’s care for the same group of residents each time they work or do you rotate the assignment?

  • Are individuals and families involved in treatment plans?

  • Is confidentiality of medical record guaranteed?

  • Are a variety of medical services (dentists, podiatrists, optometrists) available?

  • In an emergency, will the individual’s personal physician be notified?

  • Do you use agency nurses?



  • Does the facility have an arrangement with a nearby hospital?

  • Is emergency transportation available?

  • Are accommodations made to hold a resident’s bed if that person is hospitalized?



  • Are routine and emergency drugs available?

  • Does a pharmacist review individual drug treatment plans?

  • Is a pharmacist available for individuals and staff?

Therapy Program


  • Is a physical therapy program available under the supervision of a qualified physical therapist?

  • Are speech therapy and occupational therapy available?

Activities Program


  • Are individual preferences observed?

  • Are group and individual activities available?

  • Is participation encouraged?

  • Are the individuals involved in their surrounding community?

  • Does the facility have volunteers working with the residents?

  • Are offsite trips planned?

Social Services


  • Is a social worker available to assist individuals and families?

Accident Prevention


  • Is the facility well lit?

  • Is the facility free of clutter and hazards?

  • Are chairs sturdy and stable?

  • Are warning signs posted on freshly waxed or wet floors?

  • Are handrails and grab bars installed in the hallways and bathrooms?

Fire Safety


  • Is the facility compliant with state and federal codes?

  • Are exits unobstructed and clearly marked?

  • Are emergency evacuation plans posted with floor plans throughout the facility?

  • Does the facility conduct fire drills?

  • Are exits unlocked from the inside?

  • Are doors to stairways kept closed?



  • Do the bedrooms open onto the hallway?

  • Does each of the resident rooms have a window?

  • Are bedrooms limited to four beds?

  • Does each bed have a privacy curtain?

  • Is each bed equipped with a nurse call bell?

  • Is fresh drinking water available next to each bed?

  • Is there at least one comfortable, sturdy chair per resident?

  • Is each individual provided a separate clothes closet or set of drawers?

  • Are the bedrooms wheelchair-accessible?

  • Is care used in roommate selection?

  • Is each bed easily accessible?

  • Are residents encouraged to decorate rooms with personal items?

  • Can my loved one be wakened in the morning according to their lifelong routine?



  • Is there a welcoming atmosphere?

  • Is the furniture attractive and comfortable?

  • Is the activities schedule posted on a bulletin board?

  • Are the facility certificates and licenses on display?



  • Are the halls wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass easily?

  • Are handrails installed in the halls?

  • Are the halls well lit?

Dining Room


  • Is the dining area clean, attractive and inviting?

  • Are tables convenient for wheelchairs?

  • Is food tasty and appealing to the eye?

  • Is there adequate time to eat meals?

  • Do the meals match the posted menu?

  • Is help given to the residents who need it?




  • Is the food preparation area separated from the dish washing and garbage areas?

  • Is food requiring refrigeration properly stored?

  • Do the kitchen workers observe sanitation rules?

Activity Rooms


  • Are rooms available for resident activities?

  • Does the facility provide activity equipment, such as games, easels, yarn or a kiln?

  • Is the equipment being used by residents?

Special Purpose Room


  • Are rooms set aside for therapy or physical examinations?

  • Are rooms available for private visits with family and friends?

Isolation Room


  • Does the facility provide at least one bed and bathroom for patients with contagious illness?

Toilet Facilities


  • Are toilets convenient to bedrooms?

  • Are they wheelchair accessible?

  • Are nurse call bells located near each toilet?

  • Are hand grips installed near each toilet?

  • Are bathtubs and showers equipped with non-slip surfaces and hand grips?



  • Are the grounds accessible to handicapped individuals?

  • Does the facility provide outdoor furniture for residents and visitors?

  • Are walkways clear and free of hazardous objects?

  • Is parking adequate for visitors?

Religious Observances


  • Does the facility make arrangements for patients to worship as they please?



  • Does a dietitian plan menus for residents requiring special diets?

  • Are personal likes and dislikes considered?

  • Does the menu vary from meal to meal?

  • Is there adequate time to eat each meal?

  • Does the facility provide snacks?

  • Is food delivered to individuals unable to eat in the dining room?

  • Are warm meals served warm?

  • Is help given to the residents who need it?

  • Do you offer alternatives if a resident does not prefer the main entrée?



  • Is assistance available for bathing and grooming?

  • Are barbers or beauticians available?

  • Does the facility provide basic laundry service?

Your Part


If you are selecting a care facility for a loved one, are you:

  • Involving the individual in the decisions?

  • Ready to ease the individual’s transition to the facility by being with her/him during admission as well as staying several hours getting her/him settled?

  • Prepared to visit the patient often and encourage others to do the same?



The site is managed by the California Association of Health Facilities which provides resources, advocacy and education to health care professionals who work in skilled nursing centers.


© 2015 by California Association of Health Facilities

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