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How to Choose a Nursing Home- Part 5

The four steps to take in order to decide which nursing home may be best for you are:

Step 1: Find nursing homes in your area;

Step 2: Compare the quality of the nursing homes you’re considering;

Step 3: Visit the nursing homes you’re interested in or have someone visit for you; and

Step 4: Choose the nursing home that meets your needs.

Step 3: Visit the nursing homes you’re interested in or have someone visit for you.

Before you visit any nursing homes, consider what’s important to you.


  • Is my primary language spoken by staff that will work directly with me and fellow residents?
  • If not, is an interpreter available or another system in place to help me communicate my needs?


  • Are there resident policies I must follow?
  • Will I get a written copy of these policies?

Note: Resident policies are rules that all residents must follow. For example, smoking may not be allowed in or on the premises of some nursing homes.


  • Does the nursing home provide a safe environment?
  • Will my personal belongings be secure in my room?
  • Is the nursing home locked at night?
    Preventive care
  • Does the nursing home make sure residents get preventive care to help keep them healthy? Are specialists like eye doctors, ear doctors, dentists, and podiatrists (foot doctors) available to see residents on a regular basis? Does the facility help make arrangements to see these specialists? (Note: Nursing homes must either provide treatment, or help you make appointments and provide transportation for you to see specialists.)
  • Does the nursing home have a screening program for vaccinations, like flu (influenza) and pneumonia? (Note: Nursing homes are required to provide flu shots each year, but you have the right to refuse if you don’t want the shot, have already been immunized during the immunization period, or if the shots are medically contraindicated.)
  • How will I get access to oral care in the nursing home?
  • How will I get access to mental health care in the nursing home?

To be continued….
Aaron E. Futterman, CPA, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Futterman & Lanza, LLP with offices in Smithtown, NY and clients throughout Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Richmond, New York, Westchester and Rockland Counties. He concentrates his practice to Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Medicaid Applications, Estate Planning, Probate, Estate Taxes, and Estate Administration.

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