What to Look for When Choosing a Nursing Home

August 9, 2023

Finding a good nursing home for a loved one is a daunting task with both emotional and practical considerations. As you embark on this journey, know you are not alone in facing this challenge. Many families grapple with the same concerns, seeking a place that will provide the best possible care and comfort for their aging family members.

Understanding Nursing Homes

Nursing homes, also known as long-term senior care facilities, are specialized residential settings that cater to older adults requiring assistance with daily activities and medical care.

When starting their search, many families believe that nursing homes and assisted living communities are the same. Although there are some similarities between the two, assisted living is a better fit for aging adults who are mostly independent but require some help with daily activities or self-care. Meanwhile, the needs of nursing home residents are more extensive.

Unlike assisted living, nursing homes provide 24/7 skilled nursing in an enriching environment for those who need comprehensive care management. Nursing homes work best for seniors with chronic or complex medical conditions who cannot care for themselves and require specialized treatment and round-the-clock supervision.

Due to the level of care they require, the right nursing home can significantly impact your loved one’s well-being and happiness. As you search for a nursing home, focus on these key criteria.

Care Services

When considering nursing homes, it’s vital to understand the range of care services they provide. Beyond medical care and assistance with daily living activities (such as bathing, dressing, medication management, etc.), some nursing homes may also offer specialized services – such as memory care or palliative care. Start by assessing your loved one’s needs, both present and potential future requirements. Then, choose a nursing home with services that align with those needs, keeping in mind that you will want your loved one to easily transition to higher levels of care and more intensive interventions if their state of health changes.

Staff and Facilities

Compassionate and well-trained staff are pivotal in ensuring residents’ happiness and quality of life. Look for a nursing home where the staff is genuinely invested in knowing each resident personally, not just from a medical standpoint. As you tour the facility, observe how the team interacts with current residents. Pay attention to their tone and body language, as these can indicate their level of care, respect, and empathy.

Additionally, take note of the facility’s physical condition. A clean and well-maintained environment is crucial for residents’ safety and comfort and contributes significantly to a positive living experience. Check for proper hygiene practices, tidy common areas, and assess the overall ambiance of the facility.

Social and Recreational Activities

Maintaining an active and engaged social life is essential for seniors’ well-being. Inquire about the various social, physical, interactive, and educational activities offered in the nursing home. Engaging in activities can improve residents’ mental and emotional health, reduce feelings of loneliness, and foster a sense of belonging. An ideal nursing home will regularly organize therapeutic recreation activities and encourage community engagement among residents.


If you’re looking for a nursing home for one of your family members, consider Miami Jewish Health. We have been devoted to helping older adults live life better for more than 80 years. Using our approach to individualized care, we ensure that your loved one receives the specialized care, enrichment, and compassion they deserve. To learn more about long-term senior care at Miami Jewish Health and schedule a tour of our campus, contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions.


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