Tips and tools for selecting a skilled care facility

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tips for Selecting a Nursing Home

The programs and caregiver support provided by Council on Aging are intended to provide as many choices as possible for long-term care for older adults and people with disabilities. While our focus is on keeping people in their homes, sometimes the best choice is a skilled nursing facility or nursing home, especially for those who require 24 hour-per-day access to supervision, care and medical staff. 

Selecting the right facility for you or a loved one is an important decision with many factors that can make it a daunting task. You don’t have to make that decision alone, as there are many tools available to help individuals and families find the right nursing facility. Many of these tools can be found here on our web site.  Some of them include: 

  • Our housing search, which helps you to find housing options in your community that meet your specific needs.
  • A Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home, a book from the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services which can be downloaded here or you can call us at (513) 721-1025 to request a copy.
  • Nursing Homes: Making the Right Choice, a guide available in English and Spanish from the National Institute on Aging.  Available here.
  • Ombudsman and complaint hotline numbers, which are also available by calling (513)721-1025.
  • A checklist of considerations gives you a detailed list of important considerations when choosing a facility.

No matter the resources you use in selecting a facility, here are some important steps to consider: 

  • Check on accreditation, certifications, licensures, quality reports, and consumer/family satisfaction survey results, which are available at  
  • Use online research and feedback based on the experiences of people you know.
  • Visit the facilities you are considering and ask the simple question, “would I want to live here?”
  • Read the fine print and make sure a facility offers the specialized services you need.
  • In addition to meeting your medical needs, determine if a facility can accommodate for your social, spiritual and community needs.

Using these resources and asking these questions can take some of the guesswork out of selecting the right skilled care facility. Our information and referral specialists are available to answer questions or put you in touch with community resources.  Contact us Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Simply call (513)721-1025 or (800)252-0155