DrKnows Tips on Touring Residential Care Facilities and Skilled Nursing Facilities




Property :


Tip #1 – Clean as a Whistle    

Is the community fresh & clean?  Look past the furnishing

& into corners, baseboards, & windows.  Ask how often

Housekeeping is provided for the room.  What services

Does maintenance provide?  What is their response time?




Tip #2 – Follow Your Nose

Odors may indicate lack of cleanliness or a temporary

Problem caused by a recent incident.  If you find odors in

A concentrated area this may indicate a single incident.

Odors throughout the community indicate a problem.  Ask

Your tour guide what they believe to be the problem.




Tip #3 – Busy Residents are Happy Residents

Ask to watch activities.  Are they well attended?  Does the

Staff seem to be enjoying the activity as well?  View the

Event calendar.  Do events match your loved ones

Interests?  Look for small & large group activities, trips or

Outings.  Inquire about religious services if this is important.




Tip #4 – Whistle While They Work

Staff attitude & friendliness are of utmost importance.

Observe the staff interaction with Residents – do they listen

And make eye contact.  If you feel welcomed while you tour

So will your loved one.  Make sure to get a good under-

Standing of the staffing pattern.  How many people are

Truly involved in his/her care?  Introduction to the Mgmt.

Team will help you understand the goals of the property.

Is the Manager willing & able to meet with you?  Do you

Have confidence in his/her management style & experience




Tip #5 – Find the Great Outdoors

Everyone wants to go outside on beautiful, spring days.

Investigate the outdoor areas available to Residents.  Does

It feel safe and secure?  Find out if the staff uses the same

Area for breaks.  Do they host activities, such as gardening,

In these areas?




Tip #6 – Choices, Choices, Choices

The dining room experience is very important to seniors.

Discuss entrée choices & ask about dining hours &

Procedures.  Bring your loved one in for a meal to taste the

Food and meet some of the Residents.  Discuss what

Happens if a Resident cannot make it to the dining room for

A meal.




Tip #7 – Laundry

Don’t forget to ask about the laundry service.  Who does

The laundry & what is the cost.  Ask about laundry





Tip #8 – Safe & Sound

Safety & security features are very important to seniors.

Are the bathrooms accessible & do they have grab bars in

Convenient locations.  How does a resident contact staff if

They have an emergency in their room?  What other safety

Features are available throughout the community?  Ask

About the staffing pattern to understand who will be on

Site to assist the resident.  How many licensed nurses or

Staff members are available?  What are the staffing

Patterns at night? How are medications managed?




Tip #9 – Care with Dignity

As you tour, ask lots of questions on personal care.  Look at

Current residents.  Are they clean-shaven with well

Groomed hair & nails?  Discuss bathing options & your

Loved one’s preferences.  Are the residents dressed

Appropriately?  Is the staff treating residents with respect

& a smile?




Tip #10 – When is it Time to Leave

No senior likes to move a lot.  Ask about specific move-out

Criteria.  Under what circumstances is a resident asked to

Move?  What type of notice is given by the community or

By you?  In many cases a 30 day notice may be required.




Tip #11 – Trust Your Instincts

As you are touring can you imagine you or your loved one

Living there & being comfortable.  Did you feel at ease

While touring?  Was the staff friendly & inviting?  The

Property doesn’t have to be the most beautiful to be the

Best place for them to live comfortably!  Follow your

Instincts & your heart.






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