Nursing Home Checklist

Check List for visiting a care nursing home.

What am I looking for when visiting this nursing home?

Can I see myself living here?

It is most important that you visit the nursing home you or your family are considering.

Remember there is no substitute for a visit. If possible make two visits one announced and the other unannounced.

Prior to your visit to the nursing home, print a copy of the Nursing Home check list, this check list is designed to help you evaluate and compare nursing homes that you visit.

Learn as much as possible about each nursing home by:

• Reading their Information Brochure

• Talking with relative, residents, staff

• Observe the quality of life and care provided in the nursing home.

You may also find it useful to review the inspection reports produced by  Health Information and Quality Authority  (HIQA)

The individual nursing home pages on this site includes the links to the latest inspection reports for the specific home.
You may view the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Setting for Older People in Ireland at

Visiting a Home

Before you visit, write down any personal questions that you would like to address during your visit to the Nursing Home.

Name of Nursing Home:


Telephone Number:

Contact Person:

Tick appropriate:
 First Visit                                                                           Second Visit

Time:                     Morning                                              Afternoon Evening

Day of the Week:    Monday   Tuesday   Wednesday   Thursday   Friday   Saturday   Sunday

The following Nursing Home Check list can be used to help you or your relative compare the nursing homes that you visit.
Use the answers to select a nursing home that is a good choice for you or your relative.
Print a Nursing Home Checklist for each nursing home and take it with you as you visit.

Don't forget to ask the following question –
Did you feel that your individual needs and preferences could be met by the nursing home when you visited?

Check Lis

First Impressions

Did you receive a warm and friendly welcome?
Is the atmosphere homely and welcoming?
Is the home clean and pleasantly furnished?
Does the nursing home smell pleasant or otherwise?
Are there other people with similar care needs to your relative?
Are residents provided with a welcoming and information pack?
Is the nursing home accepting new residents?
Will it be easy to get to?
Is the home convenient for shops, public transport etc.?
Is there transport to help you get where you want to go?
Moving In
What is involved in moving in - is there an initial assessment done?
Can time be spent in the Nursing Home before admission?
How long is the trial stay period?
Is there a program to help new residents adjust?
Ask for a copy of the Nursing Homes Information Booklet?
Is each resident provided with a written contract of care?
In communal rooms is furniture arranged in a homely comfortable way?
Is there a quiet room with no TV?
Are there handrails in the toilets and corridors?
Is there easy access for wheelchairs and walking frames?
Are there screens in shared rooms to give privacy?
Are there toilets within easy reach of all parts of the nursing home?
Does the nursing home have suitable assisted bathing facilities?
Is there a safe garden that residents can use?
Are there single rooms with their own bathroom and toilet en-suite?
Can you have a single bedroom room if you want one?
Can you see the room that is available? Is it bright and well decorated?
Does each room have a call bell system?
Are there individual temperature controls for each room?
If you have to share a room can you meet the other person?
Can you have your own TV in your room?
Can you bring some of your own furniture and belongings, photographs?
Can you have at telephone in your room?
Is there a telephone you can use without people overhearing?
Can you choose to have a bath or a shower?
Do the menus include foods which you like?
Do menus give you a choice of dishes?
Are copies menus available?
Can special diets be catered for?
Residents who need help with eating, are staff trained to do this sensitively?
Can meals be taken in bedrooms?
Can you have a snack/drink when you want?
Can residents choose who they sit with in the dining room?
Can relatives and friends have a meal with you?
Health Care
Are residents and families encouraged to participate in developing their care plan?
How often is the care plan reviewed?
Will you have access to a doctor at all times if required?
Does the resident receive appropriate information on their medication?
Do other health professionals such as chiropody, physiotherapy and occupational therapy visit regularly?
Can the nursing home offer care suitable for your needs?
If your care needs change can you continue to live at the nursing home?
Does the nursing home offer/arrange complementary therapies?
Does the nursing home provide services for terminally ill residents?
Will your receive end of life care that is appropriate their needs and wishes?
Activities and Leisure Time
Is there a weekly plan of activities? Did you see an example?
Are residents consulted on what hobbies/interests they have?
Are special events, e.g. birthdays celebrated in the home?
What form of exercise, if any, are residents encouraged to take up?
Is it possible to take part in activities/trips outside the home?
Are their opportunities for adult education or lifelong learning?
Can residents take part in the daily activities, if they wish, e.g. gardening, cooking?
Are activities offered for residents who are relatively inactive or confined to their rooms?
Are there arrangements in place for residents to vote?
Day to Day Life
Is there an active independent residents group?
Can you choose your bed times?
What arrangements are in place for personal laundry?
Are there house rules?
Are you comfortable with the house rules?
Will you be able to practice your religion?
Are religious services held in the nursing home?
Does the nursing home provide support following bereavement?
Are there set visiting times?
Are there places where residents can spend time in private with guests?
Nursing Home Management
Who is the registered provider of the nursing home?
Are they the owner or the manager of the nursing home?
How long have they been managing the nursing home?
Who is the Person in Charge of the nursing home?
How many residents are there?
Is there a qualified registered general nurse on duty and in charge of the nursing home at all times?
How many care staff is on duty: in the morning, afternoon, evening, at night?
Are qualified night staff awake or on call?
What training do staff receive?
Is there a list of policies available for the Nursing Home? Are the policies listed in the Information Booklet?
Thinking about the Future
Is there a bed available?
Is there a waiting list?
What’s included in the weekly fee and what are 'extra' charges?
What would be covered in your agreement/contract of care?
What happens if I become more dependent?
What happens your room if you are away short-term on holiday or in hospital?
Is there a complaints procedure?
In what circumstances might you be asked to leave?
What notice must be given if you want to leave?
Did you feel that your individual needs and preferences could met in this particular home?