How To Choose The Right Nursing Home

Updated: Mar 2

It can seem overwhelming to find the right nursing home or rehab facility. However, by understanding what you are looking for and following a few tips, you should be able to narrow down your choices to the right one for you:

Talk to People in Your Community

Whether you are looking for a long term care facility for yourself or a loved one, you'll want to look for something in your local area where you know people. If it is in the town you or your family member lives, talk to friends, neighbors, church members or coworkers about the local nursing homes to get their experiences or perceptions. If they haven't had family in the facility, they may know someone who has. Healthcare providers are also another good way to gather recommendations.

Consider the Patient's Needs

You may be looking for a memory care facility more than a rehab nursing home. If the patient is on Medicare, you'll want to be sure that the nursing home is Medicare certified. Similarly, if you require Medicaid assistance, you need to verify that the nursing facility not only takes Medicaid payments but has Medicaid beds available.

If you are looking for short term care for rehab after surgery, injury or illness, you'll want to focus on the rehab accommodations. Ask about the therapists on staff. Do they have physical therapists only? Do they offer other types of treatments like speech or occupational therapy?

Contact the Homes on Your List

Start to narrow down your choices. Rank them according to the research you've conducted so far, with recommendations from friends and community members. Ask about availability and whether or not there is a waiting list. You'll want to know what the rates are for the different types of rooms.

Conduct a Site Visit

If you like what you've heard about a facility, ask about setting up a tour. Be sure and make a list of questions you already have. Take a notepad with you and add questions or notes as you go. Some of the things to take note of:

  • Are the staff open and easy to talk to?

  • Make a note of the residents' demeanor: Do they look relaxed and cared for? Are there people out of the rooms socializing?

  • Is it clean?

  • Are the hallways and entryways easy to navigate with a handicap?

  • Do they have rehab or gym facilities? Is there plenty of room between equipment?

  • Are weekly menus posted?

  • Is there a list of social activities?

  • Are there areas to read or have a quiet chat?

Ask Questions

During or after your tour, you may still have questions. If you haven't already been given the information, make sure to check on the admission procedures and what documents you'll need to provide. Ask if there is any transportation provided for the residents to get to doctor appointments or outings. Find out if there is an onsite medical director and how long both the medical director and director of nurses have been there.

Visit Again

By now, you should have a shortlist of nursing homes that fit your criteria. Show up unannounced to your top picks on a different day and preferably a different time than before for a surprise visit. If you go at lunch, note the quality of the food: Does it smell appetizing? Is the dining room clean and inviting

Read the Contract

The admissions manager should go over the contract with you. Be sure and take the time to read it carefully. You may want to have someone else in your family read it, as well. Ask any questions until you feel satisfied that you understand what you are signing. When you need a quality nursing facility in Owens Cross Road, AL, South Hampton Nursing & Rehab is the one for you. Our compassionate staff, many of whom are local to Hampton Cove, take great pride in caring for their patients. For more information, contact us today at (256) 725-3400.


213 Wilson Mann Road

Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763


Phone (256) 725-3400

Fax (256) 725-3423

We accept:

  • Medicare

  • HMO’s

  • Private Pay

  • Medicaid

For Admissions
(256) 725-3400

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