Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities
Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities
Kentucky Center for Assisted Living

How to Choose a Nursing Facility That is Right for You or Your Loved One

How to choose a nursing facility

Plan Ahead

Have the conversation about long-term care before the need arises. By planning ahead, you can find the quality of care and quality of life that you desire in a long-term care facility for yourself, loved one or other person. Planning ahead will also make the transition easier because many important decisions will already have been made or at least discussed.

Tips for planning ahead include:
  • Research your options based on the needs of the patient.
  • Get financial records in order and understand your financial options.
  • Have an open and honest discussion with your loved one about their desires when the time comes to enter a skilled nursing facility.
  • Involve the patient in the discussion and selection process, and enlist the help of eldercare professionals about special healthcare needs and quality of life matters.

Finding A Nursing Facility

Today's nursing facilities (often referred to as nursing homes, extended care services, or health care centers) serve the young and old alike, both those who expect to recover fully as well as those in need of extended long-term care services. The goal of care in a nursing facility is to help individuals meet their daily physical, social, medical, and psychological needs and to return home whenever possible.


After you know the type of services needed, obtain the names of facilities in your area. Talk with administrative personnel and make an appointment to tour the facility. Try to visit each facility at several different times of the day. Be sure to ask questions about what you are seeing, hearing, or feeling about the facility.

Click Here for Information on the types of services Nursing Homes offer and Questions to ask about a facilities services

Survey and Inspection Reports

In Kentucky, the Cabinet for Health Services is responsible for conducting facility inspections every year. The survey results are available at the facility (and on the Internet at Review this report of the facility's performance. A staff representative can answer your questions and provide additional information about this complex document.

Nursing Facility Activities

Questions to Think About

There are a variety of questions to consider when evaluating nursing facilities including questions related to:
  • Location
  • Ambience
  • Staff
  • Activities
  • Religion
  • Rooms
  • And Much More
Click Here for questions you may want to consider when evaluating nursing facilities.

Paying for Long-Term Care

Long-term care is a costly proposition for which few people are fully prepared. Yearly costs for a nursing facility today can exceed $50,000 per year. Many people mistakenly believe that Medicare will cover the cost of long-term care, but Medicare only pays for approximately nine percent of nursing facility costs. Rather, Medicaid picks up nearly three-fourths of the cost. long-term care insurance accounts for a very small percentage of nursing facility payments. As these figures show, long-term care financing is a serious matter requiring serious planning.

Click Here for More Information on Paying for Long-Term Care

Additional Resources

Click Here for additional resources for long-term care and other aging issues.