Illinois Nursing Home Guide


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Illinois Nursing Home Checklist

Name of nursing home:
Phone number:
Date of visit:

Nursing Home Basic Questions Yes No Notes
Who is the Administrator of the nursing home? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Who is the Director of Nursing (DON)? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Who is the Medical Director? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does the nursing home have the level of care I need? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does the nursing home offer specialized services, like a special care unit for a resident with dementia, ventilator care, or rehabilitation services? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Is the nursing home located close enough for friends and family to visit? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Resident Appearance Yes No Notes
Are the residents clean, well groomed, and appropriately dressed for the season or time of day? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Nursing Home Living Spaces Yes No Notes
Does the nursing home appear clean and well kept? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Is the temperature in the nursing home comfortable for residents? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Are the noise levels in the dining room and other common areas comfortable? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Is smoking allowed? If so, is it restricted to certain areas of the nursing home? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Hallway, Stairs, Lounges, & Bathrooms Yes No Notes
Are exits clearly marked? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does the nursing home have smoke detectors and sprinklers? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Are all common areas, resident rooms, and doorways designed for wheelchair use? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Are handrails and grab bars appropriately placed in the hallways and bathrooms? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Staff Yes No Notes
How many residents per CNA? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
How many residents per Nurse? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
How many residents per Physician? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does the relationship between the staff and residents appear to be warm, polite, and respectful? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does the staff wear name tags? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does the staff knock on the door before entering a resident’s room? Do they refer to residents by name? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does the nursing home offer a training and continuing education program for all staff? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does the nursing home check to make sure they don’t hire staff members who have been found guilty of abuse, neglect or mistreatment of residents; or have a finding of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of residents in the state nurse aid registry? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Is there a licensed nursing staff 24 hours a day, including a Registered Nurse (RN) present at least 8 hours per day, 7 days a week? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Will a team of nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) work with me to meet my needs? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Do CNAs help plan the care of residents? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Is there a person on staff that will be assigned to meet my social service needs? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Will the staff call my doctor for me if I have a medical need? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Has there been a turnover in administration staff, like the administrator or director of nurses, in the past year? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Residents’ Rooms Yes No Notes
Can residents have personal belongings and furniture in their rooms? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does each resident have storage space (closet and drawers) in his or her room? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does each resident have a window in his or her bedroom? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Do residents have access to a personal phone and television? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Do residents have a choice of roommates? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Menus & Food Yes No Notes
Do residents have a choice of food items at each meal? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Can the nursing home provide for special dietary needs (like low-salt or no-sugar-added diets)? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does the staff help residents eat and drink at mealtimes if help is needed? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Legal Considerations Yes No Notes
Does the nursing home require residents to sign an arbitration clause? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Is the facility Medicare certified? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Is the facility Medicaid certified? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Safety & Care Yes No Notes
Can residents still see their personal doctors? Does the facility help arrange transportation for this purpose? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
How often are charts reviewed by a doctor? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does the nursing home have an arrangement with a nearby hospital for emergencies? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Are care plan meetings held with residents and family members at times that are convenient and flexible whenever possible? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Has the nursing home corrected all defciencies (failure to meet one or more state or federal requirements) on its last state inspection report? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does the nursing home have specific policies and procedures related to the care of individuals with dementia? If so, does the policy include the use of non-medication based approaches to care as a first attempt to respond to behavioral symptoms, which are often a means of communication, for patients living with dementia? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
What percentage of resident’s who have a diagnosis of dementia are currently being prescribed an antipsychotic medication? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
What’s the nursing home’s current rate of antipsychotic medication use? Y N _________________________________________________________________________________
Does the nursing home participate in any efforts related to reducing the use of antipsychotic medication in nursing homes? (these include National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, National Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative, and Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes Campaign.) Y N _________________________________________________________________________________

Go to a resident council or family council meeting

While you’re visiting the nursing home, ask a member of the resident council if you can attend a resident council or family council meeting. These councils are usually organized and managed by the residents or the residents’ families to address concerns and improve the quality of care and life for the resident. When you go to a meeting, ask about recent changes to the facility and upcoming improvements to the quality of life for the residents.

Visit again

It’s a good idea to visit the nursing home a second time. It’s best to visit a nursing home on a different day of the week and at a different time of day than your initial visit. Staffing can be different at different times of the day and on weekends.