Residential Nursing Home

Questions to Ask When Considering a Residential Nursing Home

There are times when an adolescent or young adult with a medically fragile condition may need to spend a period of recuperative time in the closely supervised care of a nursing home, due to exacerbated conditions or emergencies. Choosing the appropriate residential, or extended care, nursing home for a child or adolescent can be a complicated process, whether it is for a short or longer period of residence. Here are some sample questions, adapted from a checklist from Cleveland Hospital for Children—clearly there are more you may want to ask based on your specific circumstances—when interviewing and researching a particular nursing facility: (39)

  • What is your facility/institution’s philosophy of treatment?
  • What types of medical and behavioral issues do you primarily deal with at your facility?
  • What is the average patient age in the facility?
  • Are patients separated by gender? (When: sleeping, recreation, meals, groups?)
  • What type of plan for communication is there between the medical care coordination team and parents? How does this communication plan work (e.g., phone, email, visits)? What type of access do parents/caregivers have to the primary care physician?
  • What is the average length of stay at the facility; how is it determined?
  • How on-site visits are usually conducted?
New York State Department of Health offers a wide choice of information on nursing homes in New York State. Nursing homes throughout the state are listed, as well as comparisons of nursing home performances based on a number of quality care factors.
Another resource, Care Pathways is a private company run by Registered Nurses that aims to provide “valid information and credible services” about care and housing options.