Are residents free to make choices?
One of the hardest challenges for someone who has taken up residence in a nursing home is their loss of independence. Oftentimes, a person moves to such a facility directly from their own home where they could decide when to sleep, when to eat, when to watch TV, and when to enjoy peace and quiet. Because of the communal nature of nursing homes, this independence and privacy can diminish.
That's why it's important to ask the facility how much freedom they afford their residents. Can people choose what time to eat and, in fact, what type of food they'd enjoy for each meal? Can they arrange their rooms in the way they like, and can they furnish and decorate it with personal items? Are residents free to go outside when they want? Are there designated quiet hours or quiet spaces where someone looking to escape a blaring TV could find refuge?
The more freedom a nursing home gives its residents, the more likely those residents will be happy with their day-to-day lives.