10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Nursing Home


Is the facility certified and accredited?

Find out what kind of certifications the facility has.
Find out what kind of certifications the facility has.

The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is a not-for-profit organization that inspects, accredits and certifies health care organizations and programs across the United States. If a facility you are considering has been accredited by JCAHO, it means that it has satisfied a strict set of quality control and safety guidelines that include infection prevention as well as medication management. While you can certainly ask the nursing home's representative about JCAHO accreditation, you can also keep your eyes open for its "Gold Seal of Approval" decal, which indicates that the facility has passed a successful evaluation by JCAHO.

Another important certification to ask about is the one provided by Medicare. This is crucial if you are expecting financial assistance from the organization, as Medicare only pays for facilities that it has certified.