What kinds of activities are available?
All nursing homes offer a degree of activities for their residents, and you'll want to ask about these when investigating. Find out what the daily schedules are like and ask about unscheduled activities. Can residents use an arts and craft room even when something isn't scheduled? How about a gym or pool? Is there a library? Computer work stations?
Your goal in making these inquiries is to try to match the person going into the nursing home with a place that will appeal to his or her interests. Does she like to watch old movies? Then find out if the home has a movie night. Does he like to work on puzzles? Be sure there are several tables and puzzles available.
You might also want to ask about what the nursing home does for holidays, birthdays and special events. Do they have a room where you can bring friends and family in to have a party? Do they decorate for the holidays, or bring in trick-or-treaters for Halloween or carolers for Christmas? In fact, it is a good idea to ask about any outside entertainment the nursing home brings in. The more interaction residents can have with people from the "outside world," the more vibrant and engaged they are likely to be.