Nursing Homes


Nursing Homes Checklist

First Impressions are Important

  • Does the overall atmosphere appear friendly, safe and comfortable?
  • Does the nursing home smell okay - right through the building?
  • Does it seem to be a comfortable temperature in all the rooms?
  • Do the residents seem happy and content?
  • Do the residents seem happy with the way staff address and respond to them?
  • Are residents treated with respect as well as in a friendly manner?
  • Does there seem to be enough staff?
  • Do the staff seem caring and attentive towards residents?
  • Are there other people with similar care needs to yours?


  • Will it be easy to see your family and friends?
  • Is it easy to get to local shops, club, church or other places and events?
  • Is there adequate transport to help you get where you want to go?

The Premises

  • Can someone in a wheelchair move around easily?
  • Is access difficult and safety an issue because there is more than one floor?
  • Are there call-bells in the bedrooms, bathrooms and communal areas?
  • Are rooms, stairs and corridors suitably lit?
  • Is there a safe garden that residents can use?
  • Are there smoke detectors and fire extinguishers?
  • Are there security arrangements?
  • Is the garden accessible to wheelchairs?


  • Bedrooms - Can you have a single room if you want one?
  • Are there rooms with their own bathroom and toilet en-suite?
  • If you have to share a room can you meet the other person beforehand?
  • Can you have a different room if you dont get on with the person?
  • Are there screens in shared rooms to give privacy?
  • Can you bring some of your own furniture and belongings?
  • Can you lock your cupboard?
  • Can you have your own TV in your room?
  • Can you have a telephone installed in your room?
  • Can you have air-conditioning installed?

Bathroom / Toilets

  • Are toilets, baths and showers easy and private for residents to use?
  • Is there a toilet within easy reach of your bedroom?
  • Are there toilets within easy reach of all the communal rooms?

Community Rooms

  • Is the furniture in the communal rooms arranged in a comfortable way?
  • Is there a choice of lounges?
  • Is there more than one TV room?
  • Is there a quiet room with no TV?
  • Are there non-smoking rooms?

Day-to-Day Life

  • Are you comfortable with the house rules (eg. about smoking or pets)?
  • Can you influence what happens in the aged care home?
  • Is there an independent Residents and Relatives group?
  • Would there be a member of staff to take a special interest in your welfare?

Domestic Arrangements

  • Can you get up and go to bed when you want to?
  • Will your room be cleaned at least once a week?
  • Will your bed be made for you?
  • Can you help arround the aged care home if you want to?
  • Is it possible to buy small items in the aged care home?
  • Are daily papers and mail delivered?

Language and Culture

  • Is there a staff member who can speak your language?
  • Is there a policy of culturally appropriate care?
  • Have the staff received cross cultural training?

Personal Possessions

  • Is there a secure place where personal items and valuables can be kept?
  • Does the home take responsibility for insuring your possessions?

Personal Possessions

  • Is there a secure place where personal items and valuables can be kept?
  • Does the home take responsibility for insuring your possessions?


  • Can you have input to menus?
  • Do the menus include foods which you like?
  • Do the menus give you a choice of dishes?
  • Do the menus seem to you to be balanced and nutritious?
  • Can special diets be catered for?
  • Can you have/make a snack when ever you want?
  • Is it possible to have meals other than at set times?
  • Can you have meals in your rooms?

Leisure Time

  • Are social events and outings organised frequently?
  • Will there be activities which interest you?


  • Will you be able to practice your own religion?
  • Are there regular visits by a practitioner from your religion?


  • Can you have a telephone in your room?
  • Is there a telephone without people overhearing what you are saying?
  • Is there a telephone you can use which meets any special requirements?


  • Can family and friends visit you without restriction?
  • Are there places where you can spend time in private with your guests?
  • Can visitors stay for a meal or even overnight?
  • Can you make/offer your guests a drink or snack?

Personal care

  • Can you have a say in the way you are looked after/helped?
  • Is the personal care you need available?
  • Can relatives or friends help you with personal care if you want them to?
  • Does a hairdresser visit the aged care home?

Health care

  • Will your health care needs be met?
  • Can you keep the same doctor you have now?
  • Will you have access to a doctor at all times if required?
  • Is there a local doctor who accepts patients from the home?
  • Does a doctor visit the aged care home regularly?
  • Do other other health professionals visit the aged care home?
  • If your care needs change can you continue to live at the home?

How the Aged Care Home is Managed?

  • Can you have a financial report for the aged care home?
  • Who runs the aged care home?
  • Are they the owner or the manager?
  • How long have they been running the aged care home?
  • Where can they be contacted?
  • How many residents are there?
  • How many care staff are on duty morning, afternoon, evening, at night?
  • Are night staff awake or on call?
  • What qualifications do the management and staff have achieved?
  • What ongoing training do management and staff receive?
  • Is the aged care home registered/certified/accredited?

Terms and Conditions

  • What would be covered in your agreement?
  • What are the facility guidelines, fees and costs?
  • What does the daily fee cover?
  • What services are included in your payment?
  • What extra services do you pay for?
  • When is the RAD payable?
  • How much is the RAD?
  • Are standard resident fees payable in advance or arrears?
  • Are standard resident fees payable monthly?
  • What happens if you run out of funds?
  • How long a trial period of respite care can you have?
  • What notice must be given if you want to leave the aged care home?
  • In what circumstances might a resident be asked to leave?