Evaluate Nursing Homes

Now that you have a solid understanding of nursing homes (see Types of Elder Care – Nursing Home), the types of people they best serve and associated costs, it’s time to hone your search and evaluate potential providers.

First, here are more details on nursing homes, licensure and staffing to help you navigate your path to finding the right care.


Licensure: Nursing homes are highly regulated at federal, state and sometimes, local levels. They are licensed by the state. Many are Medicare and/or Medicaid certified as well. In addition, some facilities voluntarily seek accreditation through the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, JACHO.


Staffing: Nursing facilities operate under the direction of a physician who is the medical director. They are required to have a full-time director of nursing, often referred to as the DON, and at least one registered nurse on duty at all times. Nursing homes also employ dietitians, social workers, activity directors, physical, occupational, speech and other therapists. Minimum standards are set for paraprofessional staffing levels.