The decision to put your loved one in a nursing home can be stressful. Your relief that they’ll receive the care they need may be tempered by guilt for forcing the move.

Ideally, searching for a safe and comfortable living environment should begin well before your loved one requires round-the-clock nursing assistance. 

Staff-to-Resident Ratio

Many states require that nursing homes meet minimum staffing standards, typically requiring that a licensed nurse be present in the facility at all times. Some have additional requirements above the federal standard.

Most former short-stay residents and information intermediaries in the focus groups emphasized that proximity to family and friends was a priority in selecting a nursing home Jacksonville, FL. In addition, they valued the recommendation of a physician or other provider and the availability of specific services.

Staffing ratios vary depending on a facility’s licensure status (chronic/convalescent home or rest home with nursing supervision), day and night shifts, and resident acuity level. These variations make it difficult to compare the quality of care between facilities with different staffing requirements. Furthermore, the ratios may not reflect the demand for direct care workers and might result in understaffing. As a result, some nursing homes hire fewer licensed nurses and staff in their facilities with fewer work hours for the licensed direct care staff.


A nursing home (a skilled nursing facility) provides various medical and personal care services. Depending on your loved one’s specific needs, a nursing home can offer anything from rehabilitation therapy to memory care and more.

Ask your loved ones what they would like to do in a nursing home, such as if they want to be close to family and friends or if they prefer to have a view of the outside world. They may want to be able to bring in familiar items such as a favorite blanket, photographs, or music.

When touring a nursing home, make sure to take note of its cleanliness. Look for a clean environment in the resident rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and dining areas. Also, how are the building and outdoor living areas maintained?


Whether you’re a senior considering moving to a nursing home or a recreational therapist working with older adults in such facilities, you might be surprised that nursing homes offer many fun activities. These include games, gardening, ice cream socials, and even birthday parties.

These activities aim to engage people and provide a sense of belonging. They also help to reduce loneliness and depression among nursing home residents.

Some examples of these activities include drawing, flower arranging, and origami. The latter is a fascinating craft that transforms a flat sheet of paper into intricate sculptures. Matching these activities with people’s physical and cognitive abilities can be challenging. Please inquire about the nursing homes’ activity schedules and whether they cater to the interests of specific residents.


As you consider nursing home choices, pay attention to finances. Costs vary by location and whether your loved one wants a private room or shared accommodations.

Medicare and Medicaid provide some financial support, but many seniors must use their assets to cover the remaining costs. Some seniors may purchase long-term care insurance to help with those out-of-pocket expenses.

The older adult transitioning to a nursing home should be part of the selection process, wherever possible. Invite them to visit prospective homes and ensure they can personalize their space with familiar belongings. In addition, they should be allowed to continue spending time with friends and family outside of the facility if that’s important to them. It may also be helpful for them to keep a job or hobby in the nursing home, as this can provide a sense of purpose and independence.