Salter Healthcare is now part of the Stellar Health Group family!

What to Look for in a Skilled Nursing Facility

The process of finding a skilled nursing facility (SNF) for yourself or a loved one can be an overwhelming with the amount of options available. Whether the stay will be short-term or long-term, it’s important to ask questions and consider a variety of factors to determine which facility is right for you.

Care Services

SNF are there to provide care for those that are not able to care for themselves at home. Each facility is different and has a variety of services available to its patients depending on their needs. When visiting these facilities, ask these questions:

  • Does the facility offer specialty care programs to enhance my capabilities?
  • Does the facility provide physician coverage if my doctor cannot follow up at the center?
  • I therapy available to the patients, including Saturdays and Sundays?
  • Are there any other patients with my medical problem? How many people have been care for with this medical condition
  • How long do therapy sessions last?
  • How are prescription drugs ordered and administered?
  • Are patents and family members encourage to participate in developing a care plan?
  • What rehab equipment is used in the facility?

Licensure and Certifications

While one would assume a skilled nursing facility would have all of the certificates and licensure that is required of them, it’s still important to confirm that they do by asking the following questions:

  • Does the center have a formal quality assurance program?
  • Has the center received any awars or additional certifications that make it stand out against others?
  • Is the center covered by Medicare and Medicaid?
  • Is the center licenses in the state?


Just like a hotel, gym facility, or apartment complex, amenities vary from location to location. Some skilled nursing facilities are 30-40 years old but have been renovated over the years to feature state-of-the-art technology and modern updates whereas others haven’t been renovated since they first opened. The center is going to be your home away from home and should feel like one. Consider the amenities that are deal breakers, the amenities you can live without, and the amenities you absolutely do not want.

  • How old is the building and when was the last time it was renovated?
  • Are there private and semi-private rooms available?
  • Is there a robust activities program available to keep residents active and engaged?
  • Is there internet access? Is it an additional cost or is it free to its users?
  • Are there private phone lines and televisions available? What are the costs associate with both?
  • Are there private areas outside of my room to meet with my guests?
  • What is the menu like? Is there a sample menu available? Am I allowed to choose my own food?
  • Are there different meal choices and snacks available?
  • Are options available to accomodate special diets?
  • Is there outside areas for residents to spend time?
  • Are personal articles and furniture allowed in the rooms?
  • Are cultural, religious, and language needs met for each of the residents?

Staff Members

  • How many staff members will be caring for me?
  • How many staff members are on duty at once?
  • How many RNs are on the staff?
  • What is the staff to patient/resident ratio?
  • What is the average tenure of staff
  • How many physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists are part of the staff? How often do they work?
  • Does the staff knock before entering a resident’s room?
  • Is a thorough background check performed on each of the staff members?

Costs and Fees

Although you might not have a choice about needing a skilled nursing facility, understanding the costs and fees associated with the facility is extremely important. Knowing what is covered under Medicare, Medicaid or your private insurace and what you are responsible for paying out of pocket before entering a facility is crucial. Any facility will be able to assess your financial situation and eligibility so you are aware right off the bat. Be sure to inquire about any monthly fees for television, phone, transportation, and other service fees.

When choosing a skilled nursing facility, it is important to consider all of the options and have all of your questions answered to determine which center will be the best fit. Review the information you have been given, speak with staff members i you have the opportunity to tour a SNF. Take time to observe the interaction between the people at the facility.

For answers to any of your SNF-related questions or to set up an appointment to visit one of our facilities, please give our experienced staff members a call at (781) 729-2200.

Book A Tour

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Skip to content