Skilled Nursing Facilities in California

How to Find Skilled Nursing Facilities in California

Finding skilled nursing facilities in California isn’t an easy task, but it’s important to make sure that you can find the perfect one, even if it takes time.  After all, the nursing facility will be the one who’s going to take care of your loved ones, especially if you think that they are no longer able to live on their own. Whether they are your mother, father or spouse, it is important that you find the nursing home that is the best fit for them.

There are lots of factors that you need to take into consideration when looking for skilled nursing facilities in California. Taking things one step at a time can make things easier and possibly faster as well. If you know what to look for, then it will only be a matter of days and you can find the perfect facility for your loved one.

Here are some tips on finding the best facility for senior living in California.

Ask Around

This is the first and most important step in our process. A good senior housing facility in California will also have a good reputation and their satisfied clients will also be the one who’ll be recommending them. It’s like a particular barber shop, if you loved their services, you’ll be glad to recommend them to a friend, right? You can ask your doctor, friend, relative, neighbor and clergy about their experiences in a particular senior living facility. There are many skilled nursing facilities in California, and watering them down to a list of the best among the best will be easier if you get recommendations.

Going for a Visit

Once you’ve got a handful of promising skilled nursing facilities in California, it’s time to visit them on foot. There’s no best way to survey a senior home other than visiting the facility yourself. Now is the time to make a call and request appointments for tours. When it comes to the visiting time, it’s generally a good idea to visit the facility twice a day in order to get a good picture about how things are at different times of the day. Next, what to do during a visit.

Inspecting the Quality of Life

Now that you’re inside the senior living facility, it’s time to keep an observing eye and ask a lot of questions. Don’t be shy, after all, you’ll be leaving your loved one to the hands of the facility’s staff.  Here’s a bullet point list of the things you need to check and ask to yourself during the visit/inspection of the facility:

  • When asking questions, how did the staff respond? Were they respectful and friendly?
  • Do they offer any social, cultural, religious and recreational activities? Are those activities important to you or your loved one? If you happen to witness an on­going activity, how did you felt about it? Do you think your loved one will like it?
  • Is it okay to choose the waking time, bed time and bathing time?
  • How easy it is to get a food? Can one get food anytime? If you can, ask for a food and try it yourself. Does it look and taste good?
  • How about visitors? Can there be visitors anytime?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Is there a means of transportation provided?
  • Is there a telephone and TV in the room?
  • Is it possible to decorate the room the way you want?
  • Visit and inspect every place you can inside the facility and make sure that the nursing home is clean.
  • Check how much privacy one can have.
  • Check if the temperature is comfortable.
  • Make sure that there is good natural lighting.

Judging from your hands on experience in the senior living facility, you should be able to get a much better picture of the overall quality of the facility. But that’s not where everything ends. While still on visit, you also need to see how good the quality of care is.

Inspecting the Quality of Care

There appears to be a good quality of life, but that’s only a part of it. What’s much more important is the quality of care for the senior citizens living in the facility. First and foremost, a certified Medicare/Medicaid provider meets all 150 requirements that encompass cleanliness and safe food storage all the way up to protecting the residents from any physical and mental abuse. Upon your visit, you should ask for a copy of the State Survey Agency’s inspection report. This agency performs an inspection of senior living facilities in order to ensure that they meet those requirements. Another good option is to compare skilled nursing facilities in California via Medicare’s official website at

Getting a copy of the care plan is also a good idea. The care plan is based on the current health status of your loved one and should be assessed in the first 14 days and then at least every 90 days thereafter.

In addition to that, ask who the doctors are and if you can see them. It is also a good idea to inform yourself about the improvement goals the senior housing facility is currently working on.

Finally, ask the nursing assistants if they work a lot and if there are any overtimes and/or double shifts. If that’s the case, it’s a good indication that the nursing facility is understaffed, which can affect the quality of care.


Checking the professionalism of the facilities’ staffing is another thing to look for. The federal law states that there should be enough nursing staff on a senior living facility. It is required to have at  least one RN for at least 8 straight hours, 7 days a week and either an RN or LPN (Licensed Practical  Nurse) on duty 24 hours a day. The following questions can help you determine the staff’s standards further:

  • Do they wear nametags?
  • Do they knock on the door before entering?
  • Do they know the residents by name?
  • Is there a licensed doctor on staff on a daily basis?

Those processes and tips outlined above should be enough to help you find the top skilled nursing facilities in California. Now that you’ve made your visits, it’s time to make the big decision. By carefully analyzing the information you got during your visits, I’m sure that you’ll be able to find the  best facility for your loved one.