Consumer Guide

The Long-term Care Consumer Guide

Do you want to find out if the food tastes good at a particular nursing home?  Or do you want to learn if residents are treated with respect, are offered interesting activities to enjoy or if the aides are kind in their caregiving?

The answers to those questions and much more information is available from the Long –term Care Consumer Guide.  The Guide is an interactive resource that includes information about nursing homes and residential care facilities in Ohio, such as size, location, services offered, customer satisfaction, regulatory compliance, performance measures and more.

Family members of nursing home residents are surveyed periodically about the care their loved ones receive. The Guide includes their responses along with responses from residents of nursing homes and assisted living centers who were surveyed.

Some of the questions residents are asked include:  Do the people who work here let you make choices about the things you want to do for yourself? Do the therapists spend enough time with you? Can you get outdoors when you want to?

Looking at this site can save you trouble, time and even money, and can help you determine where you or someone you love will receive good care.

Below are some tips on how to use the Guide

How to Select?

There are almost 1,000 nursing homes in the state of Ohio.  How do you determine which will meet your needs?  The first steps involve reviewing the possibilities to narrow your selection:

Location. Use the geographic search function to find nursing homes within a comfortable travel distance from friends and family

Services.  Review the services each nursing home offers for those that will meet your needs.  Each facility may indicate on the Long-Term Care Consumer Guide the special services they offer.  Does the facility's description of services match the medical, social and community connections you desire?

Quality Indicators. All consumers of long-term care services deserve excellent care.  The Long-Term Care Consumer Guide contains the following information about each nursing home licensed by the State of Ohio and/or certified for Medicaid/Medicare by the federal government.  The Guide contains the following information about each nursing home licensed by the State of Ohio and/or certified for Medicaid/Medicare by the federal government:

  • Inspection Reports, from the Ohio Department of Health, provide information on nursing home compliance with state and federal law.
  • Facility Details, such as the special services provided, the religious or fraternal affiliations, accreditation, costs, and staffing ratios, are provided by the facilities.
  • Family Satisfaction Survey Scores reflect the opinions of family members of nursing home residents at a point in time and provide clues for you when evaluating a home for yourself or your family or friend. You may view a spreadsheet of overall satisfaction scores for nursing homes.
  • Resident Satisfaction Survey Scores reflect the perceptions of nursing home and residential care (assisted living) facility residents gathered through face-to-face surveys. Spreadsheets of overall satisfaction scores for nursing homes and overall satisfaction scores for residential care facilities are available.

Review the quality information available particularly for the medical, social, and spiritual needs that you or your loved one have.

Costs. Confirm with the facility staff that the nursing homes you consider will accept your insurance coverage, Medicaid or Medicare or that the rates are within your ability to pay privately.

Visit. Once you've narrowed your list of possibilities, it is very important to visit the homes you're considering.  If possible, you should visit multiple times and at different times of day to get a good sense of what the home is like on a day-to-day basis.  Speak with current residents and their families about their experiences.  Use this list below from the Department of Aging to ask the administration about the facility’s performance.

Positive observations

  • The interactions between residents and staff are marked by friendliness, patience and respect. Staff seem to know the residents well, call them by name, and know what they like and don’t like.
  • Staff knock before entering residents’ rooms and residents have privacy available to them, even in shared rooms.
  • Look for residents engaged in age-appropriate activities, able to get outside, or able to rest comfortably.
  • Meal service is appetizing and the dining room(s) are appealing.  Residents are assisted with eating, if needed.


  • Loud overhead paging and call lights going unanswered.
  • Staff clustered around nurse’s stations without interacting with residents.  Residents grouped in front of the nurse’s station with nothing to do, slumped in wheelchairs.
  • Meals are served late, aren’t appealing, or served at the wrong temperatures.  Residents left unassisted in front of their meals or not served at the same time as their table-mates.
  • Residents dressed inappropriately for the weather or in gowns or clothing that doesn’t sufficiently cover their bodies.  Residents’ personal grooming is not dignified.
  • Poor maintenance or cleanliness in the resident and common areas.  Pervasive odors, unwashed linens.

If you don't have access to a computer, you can call us at 223-4613 or 1-800-395-8267.