a nursing home for you or a loved one can seem a very daunting and stressful task.

There are however some basic things you should consider and research.

Check the HIQA website for a list of nursing homes in your areas. Look at the HIQA inspection reports. These reports reflect a moment in time but they can assist you in making an informed decision.

When there, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Pay attention to the following:

Your First Impression

  • Was it welcoming and friendly?
  • Clean and pleasantly furnished?
  • Did the staff and residents seem happy and well cared for?
  • Are there other residents with similar care needs?
  • Can the nursing home provide care for those with special needs e.g. dementia, disability, etc


  • Is the nursing home located close enough for friends and family to visit?
  • What are the nursing home grounds like?

Care Provided

  • What types of care – long term, short tem, convalescentm respite care, etc – does the nursing home provide?
  • How is the residents care plan drawn up and how often is it reviewed?
  • Is there access to a doctor at all times, if required?
  • Do other health professionals such as chiropody, physiotherapy and occupational therapy visit regularly?


  • Are there many communal rooms?
  • Are there places where residents can spend time in private with guests?
  • Is there easy access for wheelchairs and walking frames?
  • Are there toilets within easy reach of all parts of the nursing home? Are there handrails in the toilets and corridors?
  • Is there a safe garden that residents can enjoy and spend time in?
  • Will you be able to practice your religion? – Is there a chapel onsite or is mass celebrated?
  • How secure is the home?


  • Are there single rooms with their own bathroom and toilet en-suite?
  • Can you see the room that is available?
  • If you have to share a room, can you meet the other person?
  • Can you bring some of your own furniture and belongings, photographs?
  • Can you have at telephone or TV in your room?


  • What is a typical schedule for meal?
  • Do menus give you a choice of dishes?
  • Can special diets be catered for?
  • Can you have a snack/drink when you want?
  • Can relatives and friends have a meal with you?


  • Is there on onsite time activities coordinator?
  • What is the weekly plan of activities?
  • Are residents consulted on what hobbies/interests they have?
  • What form of exercise, if any, are residents encouraged to partake in?
  • Is it possible to take part in activities/trips outside the home?
  • Do local groups visit the nursing home?


  • How many residents are there?
  • Are there set visiting times for family and friends?
  • Are there house rules?

Nursing Home Management

  • Who is owner or the manager of the nursing home?
  • How long have they been managing the nursing home?
  • Who is the Person in Charge of the nursing home?
  • Is there a qualified registered general nurse on duty and in charge of the nursing home at all times?
  • What training do staff receive?
  • What’s included in the weekly fee and what are ‘extra’ charges?
  • What would be covered in your agreement/contract of care?

We welcome you to come and see for yourself, all Blake Manor Nursing Home has to offer. To arrange a visit, contact Aideen on 091 796188 or email