* Visit the home and speak to the person in charge. Look at the people staying there – do they look happy and comfortable?
* If you need specialised care, such as for dementia or Alzheimer's, check that the home can deliver it.
* Make sure the home is close to your friends and family so they can visit you often.
* Make sure the home is close to shops, clubs, church and other places you may wish to visit.
* Check that you can bring personal possessions into your home.
* Find out if the home has regular activities which you can take part in.
* If you intend to apply for Fair Deal, choose a home which is covered by the scheme. You can get a list of such homes by looking on the HSE website.
* If you are footing the entire bill for nursing home care yourself, make sure the Revenue Commissioners has approved the home for tax relief – otherwise, you will lose out on a valuable tax break.