5 Red Flags to Look Out for When Selecting a Nursing Home

By on April 22, 2021

Deciding to move you or a loved one into a nursing home or assisted living center is a difficult decision to make but it doesn’t have to be traumatic. Sometimes we reach a stage in life where we require help to perform our daily tasks and there is no shame in that, you are not a failure as a child or as a person if you are considering making this important move. Not all nursing homes are the same and they don’t all provide the same level of care. Unfortunately, there are homes run by unscrupulous individuals who don’t care about the well-being of their residents. Here are 5 red flags that you need to be on the lookout for:

  • Cleanliness

Look out for signs that the care home isn’t clean or doesn’t prioritize cleanliness. Pay special attention to the areas used the most and the current residents. Unless the residents are wearing clean clothes and are well-groomed then that could be a sign of negligence from the caretakers. It would be wise to visit the facility on 2 consecutive days to make sure the residents are wearing a clean and fresh set of clothing every day, if they are not then take that as a sign that they are not properly cared for.

  • Fear Culture

Pay special attention to the residents and the junior staff members, if they look scared or anxious then this is a bad sign. The signs can be tough to spot at first but once you read their body language you will soon be able to tell if they are afraid. Be sure to look for signs of fear culture in the establishment by asking the junior staff members how they are treated and how the residents are treated – often the senior staff members will lie and tell you what you want to hear but the junior staff members may speak more freely.

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  • Empty Facility

Unless the nursing home is in the middle of a nap time then it should be busy. Good nursing homes offer a host of activities for their residents such as music or art classes, seniors yoga and even bingo. You should be able to see the residents having fun, if the place looks empty because all the residents are confined to their rooms then that is a sign of something more sinister going on. Senior citizens need to keep their minds and bodies active and lying in bed all day is detrimental to their health.

  • Poor Maintenance

Have a look around the nursing home for signs that there is no maintenance being done to the building and the rooms. Look for broken cables, cracked windows, overloaded plug sockets, and missing lightbulbs. Make a note of your findings as you tour through the facility to review later. A missing lightbulb here or there can be normal but too many things on your list can be a sign that there is not enough funding and that is a problem. 

  • Friendliness

Question the staff on duty and ask them basic questions like, “What do you serve for lunch?” Or, “Where are the toilets?” You can learn a lot from the answer you get and how they give that answer. Any staff member of a reputable home will be more than happy to answer your basic questions. If they are not polite or they seem irritated by your questions, then that could be a sign that staff member is overworked and therefore unable to provide decent care.

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5 Red Flags to Look Out for When Selecting a Nursing Home