Nursing homes are often in the news, and the news is rarely good. When a loved one requires long-term care, it’s easy to become paralyzed with indecision. You’ve heard the horror stories. The last thing you want to do is place your loved one in a facility where they are at risk of abuse or neglect. However, there are some warning signs you should be on the lookout for. Doing so can help you remove less than ideal nursing homes from your list.
The facility appears rundown
How a nursing home appears can speak volumes about the level of care the residents receive. You may wish to think twice if common areas are dimly lit or if the facility’s temperature is kept at an uncomfortable level. Other areas of concern are overwhelming odors or the presence of clutter. You will want to ensure that your loved one’s facility is comfortable and hygienic.
The residents appear to be lacking in care
The appearance of the facility is not the only appearance that matters. You should also pay particular attention to how the residents look. Do they seem well-groomed and clean? Is their dress appropriate for the weather or time of day? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” you should probably keep looking.
The facility appears understaffed
Many problems with nursing homes can be traced back to staffing shortages. The lack of qualified staff or a high turnover rate should give you pause. Observe how the staff treats the residents. Does the staff appear harried or stressed? If so, you may want to move on.
There is a history of abuse at the facility
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid has created an easy to identify icon on their nursing home compare website. A white hand in a red circle means that the home has received a citation for abuse or neglect within the last two years. It goes without saying that the presence of this icon should be a major red flag.
If you already have a loved one in a long-term care facility and are concerned about suspected abuse or neglect, you should discuss your options with a skilled legal professional.