Signs to Look for in Nursing Homes

Oct 25

In any institution you walk into, you look at certain things to indicate the level of professionalism. In a restaurant, you note if the napkins are stained or dirty; in a hotel you check the carpet to see if it is cleaned regularly; in a preschool you check out the ratio of adults to children. In a nursing home, you need to be just as vigilant as this is for long-term care. Here are a few things that should send up red flags in your head when assessing a facility.

The staff appears aloof. In a nursing home, it is important that the staff is on good terms with the residents because this signals a level of personal commitment needed for long-term care. If a staff member doesn’t even call the residents by name, or use a condescending tone or language when addressing them this could mean imminent neglect or even abuse down the road.

Residents look cranky. This could merely be a sign of some mental illness, but in many cases residents are just old or unable to care for themselves physically, and should be able to interact socially. If the facility unreasonably restricts residents, such as preventing them from hanging pictures or adding any personal touches to their rooms, it is more likely to manifest as bad temper.

There is an unusual number of new staff. It is easy to spot someone who is new to a place; they don’t know where anything goes or seem a little confused when navigating the facility. This could mean high staff turnover, and that’s not a good sign. According to the website of Wisconsin law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® poorly trained staff is a common cause of neglect.

The facility where you see these signs in most cases has been cited for several violations if you do a search. Even if it hasn’t, you should give a facility a miss if you don’t feel comfortable about leaving a family member there. It does happen, though, that there aren’t a lot of options available, so the best you can do is be vigilant for any sign of abuse, neglect, or other types of maltreatment.

If you suspect that a nursing home has breached its duty to a family member, it is your duty to report it to the proper authorities. You may also be eligible to sue the facility for nursing home abuse. Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in your area to find out if you are.