10 Nursing Red Flags You Need To Know About

We’ve all seen the videos that inspire our worst nightmares. Staff hitting residents and senior citizens getting neglected and verbally abused. These videos should be more than just a talking point at book club – you need to use this to your advantage to make sure that you choose a better home for your parents when that day arrives. When selecting the perfect nursing home facility for your loved ones, here are ten red flags that you need to know about:

Dirty Areas

When visiting or touring a potential nursing home, be on the lookout for dirty or unkempt areas because these are often a clear indication of a bigger problem at that facility. The reason for this could either be that they are not funded adequately, or there are mismanagement issues at play. Nursing homes need to be kept clean and tidy at all times; this is integral for the safety and wellbeing of the residents.

Broken Appliances

All of the appliances in nursing homes should be in good working order. Broken or faulty appliances can be a dangerous fire hazard, particularly for the residents who are elderly and cannot move quickly. In the event of a fire, most residents at a nursing home will be at the mercy of the employees. Inspect all appliances and light fittings closely before letting your loved one move in. Work on your financial plan so that you can send your loved one to one of the best homes in your area.

Bruises On Residents

As people get older, they tend to bruise easily. Sometimes this is because of chronic medications like blood thinners, but it is can also be due to our skin thinning over time. Don’t be alarmed if you notice that some of the residents have a bit of bruising or scrapes, older folks can also suffer from balance issues which can lead to them falling from time to time. However, if you notice multiple bruises on several residents – you need to consider that as a red flag. If possible, you need to also report your findings to your local police station or social welfare department. If your loved one has bruising that cannot be explained, you need to contact reputable lawyers like Lamber Goodnow for legal assistance and representation.

Outdated Policies

When visiting a potential facility for your loved one, be sure to check their safety and care policies. These policies need to be updated regularly, and the nursing home employees should receive the necessary refresher training for any changes made. An outdated or dusty policy file should set off warning bells in your head; if that facility’s policies have not been updated since the ‘80s, how can they expect to be able to keep their residents safe?

Lack Of Emergency Exits

Every nursing home should have demarcated emergency signage placed all around its facility. This is law in most places, but it is also common sense. Do an inspection and make sure that the staff and residents have a history of running safety drills at least twice a year as part of their evacuation plan. All emergency exits should have large print signs above each door because senior citizens often have trouble with their vision.

Trip Hazards

Trip hazards are bad news in any establishment. They are significantly worse news when they are found in facilities that are supposed to provide care to our senior citizens. Trip hazards often result in avoidable injuries that could lead to long-term injuries for the victims. Do a double check when you’re touring the facilities to spot cables that are loose, out of place, or crossing over walkways.

Stale Smells

The level of care given by nursing homes should be of a certain standard because when it is not, problems will arise quickly. If you notice an unusually stale smell in the air, that is usually an indication of a total lack of patient care which should immediately set off warning bells. Nursing homes should keep their residents and their facilities fresh and clean; this requires regular washing and clean of all areas within the establishment. The doors and windows should also be left open, where possible, to ensure a healthy flow of fresh, clean air throughout the home.

Expired Foods

When you are touring a potential nursing home, be sure to check their kitchen and pantry areas. This area should be kept meticulously clean to prevent bacteria and germs from building up. Food preparation areas can be a hotbed of illness-causing pathogens if the proper health and safety procedures are not sufficiently adhered to. Check the ingredients in the fridges and the pantry and make sure that nothing is out of date or spoiled.

Bed Sores

Bedsores are a terrible consequence of poor resident care. If your loved one is already in a nursing home, make sure that you check them regularly for these nasty sores. They can leave your loved one in terrible amounts of pain and put them at risk of developing an infection. Sometimes bedsores can develop within a few days, so you need to check your loved one at least twice a week.

Dirty Residents

All nursing home residents should be clean and be wearing clean clothing. If you notice that a few of the residents are dirty or it is clear that they have not bathed for days, then you need to alert the management and staff. All the great nursing homes will have a strict cleaning and bathing routine which is kept with all of their guests, which means that this should not be a regular occurrence. It is, however, still a red flag that you need to look out for.

Not all nursing homes offer sub-standard care; most of them take pride in their facilities and deserve recognition for that. This should not lead you to become complacent – your loved one deserves better than for you to just blindly assume that all is fine, and they are in good hands. Do your research and make sure you visit frequently to make sure that they are healthy and happy.


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