Have you thought about how difficult transitioning away from home and into a nursing home facility may be? If you think this is difficult, consider the trouble of moving to a nursing home fraught with problems and the potential for abuse. It could be a nightmarish scenario to be avoided at all costs. The best defense is for families to educate themselves about warning signs prior to making a decision.
Let us take a look at seven red-flag areas that elder adults and their adult children should be aware of:
1, Safety. There may be no substitute for visiting a nursing home prior to signing a contract and moving in. Several visits may be best. The first item to gauge should be whether the facility is in a safe neighborhood and the entrances and exits are sufficiently protected.
2. Staff. You can learn a lot about a nursing home from its staff. Are they polite and attentive? Well-kept and professional? Are they distant, overworked, and perhaps disrespectful? Pay close attention to how staff members interact with elder residents.
3. Management Availability. Nursing home administrators and nursing directors should be on-site and approachable. If they are not, that could be a problem. Make an appointment to discuss your questions or concerns prior to making a final decision, and do not be overly influenced on how attractive the facility may look. Evaluate the responses to your questions and the commitment to follow-up communications.
4. Cleanliness. There should be no excuse for dirty common areas, cafeterias, or resident rooms. Failure to maintain a clean facility puts vulnerable seniors at risk of infection and other health problems. Failing to help residents maintain basic hygiene could be a sign of neglect, which is a form of elder abuse.
5. Noise. It may seem insignificant, but a loud environment can agitate aging adults and fuel unhealthy anxieties. Excessive noise can be particularly harmful for seniors with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and similar disorders.
6. Flexibility. A quality nursing home should provide choices relating to a range of issues, such as meals, family visitations, and activities. While safety and critical health protocols should never be optional, a lack of flexibility in food choices and other general matters may be a red flag.
7. Expression of Values. If there is a large gap between a nursing home’s professed values and the practical expression of those values, then walk away. It is not worth risking the safety of a vulnerable loved one.
Other warnings signs may not be as easy to spot, including issues contained in nursing home contracts and other items. In any case, our office can help you navigate these challenges. Give us a call today to schedule a meeting with us.