Wheelchair sitting next to window in a nursing home

5 Red Flags in a Nursing Home

Deciding to put a loved one in a nursing home is never easy, but it's crucial to be vigilant about potential red flags. Neglect, mistreatment, or inadequate care can cause immense stress and anguish for the resident and their family. By being aware of the warning signs, you can help ensure that your loved one receives the best possible care.

1. The Facility Isn’t Clean

It’s essential to look closely at the facility's cleanliness. A nursing home that is unclean or in disrepair can be a red flag for an unsafe environment. Poorly maintained nursing homes may have staff not adequately trained in infection control, leading to a higher risk of illness for residents.

In addition, an unclean nursing home may indicate a lack of resources, which can impact the quality of care residents receive. If you notice any red flags during your visit to a nursing home, it’s essential to ask questions and do additional research to ensure your loved one will be safe and comfortable there.

2. Residents are Unhappy

When looking for a nursing home, paying attention to the residents is crucial. If the residents seem unhappy, it is a red flag that the nursing home might not be a good place to live. Unhappy residents may be neglected or treated poorly—they may not be getting the care they deserve. If you see unhappy residents in a nursing home, it is best to look for another nursing home.

3. The Visiting Policy is Confusing

Paying attention to the facility's visiting hours is important if you have a loved one in a nursing home. While nursing homes vary in their policies, most allow friends and family members to come and go as they please. However, some nursing homes have extremely restricted visiting hours, which can be a red flag.

Visiting hours that are too restrictive can signal that the nursing home is trying to limit contact between residents and the outside world. This may be because the staff is overworked and doesn't have time to supervise visitors or because the nursing home is trying to hide something. If you're concerned about restricted visiting hours, talk to the nursing home administrator and ask why they have such strict policies in place. In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate more flexible visiting hours.

4. The Facility has Bad Reviews

When you're researching nursing homes, it's vital to pay attention to reviews. Although no nursing home is perfect, those with consistently bad reviews is a red flag. Poorly-rated nursing homes are likely to have staffing problems, which can lead to lower quality of care. In addition, nursing homes with bad reviews are often dirty and in poor repair. This can create an unsafe environment for residents, who are already vulnerable.

If you're considering a nursing home that has bad reviews, take the time to visit the facility and speak to staff and residents. This will give you a better sense of whether or not the nursing home is a good fit for your loved one.

5. The Staff Speaks Negatively About Their Residents

The last red flag to look out for is if the staff speaks negatively about the residents. This could indicate that the staff is not adequately trained or overworked and understaffed. If the staff is unhappy, this will likely result in poor care for the residents.

Nursing homes with high staff turnover rates may also be more likely to have problems with care quality. When touring nursing homes, ask about the staff turnover rate and whether any complaints have been filed against the facility. By doing your research, you can help your loved one receives the best possible care.

Identifying red flags in nursing homes is crucial to your loved one’s health and safety. However, sometimes the red flags can be harder to identify than others. If your loved one was placed in a neglectful facility, the Michles & Booth, P.A. team is here to help.

Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

Our Florida nursing home abuse attorneys are here to help your family during your time of need. If you believe that your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, our team can help you file a claim, and we’ll be here with you from start to finish. We offer free consultations and do not charge any fees unless we reach a successful resolution in your case.

To get in touch with one of our attorneys, call us at (800) 848-6168 or fill out a consultation request form.


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