Nursing home warning signsU.S. News and World Report, putting out annual rankings and ratings, has served as a barometer for determining elderly care quality. To give guidance in this regard, the publication recently put out a list about the five traits of the worst nursing homes.

While you can read the full report at the link above, their points are summarized as follows:

Check for a History of Violations: It’s fairly simple, often with just an internet search or looking through local databases, to find out if a nursing home has a history of violations. Ideally, these touch on health inspections, the patient-to-staffing ratio, and the quality of care.

Number of Severe Violations: In line with the point above, not all violations are created equal. That said, once you find a nursing home with such a history, determine what they are: Are they about patient safety, including negligence and abuse, or is it a fine for a minor cleanliness issue?

Staff Turnover Rates: Do staff members leave quickly after starting a new job, or have they been there for several years? As well, take a look in person for how the staff interacts with the residents. Do the patients seem comfortable, happy, and well groomed, or fearful and showing signs of hygiene neglect?

Level of Independence: No elderly person should be kept in a prison-like environment, and in response, U.S. News recommends observing patients’ autonomy, particularly if they can make decisions about their whereabouts and setting, within reason. As well, notice how many objects and activities are at wheelchair user-level height and if the staff speaks in a condescending tone to residents.

What’s Your Gut Feeling?: If you set foot in the nursing home, do you feel comfortable, or do you feel uneasy? Understand that if you get such a sensation during a temporary, brief visit, residents may feel this way the entire time they’re in care.

Trantolo & Trantolo has made our recommendations concerning nursing homes, as well. Some include researching citations, spotting
signs of neglect for basic needs and care, and determining first the
level of care your loved one requires.