Moving a loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility should be treated like a new chapter in life, not an imprisonment. Plenty of nursing homes have empathetic staff, comfortable living conditions, and a variety of recreational programs designed to keep residents active.
However, there are still shady facilities out there. Dangerous nursing homes can wreak havoc on your loved one’s quality of life, so be wary of these signs your loved one may be in a bad place.
A Downturn in Mood
Some seniors are always going to have a curmudgeonly edge, especially when moving into assisted living. However, if you notice that your once-friendly loved one has grown crabby or depressed, ask them what would help them feel better. They could be longing for something—more adequate food, engaging activities, even just someone to talk to—that the facility doesn’t provide.
Changes in Weight
Speaking of food, any nursing home worth its salt provides its residents with nutritious meals that taste good. If you see a significant decrease in your loved one’s weight, they may be malnourished. Discuss your concerns with the staff, because part of their job is to make sure residents are healthy and safe.
High Staff Turnover
Do you see a new group of employees on the nursing home floor every time you visit your loved one? Facilities with high rates of turnover are more likely to let residents slip through the cracks. Residents and visitors alike should be able to get to know the staff. Plus, you want to be assured that your loved one’s care isn’t left to a revolving door of inexperienced new hires.
Is your loved one getting enough attention from the staff? When nursing home employees are flighty and bounce from task to task, residents can wander or elope from the grounds when staff aren’t looking. An inattentive staff is bound to be neglectful. Your loved one deserves to feel safe and cared for in their nursing home.
An Unpleasant Feeling
When you walk into your loved one’s nursing home, do you see any smiling faces? Is the facility clean and well-lit? Listen to your gut, because it picks up on cues your conscious mind may not. A dingy-looking nursing home full of grouchy faces is bound to have deep-seated problems. If residents and staff alike are unhappy, there are probably reasons why.
Nursing homes and other senior living facilities can be lively, engaging places to spend one’s golden years. However, if you notice any of these unpleasant signs, your loved one may be in a subpar or even dangerous nursing home. Visit them often and listen to their concerns to help improve their quality of life.