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Nursing home red flags: Beware of these when making a choice

When the time comes to help one or both of your parents move into a nursing home, it's safe to say that you'll have many questions and concerns. While your mind may never be 100% at ease, it's critical to take steps to ensure that they're moving into the perfect facility for them.

Here are some red flags to watch for when visiting and choosing a nursing home:

  • Chaos: Are residents wandering around with no idea of what they are doing? Are nurses spending more time on their phone than doing their job? The last thing you want to see at a nursing home is chaos, as it increases the risk of something going wrong.
  • No one to talk to: When your loved one has a question or concern, they must be able to find someone who can address it. The same holds true if you personally need to get in touch with someone on the nursing staff or a member of the administrative team. There should always be someone to talk to, regardless of what you need.
  • Bad odors: Medical facilities are known for having bad odors, which can make it difficult to live a comfortable life. The best nursing home facilities are the ones that are able to keep these odors to a minimum.
  • Issues with cleanliness: This covers a variety of areas, such as debris on the floor, dirty bathrooms and rooms that are unkempt.
  • Ever changing prices: Yes, nursing home costs can and will change over time, but this isn't something you should expect to deal with every week. Ask about pricing up front, including how long it's good for and the circumstances that are likely to change the numbers.

If you spot any of these red flags at a nursing home you're considering, it's best to cross it off your short list and move on. There are enough available facilities that you shouldn't have to take a risk when it comes to the health and care of your loved one.

Along the way, lean heavily on the long-term care plan implemented by your loved one, as this will help with everything from choosing a facility to paying for care.

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