Retirement Homes

6 Signs of an Untrustworthy Retirement Home

When an elderly friend or relative can no longer live independently, a retirement home is usually the best option. There are different levels of retirement homes, from those that offer private apartments where residents are able to have more independence to those that offer critical medical care to older people who are suffering from disease. Regardless of the type of nursing home your loved one needs, there are six key factors to look for to be sure that the retirement home is trustworthy.

  1. Lack of cleanliness: If you notice a strong odor of urine or heavy disinfectant, there is a chance that the retirement home is not as clean as it should be. Request to see a room that is occupied to determine how janitorial care is handled in the retirement home. Pay close attention to the cleanliness of residents and be sure that the staff is providing assistance to those who may no longer be able to handle daily hygiene.
  2. Lack of privacy: Even in a retirement home that offers critical medical care, residents should be offered as much privacy as possible. Staff should not be changing patients where other residents or visitors can see them or allowing them to perform private functions in public areas. Be sure to choose a retirement home where privacy is not only respected, but is expected by both staff and residents.
  3. Rudeness or disrespect: Staff at a retirement home should never be rude or disrespectful to residents or guests. A well-trained retirement home staff will understand that some common elderly diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, often cause patients to be unruly and disrespectful to staff and visitors. However, good retirement homes will offer significant training to staff to be sure they are well-versed in how to handle the side-effects of diseases that may cause personality changes.
  4. Few safety features: It is critical that elderly residents in retirement homes be provided added safety features that they may not have needed at home. Safety bars in showers and grab bars next to toilets are important as older people tend to lose balance more easily than younger people. Even in semi-independent retirement homes, there should be an intercom system so the residents can contact staff in case of an emergency.
  5. Inactive residents: Even residents who have significant disabilities should appear happy and engaged in retirement homes. A good retirement home should offer a variety of activities at many different activity levels in order to keep the residents active and involved. Research shows that the more active a senior citizen is, the longer they keep their mental faculties and, in some cases, their lives can be extended.
  6. Discrepancy between lobby decor and resident decor: If the lobby is brightly lit, well-decorated and welcoming, yet the residential areas of the retirement home are stark and barren, it is a sign that this may not be a trustworthy nursing home. Residents will respond better to brightly lit, comfortable, and attractive decor in the hallways and living areas so be sure to look for a retirement home that offers pleasant decor in the residential area as they do in public areas.