Skip to Content
Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
Free Consultations 505-219-2176

What to Look for When Choosing a Care Facility

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is not as uncommon as it should be. According to the World Health Organization, in 2021, approximately one in six people over 59 years old suffered from some type of abuse in a care facility or community setting. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of elder abuse increased and two in three staff members reported that committed abuse in long-care facilities.

While women, people with past trauma, and people with health issues like dementia are at a greater risk of becoming a victim of elder abuse, any elderly person in a long-term care facility could be a victim of nursing home abuse. However, many nursing homes are working to provide a safe and happy environment for their residents. In this article, we will discuss the factors to consider in selecting a nursing home.

Qualities of a Great Nursing Home: What to Look for

When you tour a facility, you can help protect yourself or a loved one by knowing what to look for around the facility. Here are 10 signs that a nursing home is a great facility.

  1. Amenities. While touring, you can look for a health and wellness center, a library, a salon or barbershop, and other on-site amenities. Facilities that have on-site amenities or a doctor’s office can really make a resident feel cared for and at home.
  2. Comfortable environment. If you notice strange odors, unclean areas, or a lack of décor, this care facility may be a great place for your loved one. However, if the facility and rooms are pleasant (in terms of cleanliness and décor) and the facility appears to be a comfy place for residents, that is a good sign.
  3. Community feeling. While you walk through the facility, pay attention to how residents interact with one another as well as staff. If the staff treats residents respectfully and residents seem to be encouraged to socialize and establish relationships, this facility is great for residents’ quality of life.
  4. Fun activities. During the tour, you can ask about or should notice planned activities happening. A great facility will have activities, involving entertainment, exercise, music, and faith-based services, planned throughout the week multiples times per day.
  5. Outdoor space. Great care facilities should allow their residents access to the outdoors and should have outdoor seating, safe walking paths, manicured grass, and shaded areas.
  6. Pets and plants. Some facilities have therapy animals or plant life that residents can take care of or have visits with to improve their moods and make the facility feel even more like home. In some cases, a care facility may invite school-aged children to interact with the residents as well.
  7. Pleasant dining options. During your tour, you should look at the food that is offered to residents and take note of the dining atmosphere. Are residents eating together with staff present? Does the food look well prepared and nutritious?
  8. Resident-centered living. Residents should have their views and wishes honored. You should ask whether the facility respects residents’ opinions concerning their schedule and activities with respect to what’s best for their health.
  9. Skilled staff. Nursing home staff should be available 24/7 (even on holidays) to help and attend to residents. You can ask about the staff-to-resident ratio and be mindful of whether you notice residents sitting alone or going unheard.
  10. Visitors. Family and friends should be able to visit at any (reasonable) time; take note of the visiting hours and guests you may notice while on your tour of the facility.

Additional Considerations for When You Are Choosing a Nursing Home

To make the best and safest choice possible, you should also consider the following factors when choosing a nursing home.

  • Location. You should consider how far the nursing home is from your and/or other loved ones. While you may be willing to drive an hour or so to visit, that may get tiresome later or be difficult during the week.
  • Staff qualifications. You should investigate the qualifications that the staff members (i.e. licenses, training certificates, etc.) have as well as whether they are given access to additional educational resources.
  • Red flags. If you have a bad feeling about a facility or have noticed some concerning things, you should consider them during your search for a nursing home. Red flags can include but are not limited to the facility having a bad reputation, failing to hire enough qualified staff, or being unclean.

Contact Our Firm Today

At Michael Doyle, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to helping families pursue a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit. If your loved one suffered an injury or died because of negligence, you can seek compensation for your damages. With over 20 years of experience, our attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options, establish liability, and calculate the damages owed.

To learn more about how we can help you, schedule a case consultation today by reaching out online or calling (505) 219-2176 today.