A care facility should be a home away from home. Finding the right place for a family member, friend or loved one isn’t a decision you’ll take lightly.

You know that no two care facilities are quite the same. Before you settle on a decision, you should weigh your options to make the best choice. If you need a little help with the decision-making process, be sure to steer clear of facilities that demonstrate any of these red flags.

1. Overworked Staff and Non-Present Administrators or Leaders

After first stepping foot into a care facility’s front doors, the last thing you want to see are staff members who look drained, tired and generally overworked. If you look around for a leader or administrator and have difficulty locating one, take this as a red flag that the residents aren’t receiving the optimal care they deserve.

Overworked staff are likely to struggle to perform their best work as well. For your loved one’s benefit, seek out a facility that is properly staff and with the correct leaders always on hand.

2. All Choices Are Pre-made

While routine is important, having choices and a sense of freedom is equally as crucial at a care facility, too. Although certain activities benefit from a schedule — such as when residents receive breakfast or take their medicine — too much monotony strips people of the decision-making process.

The level of behavioral health problems in older adults is projected to reach 15 million affected patients by 2030. Since autonomy and freedom play key roles in keeping individuals stimulated and mentally healthy, find a facility that caters to these needs.

3. Noisy Surroundings

When you first enter a care facility, be mindful of the level of noise. Noisy sounds can agitate elder guests, especially those with dementia or another health concern.

Nature is a great buffer against noise pollution, so it may be a bad sign if there aren’t any scenic areas for guests to relax in outdoors. Strive to find a home that is quiet and mindful of loud noises when exploring your options.

4. Poor Staff-to-Patient Interactions

One of the most important red flags you should be on the lookout for involves the staff and their interaction with the patients. If the staff appears rude, cold or generally unsatisfied when working with the residents, it serves as a warning sign for how they’ll act with your loved one when they’re at the facility.

Compassionate care is vital for guests of all ages, health states and backgrounds. When your loved one gets sick, who do you envision caring for them when they’re in need? Since research studies connect kindness to healing capabilities, finding a facility with friendly staff is key. Staff members should always strive to be loving and engaging with the patients. If they’re less-than-warm at a given facility, explore your other available options.

5. Strict Visiting Hours

If a nursing home director emphasizes the importance of stopping by only during visiting hours, consider taking your business elsewhere.

You want to have the freedom to drop in on your loved one when its convenient you and the individual — not the nursing facility. Staff should be on hand at all times, so there should never be a reason for you to limit your visiting hours.

Get ahead of the search process for a care facility by knowing all of the key warning signs that indicate a location isn’t the best fit. With the proper resources and knowledge, you’ll find it easy to find your loved one a new living space they’ll call facilityhome.

Written by Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews writes about medical technologies and news developments for publications like The Week, BioMed Central and Kareo's Go Practice Blog. To read more posts by Kayla, visit her on Twitter @KaylaEMatthews or check out her website: http://productivitybytes.com.

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  1. Two more things. How long has administrator been there, and how many admins in last ten years? And, what is the retention rate of the staff?

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