Red flags are quite different from “what to look for” while touring an assisted living, memory care or board and care. They are a “things” not to miss!
1. Most of the residents are seated in wheel chairs. The excellent standard of care is to transfer the residents frequently to a normal chair or recliner throughout the day, (if safe). No one wants to sit in a wheel chair all day!
2. A lack of activities: look for a live interactive activity, such as music, art, or even games. This would not be a movie with an assistant sitting there watching it.
3. A diabetic program: what does it include? Do they serve a real diabetic menu? Can you see one? For the insulin dependent, there must be at least licensed nurse over the course of 16 hours in order to give excellent care and injections, as well as checking sugar levels.
4. Who is assisting with medications? A red flag, is when a caregiver is giving medications! It is best for a medical technician to dispense medications. Also, are
the medical technicians trained? Are they tested?
5. In memory care, is there still a resident counsel for them or their families to voice their concerns or suggestions? To be informed of their rights?
Are the state approved “resident rights” posted or given out?
6. How do the nurses or staff communicate a resident’s change of condition? Do they send a monthly report? Do they call or communicate often? A red flag is if you read the state report and there are lots of real care complaints rather than non-care complaints.
Many times, former employees can make complaints to form a case against the facility. They are “lead complaints” leading to help their “case” which are not always in the best interest of care. A real compliant has to do with the food, care or even a lack of care.
7. Another red flag: A lack of spiritual care. If a facility does not have a chaplain, pastor or priest, it shows another lack of a comprehensive program. Residents still want to worship or have friendly visitors.
8. No newsletter? A facility should have a fun way to list activities and inform families and caregivers or trips, activities and special events!
9. A lack of parties, or fun celebrations on the holidays. Ask for a list. If there is nothing, don’t expect anything fun, like a special meal etc. You may have to make your own arrangements for the holidays.
10.Another red flag would be a lack of excellent visiting experts who the facility contracts with on a daily basis. Ask for a list of geriatricians, hospice agencies, home health and even psychiatrists who visit to care for the residents.
If none of the red flags appear when touring a facility, you should expect a smooth transition.