One of the many obstacles to helping a family member perform estate planning is that it is often difficult to accept that a loved needs extra care to survive. It is also a challenge to find a good nursing home for a loved one, particularly when statistics suggest that abuse and neglect are occurring at an increased rate all over the country.

There are fortunately several signs that a nursing home is a safe and good fit for a loved one. It is important to weigh each potential nursing home against these criteria to make sure that a loved one ends up getting the best care possible. While the following are five signs of nursing home neglect, if you are interested in learning more, AARP has a list of 10.

Sign # 1: Examine the Staff Culture

It is important to examine how staff members at nursing homes interact with one another. If staff members are combative or passive with one another, this is likely how they will interact with the nursing home’s residents. The best nursing homes have staff that interact with one another in a pleasant manner.

Sign # 2: What Activities do Residents Engage in?

Empty corridors and sitting rooms are often a bad sign that the lives of the nursing home’s residents are lacking. Active residents, however, are a sign that people who live at the nursing home receive adequate care and are not neglected.

Sign # 3: How the Staff Interacts with Residents

Staff that engages its residents is often indicative that the people who live there receive adequate care. Furthermore, staff that greets each resident in his or her desired manner displays the ability to cater to each resident’s distinct needs.

Sign # 4: The Quality of the Food

During a visit to a nursing home, observe the type of food that residents eat each day. Food that tastes good and is nourishing shows that the facility is be more likely to adequately care for the residents.

Sign # 5: Smells

Some nursing homes contain some particularly bad odors. Some of the reasons for these smells include diets and medications that make residents flatulent as well as the increased number of bladder and bowel problems affecting elderly individuals. As a result, the nursing home might contain some unpleasant smells but still be well maintained. If the nursing home has particularly bad smells, however, this is likely an indication that the nursing home is not being cleaned properly, which means it would likely be a best to find a different nursing home for your loved one.

Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer

It is difficult to help a loved one fully plan for each of the various obstacles that arise in estate planning. If you notice any signs of elder abuse at a nursing home, you can always file a claim with a state agency or contact an experienced estate planning attorney like Jim A Lyon today for assistance with all aspects of estate planning.