Watch out for these potential problems when nursing home shopping

It's not easy to come to the realization that your mother or father needs to live in a nursing home. It's not easy to go through the process of choosing the perfect care facility for your loved one either.

If you're careful and attentive to the details -- and if you take the time to visit various homes in person -- you'll eventually find a nursing home that offers the most appropriate balance of meeting your needs, your wishes and your budget.

2 nursing home red flags

When you apply the required level of attention, you will be able to discern the good homes from the bad ones by keeping an eye out for the following red flags:

It's too loud: When you visit a nursing home and you're met with constant noise that never seems to stop, you might be willing to overlook the issue if the home is clean, modern and appears to be well-run and organized. Don't overlook this red flag.

Noise is disruptive to one's internal peace, and -- if it never lets up -- it could be damaging to your loved one's sense of well-being and produce anxiety and stress. Never underestimate the health-damaging effects of constant noise. Better-run nursing homes tend to offer a peaceful and tranquil environment for their residents.

Uncheerful staff: If the staff you meet at the nursing home rubs you the wrong way, don't dismiss this feeling.

It's vital that the staff be cheerful and offer positive interaction with residents. If staff members appear to interact with one another more than with residents, it could also be a red flag that the facility is understaffed or there is a culture of neglect or abuse, resulting in an underlying tension between staff and the residents. A better-operating nursing home will foster a healthy and happy relationship between staff members and guests.

Follow your instincts and examine the facts

When looking for the right nursing home for your mother or father, you'll need to follow your instincts while looking closely at the reality of the situation. Even if the facility feels "hunky-dory," don't leave any stone unturned.

Also, if it seems like your favorite nursing home is out of reach financially, be sure to examine all the legal and estate planning options available that could help you uncover the financial resources your loved one requires.

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