6 Signs Of A Bad Assisted Living Facility

With so many different assisted living facilities available, the one you eventually pick can make a big difference to the quality of life of the resident. Picking a good facility over a bad one could even end up adding years to someone’s life. Likewise, choosing the wrong one could do the opposite. Abuse in senior homes is rampant, and it’s vital that you take your time before picking one for your loved one. Keeping your eyes open for red flags will help you to some extent, but you also have to ask the right questions. Here are some of the telltale signs of a bad assisted living facility.

The Staff Look Unhappy

If you go to an assisted living facility and you notice that everyone is grumpy and won’t acknowledge you, this is an automatic red flag. People don’t have to be smiling from ear to ear, but they should at least greet and speak to you when you speak to them.

Another thing you should look at is how busy they are. You cannot trust a team that is overworked as they’re bound to make errors. You have to make sure that your loved ones will get all the attention that they need. So, check how many staff members are present and how many people they have to attend to at once.

The Management Won’t Answer Questions

If the person you meet glosses over details, is vague in their answers, or just won’t answer them, then go elsewhere. You need to know how many people they have on staff and the turnover. They should also be able to answer questions like how many nurses they have per resident. Clark County families want to find senior living options in Vancouver, WA for their parents that foster open communication. Being in the know can help you to take better decisions for your loved one.

Make sure the retirement village has a good reputation in the local area. A quality residence, as seen at Summerset Walkworth, should offer an environment that is secure, comfortable, and home-like, as well as a variety of activities to keep residents active and engaged with one another. Have a look around and see how the staff interact with their residents. This will give you an idea of what kind of atmosphere you can expect if you choose to move in.

It’s Too Big

You should think twice about the large senior living complexes we see popping up everywhere. While some will have some interesting perks, they often feel very impersonal. These are also the types of facilities that tend to be understaffed.

If you want to make sure that you or your loved one will truly feel like they’re a part of a community, we suggest you check out the St Anne’s Retirement Community at stannesrc.org. They have multiple living arrangements ranging from apartments to villas, to cottages. This assisted living facility feels much more like home than most of the other senior communities and the staff do a great job of making you feel at home as well.

It’s Dirty

One of the first things you should do when looking at an assisted living facility is see how clean it appears. First, check how clean the place is from the outside. How well the parking lot is maintained could tell you a lot about how seriously they take hygiene there. Once you get inside, look at the floor and if you can see anyone cleaning.

When visiting rooms, head directly to the bathroom. Check to see if you notice any strange smells. This is very important as many diseases, even potentially deadly ones like C. diff, can be transmitted through contaminated toilets.

It’s In A Bad Location

When picking an assisted living home, you have to make sure that it’s somewhere that is accessible. However, too accessible could also mean that it will be close to traffic. That’s not the ideal place for a senior or someone dealing with health issues. So, when picking the location, you should also look at the surroundings. It should have plenty of space for lounging and areas where residents can stay active.

Close up of an elderly man's hands held over teh top of a walking stick. He has a gold wedding ring and is wearing light beige rousers and a brown checked shirt.

The Food Is Bad

One of the things you should do when going to an assisted living facility is to go during chow time. You will never be able to truly tell how good they treat residents until you see the food they serve. They should have a varied menu and the food should be fresh and well prepared. Most facilities will let you or your loved one sample one of their meals to see if you like it. If you notice that something is off, or you simply don’t like the cooking, your loved one might have a hard time living there.

You should also ask if you can visit the kitchen. If the facility flat out refuses, then this is a very bad sign. You need to be able to see how clean the kitchen is at the very least. If you’re free to inspect, we suggest you pay special attention to sinks, preparation areas, and storage areas.

The kitchen’s fridge will tell you a lot about how they approach food safety. There should be nothing stored on the floor and no smell. Liquids or foods that can produce liquids, such as meat, should be placed at the bottom while drier ingredients should be at the top. Everything should be marked with dates and properly covered.


Picking the right assisted facility for you or a loved one is not something you can do on a whim. Take the time to visit as many as you need and find one you’ll feel truly excited about.

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