Residential Care Red Flag

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. If most of the residents are seated in wheel chairs.
– Excellent standard of care is to (if safe) transfer the residents often to a normal chair or recliner throughout the day. No one wants to sit in a wheel chair all day!

2. Lack of activities
– Look for a live activity going on, not a movie with an assistant sitting there watching it, but a real interactive activity such as music, art, or even games.

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 nursing spread out 16 hours of the day 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! A med tech is best. Also, are the med techs trained? Are they tested?

5. In memory care
– Is there a resident counsel for residents 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, not just complaints. Many times, former employees can make complaints to form a case against the facility. They are “lead complaints” leading to help their “case” not always in the best Interest of Care. A real care compliant has to do with the food, care or even a lack of care.

7. Lack of spiritual care.
– Another red flag is lack of spiritual care. If a facility does not have a chaplain, pastor or priest, it shows 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 tell what is new and fun!

9. 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 on the holidays.

10. Lack of Visiting Experts
– 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 their residents.

If all of the above is not an issue, you should expect a smooth transition!

Jacqueline DuPont,
Owner and founder of Irvine Cottages, Vista Gardens and Assured in Home Care

Leave A Comment...