If the time has come to place a loved one in a nursing home for rehabilitation or permanent residence, do not skimp out on vetting the home. Not all Wisconsin nursing homes are safe, or at least, not all homes may be safe for your relative. A resident who is a poor match for a home might suffer physical injury, degradation in health, or even death. To prevent the worst from happening, be on the lookout for qualities that make a good nursing home.

AARP recommends that when you check out a nursing home, pay attention to anything that can constitute a hazard. Look for handrails where they should be placed, such as in shower rooms or bathrooms. Hallways should be kept clean so there are no trip hazards. Equipment should not be placed in areas where a senior could run into it and fall. Floors, particularly in shower rooms, should possess non-skidding surfaces.

You should also check the ability of the nursing home to handle a weather or fire emergency. If a fire should break out, ask the staff about evacuation procedures. If a storm knocks out power, inquire about power backups and how the home makes food and water available during an outage. If your relative is prone to wandering, check to see how the home handles the security of its residents and keeps them from leaving the facility or wandering into a dangerous location.

A vetting process should also include checking the sanitization of the home. Caring for seniors will involve medication, dirty clothes and human waste, so you want to know that the home regularly keeps the home clean, launders clothes and disposes of human waste so that it does not linger to cause health problems. During your visit, take the time to smell the corridors and be mindful of excessive smells of urine and waste.

According to U.S. News and World Report, a good nursing home should be well staffed with health providing professionals. You want the home to be able to fulfill your loved one’s medical needs and take care of medical issues that can arise. While some medical situations require a trip to the hospital, there are health issues like dehydration that can be handled at the home if the right professionals are present. This can save your loved one needless trips to the hospital and reduce the risk of stress or infection.