Selecting a nursing home might seem overwhelming, but it’s a good choice to spend time on. As elder law attorneys and advocates, we know that a number of factors can go into this decision Moreover we see far too many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. A great resource in Florida for obtaining additional information about nursing homes is Florida health and look for the “find a facility” tab.


The Nursing Home Abuse Center explains that the most common types of elder abuse fall into the categories of physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse. As a legal team who wants the very best for you and your loved ones, we’ve gathered a list of expert tips from AARP on how to screen nursing homes and pick the best one. So whether you’re looking for a first nursing home, or considering transitioning, consider the following tips:


  1. Pay Attention to Food

Palates change with age and often elderly people do not have much interest in eating. When a lack of interest in food is coupled with a poor selection of food available at a care facility, chances are residents won’t be properly nourished. Look for taste, variety, and visual presentation – all of which encourage healthy diets and overall well being.


  1. Pay Attention to How Staff Talk to Residents

Does the staff address residents respectfully? Staff should be properly calling residents by their names and should be asking new residents how they want to be addressed.


  1. Pay Attention to Smells

There are legitimate and unavoidable reasons why nursing homes tend to smell strange. But if there is a prevailing odor, such as a smell of stale urine, this is likely because the facility isn’t being regularly or properly cleaned.   


  1. Ask Staff if They Are Overworked

The Nursing Home Abuse Center reports that staff who are overworked or who feel burdened by their responsibility of caring for elders are more likely to abuse or neglect residents in some way. Ask staff if they are working double shifts and if they enjoy their job.


  1. Observe How Staff Members Interact With Each Other

If staff are rude and inconsiderate with each other, it’s likely that they will be treating residents in a very similar way.


  1. Check for Irregular Bruising
  2. Debra Stang, a former nursing home social worker explains that while you shouldn’t assume any bruise is a sign of abuse, you should be aware that bruises can be signs of mistreatment. Pay special attention to finger-shaped bruises around the upper arm, handprint-shaped marks on the face or stomach, bruises on the back, or any bruises or injuries that are not likely the results of a fall.


  1. Check for Unexplained Bedsores

Bedsores are often unavoidable, but should be a concern if they are developed suddenly without good reason. Ask staff how often bedridden residents are rotated, and make sure the answer corresponds to doctor’s orders.


  1. Observe How Falls Are Handled

Did staff check for injuries? Did staff assist the resident in getting up getting comfortable? Does staff check later for injuries that weren’t apparent at first, such as a closed head injury? Staff should immediately notify a resident’s family about a fall and talk about measures to prevent future falls.



If you are experiencing a legal issue regarding a nursing home or elder care in the Okeechobee area, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Estate, Trust, and Elder Law Firm, P.L. We serve treasure coast seniors and those who love them. Get started by calling 772-828-2588 or contacting us online today!


The Estate, Trust, and Elder Law Firm, P.L.


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2940 S. 25th Street

Fort Pierce, FL 34981





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Port St. Lucie

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Port St. Lucie, FL 34986



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402 NW Third St,

Okeechobee, FL 34972