5 Traits of the Worst Nursing Homes

elderlyAs certified Geriatric Care Managers and Care Advocates, we are extremely knowledgeable about area South Florida nursing homes, and their existing records regarding safety and resident care. Read on to learn more about 5 red flags you should be aware of when conducting your own search for a nursing home. Thanks for visiting us at Advocare

Many people find the search for a nursing home for a parent to be gut-wrenching. There are plenty of safe, ethical nursing and retirement homes and assisted-living communities, but there are also ample awful ones. Horror stories abound of elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes. In recent years, a few homes throughout the country have been cited by public health officials because family members found their parents – usually Alzheimer’s victims – with maggots somewhere on their body, often in a wound.

Because nursing homes are expensive, not everyone can afford to live in the best facility. According the annual Genworth 2014 Cost of Care Survey, which included over 14,800 care providers, the median annual rate of a private room in a nursing home is $87,600.

But if you want to avoid the worst of the worst nursing homes, what should you look for? Here are five red flags.

A history of violations. Nursing homes are highly regulated by public and private agencies at the state and federal levels, but there are plenty of bad players in the industry. The good news is that if you do some research online, it’s easy to find out if a home has a reputation for substandard care.

Medicare.gov is a great place to start. It has a search tool that allows you to type in a ZIP code and compare nursing homes in that area. Medicare’s star ratings take into account factors like health inspections and staffing, and if you don’t see many stars, keep clicking to read why in the nursing home’s full report.

U.S. News’s Best Nursing Homes 2014 features a search engine and ratings for some 16,000 nursing homes nationwide along with information on care, safety, health inspections and staffing for each facility. Overall ratings of one to five stars are assigned based on how the nursing home stacks up in three categories: state-conducted health inspections, how much time nurses spend with residents and the quality of medical care.

ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit news operation, also offers a comprehensive search engine and allows users to compare nursing homes based on deficiencies cited by regulators and penalties imposed within the past three years. If you have concerns about sexual abuse, for example, you can type the terms in the keyword search and pull up nursing homes cited in a state report in which those words are mentioned.

You can also search online for reviews and complaints about nursing homes you are considering. SeniorAdvisor.com is one site that lists reviews of thousands of nursing homes throughout the country.

Continue reading HERE.

Comments are closed.