Nursing Home Quality

Nursing Home quality is now, more than ever, an important topic for families seeking a long term care setting for the daily physical, medical and emotional care for their elderly family members.  Caregivers and families depend on high quality care and a supportive environment so seniors with unique needs can participate in daily activities and lead a fulfulling life within their limitations. The last thing they want is to put this fragile age-group at greater risk of illness or any type of harm.

However, as with hospitals, nursing home quality varies greatly.  The Coronavirus Pandemic has exposed many of the long-standing issues that some nursing homes have had with infection control, inadequate staffing, and much-needed improvements and budget allocations for training, staffing, pay, education and medical supplies.

The important thing is to start collecting information and doing your research long before you need to place your loved one in a nursing facility.   Rushing into a decision after your loved one has been in the hospital and need to be transferred for medical reasons, brings added stress and challenges.  If at all possible, visit the facility in person. Many things come up during a visit that give you a 'feeling' about the facility and staff that may help with your decision. 

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Resources 

Your Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home or other Long Term Services &  Supports 
Issued by CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services), a comprehensive printable booklet with a checklist in the back covering questions to ask when visiting and evaluating a long term care facility or service).

Medicare Nursing Home Compare
Detailed information about every Medicare-certified nursing home in the U.S. It provides star ratings on overall quality, staffing, and you can even read any penalties they received during health inspections. It also has a tabbed menu with information on patient rights, how to file a complaint, and whether they have a resident or family council. This is a good starting point for questions before doing a a tour of a facility. The printable sheet below explains the star-rating system in more detail.

Nursing Home Compare:The Five-Star Quality Rating System
A user-friendly printable sheet explaning Nursing Home Compare and the information it provides. From Intermountain Health Care.

ProPublica’s Nursing Home Inspections
ProPublica is a non profit investigative news organization. They have collected data on nursing homes to provide consumers with detailed information on nursing home inspections by state and facility, if they were fined or faced penalties, and how much.

 

 

 

 



Long Term Care Patient Rights

The Consumer Voice
The leading national voice representing consumers in issues related to long-term care. They are a primary source of information and tools for consumers, families, caregivers, advocates and nursing home ombudsmen to help ensure quality care.

Center for Medicare Advocacy 
A wealth of information about Medicare patients rights, and hospital discharges to nursing homes, long term care, and rehabilitation facilities. 

New Hampshire Long Term Care Ombudsmen
For questions or complaints about the quality of care in a NE Nursing Home or Long Term Care Facility (LTCF):    
phone: 603-271-4375
e-mail: OLTCO@dhhs.nh.gov

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