When we are considering an extended care facility for our loved ones there are many factors to consider before making a choice. Most guides would suggest visiting multiple homes in your area that you are considering. For instance, surveying the residents, their family (if possible), the staff, and administrators to get a good feel for your various choices. Check for cleanliness, and ask for a Resident's Bill of Rights. This will inform you what your loved one is entitled to by living where you choose. The Bill of Rights has basic rights for every state in America, and some states have added rights. One source you should also consider is a nursing home rating. A nursing homes ratings system can inform you if your choice of facility is in-line with an acceptable state nursing home rating. They can be a powerful tool during your search. Some state systems may differ, for example the Alabama system may include areas that an Arizona system wouldn't.
A government nursing home ratings system touches on a few important areas when determining the good from the bad. A government nursing home rating usually focuses on four broad categories, Staff, Quality of Care, Condition of the Facility, and Costs.
1. The first category, Staff, focuses on issues of experience, compensation, under staffing, friendliness, whether training programs are provided, and whether certain kinds of workers are available such as CNAs Doctors, and Social Workers. This area ensures that quality facilities are employing competent, responsible, and happy employees. Having a great staff translates into a great facility.
2. The second category, Quality of Care, focuses on available activities, free time spent out of bed, whether or not restraints are used properly, whether medical needs were met, how problems are addressed, and overall health. This would also show a Medicare nursing home rating. This criteria really gives us an insight on how the day to day experiences of the patients are. To much time in bed (while the patient is healthy) with nothing to do can be a sign for alarm. Another would be inadequate medical assistance. When we admit a loved one to any sort of extended care facility we hope their care is exceptional, and these criteria can help us judge that.
3. The third category is the Condition of the Facility. This is the area that tracks state and federal deficiencies, and also the number of complaints. This is where annual inspections reports are listed. These cover cleanliness of the area, and the compliance of each facility to minimum standards. We should hope all of our choices at least meet minimum requirements, but sadly in the world we live in this isn't always true.
4. The final category is Costs. This tracks how much is spent per resident per day. Usually more money spent means better care given, but just in case this area also shows how much money is spent on patient care. This can help reassure both ourselves and our loved ones that the money spent is put to good use.
Government nursing homes ratings are a tremendous tool, and one that should not be overlooked. As you can see by consulting nursing home ratings you can ensure your loved one is in a safe and happy home. By doing your research you can rest easy knowing the choice you made was the best one possible.
Now that you know the importance of ranking, find a nursing home by searching our database of long term care facilities across the nation! This will help you make the proper nursing home comparison by rating the facilities in your area in which you live. Our data is comprised of a nursing home directory which will help you get educated on the best elderly care centers in your area. Search our database today and get informed!