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Independence Among U.S. Nursing Home Residents

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services compile data about nursing homes, and about nursing home residents. Yesterday, NPR News Investigations published an interactive graphic of the level of independence among U.S. nursing home residents.

This graphic is quite cool! You start by choosing an independence measure you want to examine from the residents’ ability to bathe, dress, eat, walk, or use the toilet by themselves. Then, you move your cursor over a state to see the percentage of residents in that state who can do the activity without help.

In our state, North Carolina, the percentages are:

  • 3.1% can bathe alone
  • 7.1% can dress themselves alone
  • 42.2% can eat by themselves
  • 5.8% can walk independently
  • 10.5% can use the toilet without assistance

These statistics tell the story of the level of care most nursing home residents require. This is why the difficult decision of whether to place a loved one in a nursing home is more a question of how to choose a good and caring nursing home–this extreme level of round-the-clock care is impossible for most families.

To see the full, interactive graphic by NPR, click here: Independence Graphic

And if you find yourself needing to choose a nursing home, please do your homework. Quality care exists, but it can be difficult to find…and life in a poor-quality nursing home can be horrific. We have created a few videos to help your nursing home decision. Click here: the HensonFuerst YouTube Channel

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