Making the decision to find a care facility for a loved one is difficult and emotionally charged. We would like to think that all nursing homes are clean, caring, and compassionate places. Many are not.
There are many tools you can use to try to find a good fit for your family member. While we do not recommend using rating systems without hands-on investigation of your own, the magazine U.S. News & World Report recently released its list of the Best Nursing Homes.
The 5-star rankings give broad-stroke information in the following areas:
Health Inspections. This covers infections control, food safety, medication management, skin care, and residents’ quality of life.
Nursing Staff. This measures the average nursing time per patient per day. The highest ranking of 5 stars could be achieved with at least 33 minutes per patient per day. (Makes you wonder about how little nursing time residents get from 2-star facilities, doesn’t it?)
Quality measures. This category takes into account indicators for how well residents are cared for medically. For example, nursing homes report urinary tract infections, pain, bedsores, and patient mobility.
Click here to read the listings of the top-ranked nursing homes in North Carolina.
The list of all North Carolina nursing homes–even those with poor rankings–can be seen here: A-Z Nursing Homes Index NC. If your loved one is in a care facility, check its ratings. Two in North Carolina–Britthaven of Chapel Hill and Brian Center Health & Rehab in Gastonia–have received generally poor grades. They were identified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the 2008 list of the worst facilities in American (what are called “special focus” facilities). By the 2009 inspections, these two homes had not improved.
To see listings for all states, click here: Nursing Homes by State
HensonFuerst remains passionate about pursing quality care for elderly loved ones. Watch for more blogs (and videos) about this topic coming in the next couple of weeks.