The federal Nursing Home Compare website provides rankings for nursing homes along with inspection information so that consumers can have one more tool when trying to decide where their family member will be well taken care of.
Homes are rated based on information on staffing levels, the percentage of registered nurses on board, quality measures such as vaccination schedule compliance or whether a resident is keeping on weight, and state inspections. Homes are awarded one to five stars based on their performance in these areas and only the top ten percent receive 5 stars.
Although it is a useful tool, people looking for care on the behalf of a loved one should keep in mind that two thirds of the information regarding staffing and quality is self-reported and the remaining third is derived from state inspections, which may or may not be current.
It is still important to delve deeper into researching a potential nursing home by talking to administrators about any blips on inspection reports to ensure they have been addressed and to drop in at different times of day to see for yourself how many staff are on hand and how people are being cared for.
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With all the news coverage regarding nursing home abuse and neglect, families are of course concerned about the quality of care their loved one will receive in a nursing home setting. The federal database along with some detective-like leg work may help you find the right place for you loved one when they need care in a nursing home setting. If you have concerns about an Iowa nursing home or suspect elder abuse, neglect or exploitation in a nursing home or by one of it’s employees, contact Iowa nursing home resident rights attorney John T. Hemminger at 515-283-2116.
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