Elder care has recently begun to receive much-needed attention from the media, federal regulators and safety advocates. Partly due to increased awareness of problems plaguing elder care, including nursing home neglect and abuse, nursing home care has recently improved overall.
However, serious problems continue to plague the nursing home industry across the country. And those nursing homes providing the poorest quality of care do not seem to be improving at significant rates, according to Staten Island nursing home abuse lawyer John DelGuidice.
The federal government rates nursing homes on a five-star scale related to safety and quality. Over 550 nursing homes have received the lowest rating of one star since the rating system was initiated in 2008. These single stars are granted to those institutions who deliver care which is “much below average” as compared to other nursing homes located in the same state.
The ratings are assessed according to safety inspection data, quality measures, reports of mistreatment and licensing numbers, among other factors. Experts insist that quality ratings can plunge or improve dramatically according to effort or lack of effort exerted in addressing any outstanding concerns.
During the past three years, general quality in nursing home care has improved. The number of homes which are classified as four- and five-star institutions has risen by 5 percent. The number of homes receiving one or two stars has fallen by 5 percent.
However, the number of nursing homes which have failed to improve is staggering. Several programs designed to turn failing nursing homes around may benefit these consistently one-star performers. Recommendations include lowering staff turnover, minimizing physical restraint use, bed-sore prevention measures and more quality time spent with residents.