Failing Grades: Nursing Homes in the United States

You may quickly realize the difficulty of finding good nursing care when your elderly loved one needs more care than you can provide, or that she or he can handle living alone. A new report by a Florida-based advocacy group provides an up-front look at which states succeed, and which fail, at providing adequate nursing home care in the United States. 

With federal criteria used to determine quality of health care, Families for Better Care assigned each state a grade on issues including record of violations and staffing. 

States found to have a top record of nursing care by the organization included Alaska, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, while Texas, Indiana and Louisiana were among those with the worst record for elderly care. 

Disturbingly, North Carolina received a grade of “D” because of the following: 

  • With a ranking of 37th in the United States, nine out of 10 North Carolina nursing home facilities had at least one deficiency.
  • North Carolina scored average or failing on all staffing measures.
  • Review of the ombudsman’s complaints suggests widespread problems in many facilities. 

Overall, good care was equated with higher ratios of caregivers to patients. Throughout the United States, patients rarely receive less than three hours of direct care per day. Many facilities chalk up regulatory violations and, in half the states in our country, one in five facilities are accused of abusing or mistreating patients. 

Not a good report card. If considering nursing care for a loved one, do your homework. If you are concerned your elderly loved one is being neglected, talk to an experienced elder care attorney in North Carolina.

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