Senior citizens rely on experienced and trusted assisted living facilities to provide premier living conditions staffed with professional associates to provide the best medical and personal elder care. More than one-and-a-half million Americans live in nursing homes throughout the country, so that makes for many in search of quality assisted living. Over the next decade the number is expected to swell by as much as 40% as the baby boomers approach retirement. A report shows that many states, including New York, received a failing grade on its nursing home report card, alarming to elder law advocates.
Families for Better Care, a Florida-based nursing home resident advocacy group, released the report, which scored, ranked, and graded states on eight different federal quality measures. The report served the purpose applauding those states that provide good care while exposing, and motivating, those states with poor scores. The nursing home report card analyzes, compares and ranks state’s nursing home quality.
The report gave each state a final grade based on calculating the average grades in several areas of assisted living conditions, including:
–Registered Nurse Hours per Day
–Certified Nursing Assistant Hours per Resident per Day –Percentage of Facilities with Above Average Registered Nurse Staffing –Percentage of Above Average Direct Care Staffing
–Percentage of Facilities with Above Average Health Inspections
These average grades were negatively impacted by additional factors including: percentage of facilities with deficiencies, percentage of facilities with severe deficiencies, and percentage of verified ombudsman complaints. Severe deficiencies are defined as an immediate jeopardy or actual harm violation that resulted in resident injury, abuse, neglect or death. And, verified complaints are first-hand accounts from residents, families, staff, and other others about overall nursing home care.
The top nursing homes states included Alaska, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire primarily due the larger number of staffing hours. Texas, Louisiana and Indiana were at the bottom of the list. States whose nursing homes employed an abundance of professional nurses and frontline caregivers translated to higher marks.
New York Report Card
The State of New York received an “F” as a overall grade, and ranked 45th overall. Families for Better Care found the nursing home care was so poor that the state mustered only one above average grade, barely squeezing out a “B” in the percentage of facilities with severe deficiencies. Furthermore, the homes severely lacked professional nursing services as residents only received 40 minutes of nursing home care per day. It is recommended for residents to receive more than 1 hour of direct nursing care per day. The state received the Northeast Region’s worst grade in more than half of the analyzed categories. Over 92% of the facilities were cited one or more deficiencies.
State officials and nursing home need to hold themselves accountable by stepping up and providing better elder care. Many elders are concerned with the underwhelming quality of life and institutionalized living quarters nursing homes provide. But, with continued help from our federal and state officials, as well as the findings of these report cards, legislative and regulatory adjustments can be implemented to better protect our elders.