There may come a time for many of us when we need to think about caring for our elderly loved ones. Georgia residents who want to place their loved ones in nursing homes need to be sure to do their due diligence to find facilities that meet acceptable quality standards. This is especially so since, according to federal ratings, the Georgia’s nursing homes rank poorly on care indices.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has developed a ranking based on three care parameters. Georgia nursing homes were placed on the bottom of the list for their care standards.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rating was based on how facilities performed on three parameters – health inspections (evaluating the number and scope of defects found in the last two inspections), staffing measures, and quality measures. Staffing rankings were determined based on the number of resident nurses per resident per day, and the total staffing per resident per day. Quality ratings were determined on the basis of 16 quality measures.
The rating places Georgia at No.5 on the bottom 10 with a score of 3.01. Only Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Kentucky fare worse than Georgia on the nursing home quality rating scale. All nursing homes broadly provide the same services, but as the ranking clearly shows, not all nursing homes provide the same quality of care.
If you live in the metro Atlanta region, and are looking for nursing homes for your loved ones, there are a few things you should be looking for.
Look for a facility as close to your home as possible. Ideally, you should be visiting your loved one as much as possible. Not only is this good for his or her mental health and well being, but regular visits will also help you identify possible signs of neglect or abuse at the facility. If you notice signs of neglect or abuse like wounds, bruises, bed sores or malnutrition, bring the problem to the attention of nursing authorities immediately. Do not hesitate or be nervous about asserting your rights.
Check staffing levels at the nursing home. There should be at least one licensed nurse at the facility 24/7. A registered nurse should be at the facility at least 8 hours in a day.
Check to see if the staff members are knowledgeable and trained in handling seniors, especially their medical issues. Also check to make sure that the nursing home has an airtight recruitment policy that will prevent nurses with a record of abuse from getting employment at the facility.
Research the facility that you are considering online. Look for poor reviews. If the nursing home has a history of violations, you are likely to find red flags in your search results. You can check on medicare.gov for violation records. Minor violations can be overlooked, but major violations, like lack of adequate security, can have serious consequences.
Taking these steps will help to ensure that your loved gets the care they deserve and you get the peace of mind you need.