It seems like, whenever you hear something about a nursing home in the media, it’s bad. The news is chock-full of stories of neglect, scandals, fraud, accidents, and abuse of every kind. However, at least in Ohio, there is some good news, and it comes straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
According to a survey by the Ohio Department of Aging, Ohio nursing home residents rated their overall satisfaction with their care as a B+. What’s beneficial about this survey—that is often missing from others—is that the participants are those who actually reside at the facility. All in all, across the state of Ohio, 27,000 nursing home residents and 11,000 assisted living facility residents participated.
The Plain Dealer reports, “Overall, the nursing homes averaged an 87.5 percent satisfaction rating and assisted living facilities fared a little better, at 92.3 percent.” During 2014, an additional survey will be conducted to see how the residents’ family members feel about the facilities and quality of care. Both surveys, when viewed together, will help provide a more complete picture of Ohio’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
It isn’t just the survey completed by the Ohio Department of Aging that has Ohio nursing homes ranking well. At the beginning of March, the U.S. News & World Report released its annual “Best Nursing Homes” list. This list is very comprehensive, touching on every state and approximately 100 major metropolitan areas. The state that topped the list was California; however, Ohio came in third place with approximately 21 percent of its nursing homes receiving a five-star rating.
While these numbers are definitely encouraging, it is important to keep in mind that surveys, no matter how many you look at them, shouldn’t be the only tool used to evaluate potential nursing homes or assisted living facilities. In today’s digital world, there are a lot of tools that one can use to assess a nursing home, including:
- Online reviews from industry-specific sites and general sites like Yelp and Google
- Inspection reports and the resulting citations from state agencies (ex. Ohio Department of Health)
- Complaints filed against nursing homes (these are typically available from whichever agency monitors nursing homes in your state)
- Online surveys like the two mentioned in this article
In addition, it’s important to go “old school” and visit a nursing home or assisted living facility you are planning on using. Multiple visits with different focuses may be in order. For example, on one visit you may get a comprehensive look at the services offered and any medical specialties. On another visit, you may spend some time in the dining room/cafeteria sampling the food and in the recreation room checking out what activities are available.