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Dan Friedman
Dan Friedman
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Study finds bad nursing home care is common

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Consumer reports recently conducted a study which found that only 2% of for-profit nursing homes were likely to provide good care. Non-profit nursing homes were likely to provide good care 7.3% of the time.

In the report, several suggestions are made for people looking to get quality nursing home care:

–Get a list of local facilities from your nearest agency on aging, as well as contact information for the local ombudsman, a government official whose job is to investigate nursing home complaints and advocate for residents.

–Check the ownership. A resident’s chances of getting good care are better at an independent, not-for-profit home.

–Don’t depend on the federal Web site at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Our comparison of the information on that site and the state inspection reports on which it is based show that you’ll probably get an incomplete and possibly misleading picture.”

–Visit the homes under consideration unannounced. Drop in between 9:30 and 10 a.m., for example, to see how many people are still in bed. Homes with too few staff members don’t get people out of bed until later in the day, if at all. Also visit at dinner time. If 75 percent of the residents are eating in their rooms, that’s not a good sign.