According to USA Today, In the last three years, there an has been in increase in the number of assisted living facilities earning four and five star ratings under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services five-star rating system. Although the number of nursing homes getting top ratings went up from 38% to 43% between 2009 and 2011 and the percentage of facilities getting just one or two stars went down from 40% to 35%, this means that there are still over 500 nursing homes earning the lowest ratings.
The five-star rating system is derived from yearly state survey inspections, as well as the evaluation of quality of care performance. How much time facility members are able to give each resident is also a factor. The latest ratings for nursing homes in Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and Orange County, California can be found on the CMS' Nursing Home Compare site. (Ratings from prior years, however, are not included.) Prescreening an assisted living facility before allowing your loved one to live there is one way to decrease the chances of California nursing home abuse and neglect.
Although the way yearly inspections are timed means that not all assisted living facilities may end up included in every rating period and some ratings may have changed since then, the Web site is a great way for family members to do some due diligence when trying to decide where to place a loved one. That said, CMS is quick to note that looking at a rating system is not enough for determining what facility would be best for a patient.
It is important that a nursing home provide the specific type of care that your loved one needs. For example, there are facilities that specialize in dementia care. Geography can also play a factor in terms of whether/not a nursing home is located close enough so that relatives and friends can visit.
Actually visiting an assisted living facility is a great way to get a sense of the environment, whether or not residents are happy, how involved staff members are in patient care, and if the nursing home appears sanitary and safe. "Unfortunately, despite one's best efforts to prescreen an assisted living facility, incidents of Orange County, California nursing home abuse and neglect can happen and it is the resident that suffers," said Anaheim personal injury lawyer Vincent Howard.
As the family member of a nursing home resident, it is important that you watch out for possible signs of abuse or neglect, such as bedsores, unexplained bruises, sudden changes to the resident's personality or emotional state, dehydration, malnutrition, "It is unacceptable that anyone should suffer injury or develop health complications because of inadequate nursing care or abusive behavior on the part of facility staff," said Anaheim nursing home negligence lawyer Vincent Howard.
Many elderly residents are too sick or afraid to report what is happening. Filing a California nursing abuse claim allows you to hold the responsible parties liable.
US nursing home ratings shift, USA Today, February 9, 2012
Nursing Home Compare, Medicare.gov
More Blog Posts:
Orange County, California Nursing Home Negligence?: Newport Beach and Yorba Linda Facilities Fined Over Patient Deaths, California Injury Lawyers, December 20, 2011
California Nursing Home Fall Leads to $75K Fine, California Injury Lawyers, October 31, 2011
California Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit: Poor Care Allegedly Caused 80-Year-Old Female Dementia Patient to Suffer Dehydration, Malnutrition, and Infections, California Injury Lawyers, October 27, 2011
Anaheim elder abuse attorney Vincent Howard is the founder of Howard, Law, PC. Contact our Orange County, California personal injury law firm today to request your free case evaluation.